Staff Senate Minutes

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

9:00-11:00 a.m. 

SUB, Rm #233


In Attendance

Andrew Board,

Skilled Craft

Kerri Marx,

MSU Benefits

Constantine Vorobetz,

Classified Prof.

Robert Eichenberger,


Jennifer Nesbitt,

Rec Sports, MUSSA

Kasia Maison, PCSUW,


Milana Lazetich,

Tech/Paraprofessional, Space

Todd Reuterdahl,

Service Maintenance

Lyle Williams,


Mark Magee,

Outreach & Engagement

Sarah Rieger,

MSU Benefits

Katherine Owens,

Personnel, MUSSA

Wendy Minster,

Off Campus

Dorie Seymour,


David Reese,

Budget Council

Ramie Pederson,

MSU Benefits

Joe Robbins,

Skilled Craft

Minutes taken by Lisa Hespen



Katelynne Cowart,

Tobacco Taskforce

Candace Mastel,

PTAC, Classified Prof.

Ron Brekke,


Taylor Blaine,

Service Maintenance

Glen Steinhoff,

UFPB, Parking Appeals

Jared Zanieri,

Service Maintenance

Keely Holmes,

UFPB-Public Arts

Dagny Mest,



I.  Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Chair Ramie Pederson.

II.  Approval of Minutes

The September 15, 2018 Minutes were approved

III.  New Business

a.  Professional Council/Staff Senate Joint Meeting:

This is the first joint meeting of Professional Council and Staff Senate.  Each quarter a joint meeting will be held and a guest speaker from campus will be invited to come present to the joint group on a relevant topic. 

b.  Guest Speaker(s):

i.  Matt Caires, Dean of Students and Steve Swinford, Assoc. Professor: Matt Caires and Steve Swinford spoke to the Senate regarding the MSU Values
    Statement. They were tasked by President Cruzado to research alcohol issues on campus and create an MSU Values Statement.  A committee was
    established and has spoken with the community, organizations, and students to gather information and views on alcohol consumption.  The ultimate
    goal is to keep students safe.  For more information, please contact Steve Swinford at [email protected].

ii.  Emily Stark, Interim Director & Campus Title IX Coordinator: Emily Stark provided information on protected classes at MSU and how to report     
     harassment or discrimination. She stressed the importance of knowing all employees are mandatory reporters, noting Mandated and Mandatory
     Reporters are two different things.  If a staff member witnesses harassment or discrimination, or if they are confided in regarding a possible violation,
     they are required to report it to the Office of Institutional Equity, even if the victim does not want to file a complaint. Emily also noted it is important to
     know Office of Institutional Equity staff will help as little or as much as a victim requests.  They will not push them into a decision.  Instead, they will act
     as a guide to help based on the wishes of the victim/reporter.  For more information, please contact Emily Stark at the Office of Institutional Equity.

iii.  Brian Kassar, Psychologist & Laura Thum, Psychologist: The Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS) provided a presentation regarding Suicide
       Prevention & Awareness. Counseling & Psychological Services provides free and confidential services to students at MSU and reported seeing roughly
       1700 students last year and noted this number has been rising every year. 

Depression is a huge issue in Montana.  Montana has consistently ranked in the top 5 states in suicides rates for 30 years.  Along with Montana, Alaska and Wyoming are currently the other two states that rank in the top 5 every year.  Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students.  Nationally, firearms are the leading cause of completion of a suicide.  According to the Spring 2017 Healthy Minds Assessment, 61% of those surveyed reported overwhelming anxiety and 12% have seriously considered suicide.  39% reported feeling so depressed they couldn’t function.  In Montana, there are 26 completed suicides out of every 1,000 attempts, which is almost double the national average.  An estimated 1,088 suicides occur each year on college campuses.  (Based on National College Health Assessment Data, 2017 116,000 students).

Mental health issues need treatment.  Those seeking treatment do get better.  Over 90% of those who attempt suicide do not die by suicide in the future.  Acute stressors or untreated mental health issues are the biggest contributors for suicide.  95% of those counseled felt counseling helped resolve their concerns.  Availability to counseling has shown to help students stay in school and succeed.

What to watch for- changes in moods, behavior, or performances.  Sad, depressed, or manic.  Withdrawing (not showing up for classes, work, etc.).  Hopelessness, guilt, irritability, anger, isolation, increased sleep, poor hygiene.  Verbal or written statements- “I wish I were dead; People would be better off without me; I don’t want to be a burden; I’m going to end it all.”  Also look for concerning social media posts or giving away items important to them (including pets).  Acute stressors include loss, failure, and trauma (not all who go through an acute stressor become depressed, but they can begin the cycle).  More indicators include increased/excessive substance abuse, giving things away, making amends, saying goodbyes, etc.  Traditionally college students are not thinking about death and dying and making sure everything is planned (funeral, insurance, etc.).

If you are concerned about an individual, or if they come to you for help, you need to contact the Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS), UPD, 911, or the Crisis Line.  Don’t leave the person alone.  Offer realistic, genuine hope.  If need be, get help to remove potential weapons/means.  You must report/alert someone.  The UPD to do can do a well check if you are concerned about an individual.  If you have an imminent life-at-risk concern call 911.  UPD and the Bozeman PD are trained and are great at handling issues of mental health.  If it is not a life-threatening situation you should contact the Dean of Students and/or CPS. 

If you would like more information, or would like to schedule a presentation, please contact Counseling & Psychological Services.

IV.  Old Business


V.  Committee Reports

  • Association of Shared Governance Leaders(ASGL)- did not meet.
  • Budget Council (David Reese)- did not attend meeting.
  • Campus Sustainability Advisory Council (CSAC, Bob Eichenberger)- did not meet.
  • MSU Benefits (Kerri Marx, Ramie Pederson, Sarah Rieger)- did not meet. Well Checks will be at the end of October (under the benefits program employees can attend 2 each year). 
  • Outreach & Engagement Council (Mark Magee)- did not meet.
  • Parking & Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC, Candace Mastel)- was not present.
  • Planning Council (Kasia Maison)- was not present.
  • The President’s Commission on the Status of University Women (Kasia Maison)- was not present.
  • Recreational Sports & Fitness Advisory Board (Jennifer Nesbitt)- did not meet; should be meeting next month.
  • Space Management (Milana Lazetich)- did not meet.
  • Tobacco Free Task Force (Katelynne Cowart)- did not meet.
  • UFPB University Facilities Planning Board (Glen Steinhoff)- was not present.
  • UFPB Public Arts Committee (Keely Holmes)- did not meet.
  • University Council (Ramie Pederson)- The drug and alcohol policy was discussed. They took out the term “illegal” so it reads just drugs due to rise of prescription overdoses.  The revised HR policies were passed; there were revisions in regards to Comp Time, Relationships in the Work Place, and Alcohol & Drug Use. Legal Counsel is working on drafting a policy regarding drones or unmanned aircrafts.  There is a new draft of the Strategic Plan and three listening sessions are being offered to discuss the plan.  The President’s Office accepting proposals for seed grants. 
  • Other: None


VII.  Informational Items

a.  Catapalooza

This was a great engagement opportunity; had a chance to visit with students, staff, and community members. A lot of brochures were handed out.  If done next year, work on signage-should be bigger.  Should also try to have a tablecloth and more decorations. 

VIII.  Public Comment


Next Meeting:  Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 in SUB Rm. 233


The meeting was adjourned.