The University of Maine
The President's Council on Women

Minutes

September 24, 2004

Attending: Alice Bruce (Co-Chair), Nancy Lewis (Co-Chair), Sharon Barker, Catherine Berardelli, Laura Brothers, Sandra Butler, Katherine Carter, Sherri Dow, Cynthia Erdley, Ashlyn Giles, Pauleena MacDougal, Susan Nichols, Ann Schonberger, Charlie Slavin, Janet Waldron, Heather Westwood, Brenda Willette, and Holly Williams.

The meeting began with members of the Council introducing themselves.  Several events were announced:

~ Maine Women's Fund dinner, Oct. 12th, in Portland; Sharon Barker is receiving an award.
~ Maine Women's Policy Center breakfast, Oct. 19th 7:30-9 am, Bangor Sheraton; contact Nancy Lewis soon if  you would like to attend (we still have some tickets paid for by the President's Office).
~ the WIC lunches have begun; go to http://www.umaine.edu/wic/ for more info.
~ the Maryann Hartman Award Ceremony is Oct. 13th from 5-7 pm in the Buchanan House; contact Ann    Schonberger if you can attend.
~ the Student Women's Association has begun a vote registration project in the Union.
~ October 6th there will be a conference in Bangor on domestic violence in the workplace
~ Media Literacy and Girlfighting conference, Oct. 19th at Colby; contact Sharon Barker for more info.
~ the Maine Women's Studies Conference is Nov. 6th; contact Ann Schonberger if you are interested in presenting, or attending.
~ Human Resources will be holding a 2-day Wellness event Nov. 16 & 17.

Co-Chair Alice Bruce provided a summary of a meeting some PCW members had (Alice Bruce, Nancy Lewis, Sharon Barker, Ann Schonberger) with Interim President Kennedy and Executive Assistant to the President Evelyn Silver on August 31st.  The meeting went well, with Interim President Kennedy demonstrating his willingness to maintain open communication with the Council.  He approved the agenda for this semester of self-evaluation through open forums around campus.  He plans to attend a meeting this Fall, and will meet again with this small group in December.  He also indicted that he would be pleased to accept a budget request for our work.

Co-Chair Nancy Lewis facilitated the Council separating into four small groups to brainstorm around the idea of open forums.  The groups discussed how best to gather input, including structure, times, and places.  At the end of these lively discussions, we shared our ideas, and agreed to use our FirstClass conference to continue the discussion and to begin to set some goals.

The next meeting of the Council will be Friday, October 22nd from 1:10 - 2:30 pm, place to be announced later.

Below are some of the ideas/questions generated through these groups:

~ important to have meetings that are not separated by group, i.e. classified, professional, faculty; perhaps a combination of targeted group meetings and meetings open to all
~ good to have meetings with students on campus in dorms, on both sides of campus
~ meet with existing groups, i.e. the Association of Graduate Students
~ perhaps we should have focus groups, instead of forums, and allow women to sign up
~ a few from the PCW should be in attendance at every meeting, both to facilitate and listen
~ we need to provide a safe space for women to speak
~ need opportunities for anonymous written communication, perhaps electronically and on paper
~ we could have specific questions to get the conversation started, and to help women identify gendered behavior
~ we could have meetings around a particular topic, perhaps with a short presentation before eliciting comments
~ we should not publicize them as collecting information for an "official" study
~ we could post flyers around campus to publicize our forums
~ we could get email lists to send notices
~ providing food at the forums would be a way to draw women