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Staff Senate

Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in learning more about being a USC Staff Senator?  Here are some answers to help ease the understanding of Staff Senate and answer many questions that you may have. 

What is Staff Senate?

The University of South Carolina Staff Senate serves as an open forum to facilitate communication and collaboration among university staff members. It also serves as an advisory committee to the university president, adding an essential voice to strategic conversations and decisions that support the goals of the institution.

What does Staff Senate do for me?

The members of the Staff Senate is a voice for the campus community and the General Assembly through Staff representation. Staff Senate acts as a change agent and brings interests and concerns before administration for consideration. Participation in Staff Senate gives staff is an opportunity to promote unity and a sense of community and to network with fellow colleagues while providing service through Staff Senate committees and service projects.

How can I get involved in Staff Senate?

First, attend a meeting. Staff Senate meetings are open to all employees. Contact one of the senators or committee chairs to see how your skills will assist the Senate. Take a look at the website for ideas on how to get involved.

Who can be a member of the Staff Senate?

Any permanent USC full-time,  or part-time, and research grant position employees who have been employed for a minimum of one year. Any member of the staff may vote to elect staff senators and hold office in Staff Senate.

May I participate in the activities if I am not a Staff Senate member?

Yes. You can participate in any Staff Senate activities, such as the 2023 MLK Symposium, Give it Up For Good Community Project, and Imagine Carolina, for example. While we help and support these activities, these activities are not Staff Senate signature events. Membership is open to all USC employees. However, you must be a member of the Staff Senate to chair one of the committees.

How often does Staff Senate meet?

Once a month.

If I join Staff Senate, do I have to use my vacation or comp time to attend meetings or activities?

No. You should not have to use vacation or comp time while participating in Staff Senate meetings. Employees may participate with approval from their direct supervisor. All time spent at meetings and activities is considered work time. You cannot accrue any overtime through participation in activities spent with the Staff Senate.

How much time commitment is expected?

Staff Senate meets once a month for approximately 1.5 hours. Senators are asked to serve on one or two Staff Senate committees and are encouraged to serve as a communication link between the Senate and those they represent in their department or unit.

What programs and initiatives are supported by the Staff Senate Fund?

The Staff Senate Fund was established in 2022 and supports a number of staff related programs and opportunities, including launching the staff senate awards and recognition program, leadership development programming, and staff scholarships. When you donate to support USC Staff Senate, it supports the mission of the Staff Senate by wisely investing in Staff Senate initiatives to include for example professional development opportunities for staff and an employee recognition awards program. Feel free to ask a Staff Senate member to learn more on how your donations are being used.

What has the University of South Carolina Staff Senate done/achieved in the past?

Staff Senate is in its second year since inception. We are excited about what we have accomplished in this short period of time and look forward to expanding this outreach as we continue to advocate for USC staff. The USC Staff Senate now has representation on the University's Policy Advisory Committee (Office of the Provost) and two members of the Staff Senate were approved to serve on the President's Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In addition, the Staff Senate members are included on the President's Executive Committee, the Investiture Committee, and senators are invited to participate in University Commencement exercises. Also, the Senate has created a Staff Senate Award and Staff Senate Recognition Program for USC staff.  Please find a list of accomplishments from our inaugural year below. {This year we have accomplished other great things that may be added as deem appropriate by our President}

  • Requested, Received and Allocated a Staff Senate Budget 
  • Developed Administrative Assistant Position Description and completed the posting/hiring process 
  • Developed Committees – appointed and trained co-chairs 
  • Worked with all members of President’s leadership 
  • Participated in University Strategic Planning
  • Had presence in University Town Halls, Covid Advisory Team, Board of Trustees listening tour for president search committee, and many other tasks forces and committees (Title IX, UofSC History, Class and Comp, etc.) 
  • Passed multiple resolutions that were timely and effective
  • Served as a place for staff to share their concerns and a liaison to leadership for those concerns.
  • Over 1,000 items donated to Gamecock Pantry 
  • Volunteered at the Gamecock Pantry
  • Staff Survey of Benefits wants/needs - then implementation of the suggestions
  • Close coordination with HR on telecommuting, summer flex time, and other initiatives such as Parental Leave
  • Foundation for Staff Ombudsperson 
  • Multiple updates to Bylaws to improve and clarify 
  • Successful election of new officers and senators
  • Supported HR in the development of their new sites 
  • MS Teams training opportunity 
  • Active involvement with DEI office and their initiatives
  • Learned about virtual meetings, hybrid meetings, in-person meetings during a pandemic
  • Survey of senator communication methods with follow up for implementation
  • Created a Logo! 
  • Sponsored a graduate student project 
  • 3 Senators completed website training and currently manage website updates. THANK YOU!!
  • Relaunched Times 22 with a letter from Staff Senate President and other Staff features. 
  • Developed form to collect Staff stories 
  • Staff Senate Twitter account
  • Heard from key university leaders during staff meetings 
  • Perfected-ish Roberts Rules of Order 
  • Made new connections from all over campus through our committee and senate work 
  • Asked for – and received – gifts in kind to have a holiday celebration 
  • Met many of our faculty senate counterparts 
  • Invited to Provost Retreats 
  • Had a representative on presidential candidate panel 
  • Among first university groups to meet with new provost
  • Meeting with new president in his first week on campus
  • Serving on dean searches at the request of the provost

When are Staff Senate elections?

Each year, Staff Senate holds nominations and elections in March and April for open Senate seats. 

What is the term limit for a Senate member?

Members are expected to serve one, two-year term.

Do all Senate members serve on a committee?

Yes. Members are expected to serve on one or two committees depending upon the committee's time commitments.


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