SCL Employee Assembly Representatives Exist to Assist SCL Staff Say Current and Past Representatives
The Employee Assembly (EA) ensures staff involvement and representation in non-academic and work-life matters, identifying concerns relating to staff and working with the university Administration to seek solutions. As an elected Student and Campus Life (SCL) Employee Assembly Representative, Adrian Durant takes on the responsibility of representing and advocating for SCL employees and their interests by making himself available and listening to SCL colleagues, and by being a voice in the room for his colleagues at Assembly and committee meetings.
Serving in his first term in the Employee Assembly, Adrian decided to run for the position to put himself in the room with colleagues that are having important conversations and to offer a unique perspective. Adrian plays an important role in attracting new team members to Cornell and SCL. As Head Coach of Cornell’s Track and Field team, which is “one of the most diverse teams, the largest team, I am recruiting and convincing people to be here, and I want to make sure those people are taken care of, so anything I can do to make things better for them, that’s why I am involved in this,” he says.
While the Employee Assembly cannot make changes to University policy, they do prepare, research, and vote on resolutions which, when approved, are presented to University administration for review and potential implementation. Recently, onboarding processes for new employees were adjusted as a result of the Employee Assembly’s work alongside Human Resources (HR) to spearhead solutions to challenges employees reported experiencing. Parking on campus is a regular topic of conversation, and this year, the Assembly is considering these resolutions, too.
Brandon Fortenberry, Senior Training and Development Manager with Cornell Dining, served as the SCL Representative to the EA from 2019 to 2022 and was an integral part of the onboarding process resolution. Once the EA decided the onboarding process was an issue they wanted to explore, Brandon, serving at that time as a member of the Well-Being Committee, put together a sub-committee to better understand the challenges and determine possible improvements to onboarding. Brandon, Adrian, and other members of the sub-committee immediately involved key stakeholders, such as HR personnel to move the conversations forward. Brandon says of the experience, “I furthered a conversation that was really important at that time because we were coming out of the pandemic, and we were hiring large numbers of people in SCL and elsewhere. I feel very proud that I was able to further that conversation and spur conversation.”
Adrian feels gratitude for his colleagues in the EA. “I am impressed by the people in the Employee Assembly. These people care and are committing their valuable time to thinking about these topics, and they want to help,” Adrian says. “Conversations are respectful and everyone’s opinions are honored.”
“The Employee Assembly wants to hear from people, they really do,” says Brandon. The Employee Assembly is made up of people appointed to represent their colleagues and, Brandon says, “that requires people not in Assembly advocating and speaking to the Assembly about areas that they have concerns around. A lot of what I was able to do came from people speaking to me. You don’t need to offer a solution or recommendation, but ask a question, or bring forth a concern.”
Employees can visit the Employee Assembly current member site to find their representative and get in touch. Brandon says, “if you look and there is no one representing you, you should run and become a representative yourself.” SCL employees can connect directly with Adrian Durant or Associate Head Coach for Men’s Track and Field, Kevin Phipps.