Meeting Minutes- Diversity Committee-September 27, 2007
1. Meeting began with Thura Mack calling the meeting to order.
a. Donna Braquet asked if she could speak first on GLBT Month because she had to leave. She explained what her committee had planned and asked for our support, which those members present agreed to. She gave out a handout for the events planned by their committee of which copies will be available to those members who were unable to attend our meeting of the 27th. Those events include a presentation by Suzanne Pharr on October 18th at 7:00 p.m. “Obsessed With Sex and Power: America’s Struggle With Homophobia and its Relationship With Racism and Sexism”; a talk on October 9th at noon in UC220 from Dr. Dawn Szymanski (Assistant Professor, UT Department of Psychology); film “The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community: Before Stonewall” October 3rd at 6:30 in the Hodges Library Auditorium; and a second film “After Stonewall: From the Riots to the Millennium” at 6:30 on October 24th in Hodges Auditorium. She left after speaking.
b. Thura next asked Laurie Roberson, faculty advisor to the student Native American Association branch on campus to speak. Ms. Roberson explained what the organization hoped to accomplish, who its president was, and what they would like to present for Native American Month in the library in November. All members present agreed it would be a positive move to support this fledgling group and co-sponsor Native American events to be held in the library. Those events we will co-sponsor will be a film series and a book display. One initial film that was suggested was “Smoke Signals”. Trisha Brady has volunteered to find what films the Media Center has to offer for such an event, and Sandy Allen has volunteered to conduct research into what books Hodges can offer for such a project. Committee members also presented Ms. Roberson with the names of library faculty for her to get permissions from. She left after speaking.
2. We next went back to the announcements section of the agenda and Jeff spoke shortly on his experiences at Datafest. He thought a majority of it was geared toward K-12, but did see a few databases the University could use. One database that especially interested him was one that included every soldier that fought in the Civil War. Jeff explained that this database was interactive and fully searchable by just about any topic a researcher could imagine. He explained that this database would be a good tool for history majors, family researchers, those researching war, and a host of other uses. This would also be a good tool for those researching the diversity of the war due to there being many African American and Native American soldiers that fought during this war. Another database that he looked at dealt with car repair, but was unsure how that database would fit into an academic library atmosphere.
3. Jeanine asked next if we could talk about her proposal on a disability event in January at our next meeting. It was agreed that this is an important topic to address and it was agreed that a discussion on her proposal would take place at the next meeting.
4. Jeff asked if the committee was going to participate in Trunk-or-Treat again this year and I told him of my findings from the office of Disability that they were not going to host that event again this year. I told the committee that I would call again and verify that the event was not going to be held this year, and if there had been a change of plans that we could decide our level of participation at our next meeting.
5. Allison gave the committee updates on her work on the Committee’s web pages. She asked that all members of the Committee look at the mission statement and image for our next meeting and see if we wanted any change be made to those.
6. The committee members present agreed to align the Talk-About-Its to the months that correspond with national observances for that topic. An example is the Talk-About-It with Ms. Geier and National Black History Month.
7. The committee was asked for suggestions for a place to take the new residents for lunch. Allison suggested the World Grotto on Market Square as she and some others are having lunch there this week and will report back to the committee as to the establishments’ acceptability for our purposes are. Trisha Brady offered that she might be able to obtain a discount if this was ultimately our choice where to take them.
8. The administration has asked that we have the reception for the new residents on October 18th at 3:30. We asked for volunteers to create a sub-committee to plan a menu for this event, and a second sub-committee for set-up and clean up for this event. Trisha Brady, Jeff French, Thura Mack, and myself volunteered to plan the menu, and volunteers are still needed for set up and clean up. Thura Mack will help set up the event and I will help with clean up. The theme for the reception is ‘Fall’.
9. The topic of the Winter Party was opened and the committee agreed that it is an event we will still want to participate in. Allison suggested that we participate in the Coats for the Cold in conjunction with the Winter Party as well as calling the Ronald McDonald House to ask what assistance we might provide this year that we can collect for at that time also. Jeff suggested that the committee consider calling the Talenton House Orphanage that is nearby to ask if we might offer some assistance at that time as well. It was agreed that calling Talenton House was a good idea and Jeff will call them.
10. It was mentioned that Rita has agreed to give the Diversity Committee space in Commons North for a small bookshelf to present a small number of books monthly on a topic pertaining to the national event the committee is providing Talk-About-Its and film series for.
11. Allison had to leave for class.
12. A collection of suggestions for cultural corner projects from the past was passed around and members were asked to make their own suggestions for this upcoming project. The former suggestion concerning Melungeons was discussed as a possibility and having an Appalachian book displace in the new bookshelf was proposed.
13. It was decided by members present to have an online vote on the diversity calendar proposal. All members need to look at the links Allison provided and forward any links they may have discovered to all members so a vote can be held soon.
14. Thura passed around a missive she received from Barbara asking the committee to support the Black Programmer’s events. This is a group that has brought top-name performers to campus in the past and wants to expand upon those previous efforts.
15. The Committee then broke into the two sub-committees for the final 15 minutes of the meeting. Jeanine decided to sit with the Outreach sub-committee for this meeting. Jeff joined the Staff Enrichment sub-committee.
16. The Staff Enrichment Sub-Committee:
a. I provided information to the sub-committee that, through a conversation with Roger Weaver and an email from Donna Braquet, that it was preferred that the Diversity Committee provide support for the campus committee’s event plans, but it was suggested that we could provide a book table for the GLBT event month. Through a conversation with Rebecca Roller it was suggested that we seek to have a bookshelf to provide those books. After careful consideration as to where such a bookshelf could be placed a discussion with Rita from the Commons presented the opportunity for a permanent space to be provided in Commons North for a small bookcase to present books for the different events the Committee will be looking at during the year for Talk-About-Its and film series. The sub-committee was asked if this was a project they wanted to support, and it was agreed that it was a project that fit in with what they wanted to support.
b. The Native American activities were agreed upon earlier with Ms. Roberson, so that issue was not brought back up.
c. Other topics were tabled to next meeting as time ran out.
17. Outreach Sub-Committee:
a. Let’s talk about it topics suggested:
--Have staff submit testimonies of disabilities of families, friends,
etc. based on the feedback invite a medical specialist in to
discuss the disabilities and resources for ongoing learning and
b. -- Invite someone in from SIS to talk information accessibility
providing tools/resources for us to understand our
18. The meeting adjourned.