To: Chancellor Sam Schuman
From: Tammy Faux, Coordinator, Commission on Women
Date: May 12, 2004

The Commission on Women has been involved in many events during the 2003-2004 school year. While the Board members initially chose a theme for the year of “women, workforce and finance”, intending to focus on work issues for women, it quickly became clear that “a sense of community” would need to be our focus for the year. The divide across campus that resulted in and from the clerical strike was quickly evident in our own Board with members of the Board representing a microcosm of the campus community – members who went out on strike, chose to cross the picket line, vocally supported the strikers, supported those who crossed the line, were members of administration, etc. Recognizing the need to mend our own fractures, members began to focus efforts for the remainder of the year of supporting the healing of the community. Many of the events listed below are related to that effort.

Board members during the year included: Tammy Faux (Coordinator), Christy Dent, LeAnn Dean, Clare Strand, Pareena Lawrence, Carol Ford, Randi Peterson, Colleen Frey, Miriam Panton, Michelle Page, Tammy Berberi, Steph Charboneau (WRC rep) and Jessica Nagel (student worker)

The following is a summary of activities of the 2003-04 Commission on Women

• Monitored the transition of the Mother’s Room key from Human Resources to the Info Desk in the Student Center. This should provide easier access to this room for the UMM community and our visitors.

• Co-sponsored Colleen Rawley presentation, Oct. 24, 2003. This event, co-sponsored with CAC Convocations, featured Coleen Rowley, FBI whistle blower, talking about "Doing the Right Thing at all Cost - Ethical Decision Making".

• Co-sponsored the Women’s Week Keynote Speaker – Jean Kilbourne. This event, co-sponsored with WRC and CAC Convocations, featured a lectured titled "Deadly Persuasion: Advertising & Addiction".

• CW sponsored a free seminar entitled “Women and Money: A Financial Seminar for Women”. It was presented by Tamela Sperr, CPF, from Edward Jones. The six session workshop met on dates in November, December, and January. There were approximately 16 participants in this seminar.

• Members wrote thank-you cards to all women faculty on campus as a gesture of appreciation to re-connect the campus after the strike. CW also placed a full-page ad in the Register thanking all members of UMM for their continued dedication to excellence and preservation of the sense of community at UMM. The ad and the cards were intended as gestures (and reminders) of reconciliation for a community that felt fractured after the strike.

• “Celebration of Women”, a brown bag social, was held in December. It was a “superlative” event where women came and shared favorite poetry, stories and songs. This was a joint effort between the Commission on Women, Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and Women of Color Association (WOCA). Students, faculty and staff all participated in this fun event.

• In February, Audrey Arner came to give a talk about “Building Community”. Approximately 25 attended Audrey’s talk. Her discussion about issues involved in community building were well received by the audience. Among her main points were :
• Create community through developing a community conscience
• Create culture in the place we live
• A community give strength to do what needs to be done
• Community counters a sense of estrangement

• The CW Spring Luncheon was held in February also, with “Building Community” as the topic for discussion, approximately 50 women attended this event.

• In early April CW distributed its annual newsletter. The newsletter, with special guest editor Rachel Hall, presented to the UMM community profiles of women working, learning and playing in our community.

• CW co-sponsored (with Human Resources) the Juggling on a Tightrope – A Work Life Balance on May 11th. The workshop was well attended and appreciated by the 22 people who attended. Anita Rios and DeAnn Bonebraid from CHRD at the main campus presented the workshop which offered opportunities for brainstorming, problem solving and gave many people from different areas of campus a valuable opportunity for networking.

• CW was able to support students and faculty participation at events and conferences related to women’s issues and advancing women in the workforce through its grant program. Several grant recipients either presented their material at a CW Board meeting or sent CW members information that they had gathered at the sponsored events. Opportunities available through these grants included:
• One faculty and two students traveling to a conference to present a paper. This paper was also presented on campus
• One faculty and one student traveling to a conference to hear a respected speaker. The faculty plans to use information from this conference in a class next year and the student is using the conference information in her senior project.
• Three computer science female students were able to attend a regional conference and network with many different computer science educators and students, including many women in computer science.
• Travel assistance for 16 UMM students who attended the March in Washington DC, where they were part of over a million women marching to protest limitations on reproductive freedom.

• CW supported the Women’s Studies major through a $1000 grant to purchase videos. These videos will be housed in the library to be available to the entire UMM community.

• Finally, CW Board members spent time examining future work for the Board. The Board plans to develop a mentoring program next year for new faculty and staff to be partnered with faculty and staff mentors who can help to orientate the new employees. {to UMM, academia, Morris area?} The Board also plans to make more conscientious overture to both WOCA and WRC and hopes to jointly sponsor activities next year. The board also plans to continue to explore way in which it can offer support to the Women’s Studies major. With Sara Haugen as the new Coordinator, there will be many exciting accomplishments for CW during 2004-05.