BAS Minutes April 22, 2009

Mitchell North-Thorne Hall
2:30 pm

Present:  Lisa Rendall, Sarah Morgan, Tama Spoerri, Eileen Johnson, Keisha Payson, Denise Trimmer, Michele Gaillard
Absent:  Scott Meiklejohn, Allen DeLong

Spring Luncheon Recap:  The Spring Luncheon was held on March 25 in Daggett Lounge with a presentation on campus sustainability by Katy Longley, Don Borkowski, Keisha Payson, and Ken Cardone.  The luncheon was extremely well attended, in fact we maxed out the room.  Following the presentation, attendees were asked to discuss several questions about campus carbon neutrality that were posed on table tents.  Discussions were lively and the committee was pleased that there were many who stayed late in conversation.  Eileen felt that the luncheon and resulting awareness had a positive impact on attendance at the Climate Fair.

Faculty Staff Picnic-June 17:  Allen attended a planning meeting for the annual picnic.  It will be similar to last year but somewhat simplified to reflect the times.  Tama indicated that there was interest in sponsoring a food drive to benefit the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program.  A save the date post card will be coming out soon.  BAS committee members were encouraged to provide help during the event.

Steering Committee Nominations:  There was an unusually large number of nominations for the three Steering Committee vacancies.  The committee divided up the list and will be contacting the nominees to determine if they would like to appear on the ballot.  There was a discussion of whether it was possible to encourage nominations of traditionally under-represented constituencies on the committee.  Keisha also mentioned that the committee should reserve the right to keep a balance among nominees so that not too many from one division or department appear.  Lisa anticipates that the election will be held on-line during the week of May 4.

Tax Equality for Domestic Partners:  Allen had brought this issue to the committee and forwarded information regarding the differences in tax liability for domestic partner benefits versus married benefits.  In most circumstances, employee contributions to employer-sponsored health plans are pre-tax dollars for married couples and post-tax for domestic partners.  This is within the federal tax code and not a Bowdoin policy.  Allen asked the committee to consider recommending to Tama that Bowdoin should compensate affected employees to make up for their increased tax liability.  The committee discussed the issue and voted unanimously to do so.  Tama has had similar discussions with other committees and sees this as an issue that is consistent with Bowdoin's ideas of common good and equality.  She will continue to  work towards making this a Bowdoin policy and will keep us informed.

Meeting adjourned at 3:30 pm

Respectfully submitted,
Michele Gaillard