A Day in the life of a Deadhead, Page 16 | Take a spin on the wheel of pottery, Page 18


~The Defender

December 11, 2002

St. Michael’s College Student Newspaper

Volume XXTX, Issue 10

SMC professor visits

White House, jail

during Thanksgiving

Protest lands Siplon in police custody in D.C.

By Stefan Botchev Staff Writer

St. Michael’s professor Patricia Siplon was handcuffed for four hours and sat in the back of a police car after being arrest- ed at an AIDS protest in front of

_._ the White House in Washington, 53 D.C.,on Nov. 26.. Y : Siplon, an assistant professor

of political science, and about one thousand other activists demanded better funding and policies for AIDS treatment in the United States and abroad. “There were 35 of us to do civil disobedience and risk to get arrested,” Siplon said. “We were lying in front of the White House. It is illegal to protest at the


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Photo by Cate Westberg

Political science professor Patricia Siplon lectures to her Power, Health and Politics class. Siplon, along with a theusand other activists, were arrested during a Thanksgiving Day protest outside the White House.


Paul Davis, director of the Health GAP Coalition, was also arrested. He said the protesters

were chained together on the ground when park police came to

See PROTEST, Page 6

Benefits, options await


By Josh Kessler News Editor

Forty-five St, Michael’s employees will leave the college beginning in January after sign- ing up for a Voluntary Separation Program offered by the college in an attempt to cut over half a mil- lion dollars from the salaries budget.

Every St. Michael’s employ- ee was asked in September to consider the program, which offered money and health care benefits in exchange for leaving the college.

Departing employees will receive a payout equal to two weeks for each year of their serv- ice to the college for up to 52 weeks. For example, someone employed by the college for the past five years will receive 10


weeks of pay up front. They will also receive a lump sum of 15 percent of their annual salary.

Medical benefits were a major part of the offer, especially for employees at least 57 years old with 15 years of experience at St. Michael’s. Those employees will be covered by medical insur- ance until they become Medicare eligible at age 65. All other employees will be medically covered at the current employee rate for 18 months.

The school’s initial goal was to cut $550,000 from its $31.85 million annual salary budget. With 45 employees leaving, near- ly $1.4 million will be saved, Human Resources Director Mike New said. However, he said some of that money will be used

See PROGRAM, Page 5

_ land.

Professor named state Teacher of the Year

Among 46 finalists for national awards

By Josh Kessler News Editor

Adrie Kusserow, an assistant professor of -sociology and anthropology, was named Vermont’s Teacher of the Year on Nov. 21 by the Carnegie Found- ation for the Advancement of Teaching and The Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Kusserow joined 45 other undergraduate professors from around the country as nominees for four national awards, which were won by professors from California, Indiana and Mary- _ Kusserow- is the third St. Michael’s professor to win Vermont Teacher of the Year since the individual state awards began in 1985. Biology professor Daniel Bean won the award in 1994 and history professor Francis Nicosia was awarded in 2000. Vermont has had a profes- sor named Teacher of the Year every year since 1998, and 11 times since 1990.

Just Grazing

Since the national awards began in 1996, no St. Michael’s professor has won.

After more than 400 nomi- nations were made, the four win- ning professors received awards for Outstanding Community College Professor, Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor, Outstanding Master’s University and College Professor and Out- standing Doctoral and Research University Professor.

In order to be nominated, a teacher needs to display an abili- ty to impact and become involved with students, con- tribute to education in their insti- tution, community and profes- sion, gain support from col- leagues and former students and have a scholarly approach to teaching and learning. ~~

Teacher of the Year awards were handed out in 45 states and Washington, D.C., this year. Only Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, Rhode Island and Wyoming did not have teachers receive an award.

Kusserow took this semester off from teaching after giving birth to her second child, but she will return to St. Michael’s in the Spring.


Photo by Cate Westberg

Students pick through the salad bar in the Green Mountain Dining Room in Alliot. Students responding to a recent food survey asked for healthier food and quicker meals. Of the 271 respondants, the majority were females and/or underclassmen. ‘‘We want to find out what the stu- dents are truly thinking,” said Hank Strashnick, the general manager of Sodexho Food Services. See the story on Page 3.


The Defender * Wednesday, December 11,.2002 * Issue Number 10

St. Michael’s College Security Log

Excerpts from the Nov. 23-Dec. 5 security reports. Courtesy of the St. Michael’s College Office of Security.

Saturday, Nov. 23 12:19 a.m. Fire alarm at Linnehan Hall 2:28 a.m. Noise complaint at Hamel Hall 3:16 a.m. Drunkenness at Ryan Hall

7:27 p.m. Safety incident at Ethan Allen Apartments .

10:52 p.m. Noise complaint at 400s Townhouses 11:19 p.m. Vandalism at Alumni Hall 11:46 p.m. Drunkenness at Ryan Hall

Sunday, Nov. 24 12:03 a.m. Drunkenness at Joyce Hall 12:04 a.m. Noise complaint along College Parkway 12:13 a.m. Noise complaint at 300s Townhouses 12:42 a.m. Disorderly conduct at 300s Townhouses - 12:54 a.m. Drunkenness at Lyons Hall 1:00 a.m. Noise complaint at Ethan Allen Apartments 2:18 a.m. Disorderly conduct in the Quad 2:37 a.m. Vandalism at Ryan Hall © 6:01 a.m. Vandalism at Purtill Hall

Monday, Nov. 25 12:36 a.m. Odor violation at Ryan Hall 3:09 a.m. Suspicious persons at Hamel Hail 5:16 a.m. Suspicious persons at Klein Center 6:56 p.m. Power outage at Founders Hall



Executive Editor Skye M. Donovan ’03 sdonovan@smcvt.edu

Deceased SMC student remembered a decade later

Tuesday, Nov. 26 12:47 p.m. Odor violation at Ryan Hall 2:50 p.m. Theft at Durick Library 11:15 p.m. Suspicious persons along College Parkway

Wednesday, Nov. 27 No notable activity

Thursday, Nov. 28 1:44 a.m. Vandalism at Trono House 5:24 a.m. Suspicious persons on North Campus

Friday, Nov. 29 2:59 a.m. Vandalism at Linnehan Hall 3:08 a.m. Vandalism at Linnehan Hall 3:16 a.m. Vandalism at Purtill Hall 3:21 a.m. Vandalism at Purtill Hall

Saturday, Nov. 30

7:37 p-m. Suspicious persons at Holcomb Observatory

11:31 p.m. Safety incident at Joyce Hall

Sunday, Dec. 1 5:32 p.m. Motor vehicle assistance at Founders Hall 7:00 p.m. Odor violation at Joyce Hall

Monday, Dec. 2 11:12 a.m. Suspicious persons at Lyons Hall 1:07 p.m. Suspicious persons at 400s Townhouses 4:49 p.m. Theft at Joyce Hall §:53 p.m. Suspicious persons along College Parkway 8:53 p.m. Odor violation at Joyce Hall

Tuesday, Dec. 3 12:18 a.m. Vehicle stop at 400s Townhouses 12:35 a.m. Suspicious persons along Campus Road 12:48 a.m. Suspicious persons at Linnehan Hall 1:21 a.m. Alcohol violation on North Campus 8:23 p.m. Odor violation at Ryan Hall 10:17 p.m. Motor vehicle accident on Campus Road

Wednesday, Dec. 4 8:07 a.m. Towed vehicle at Founders Hall 4:22 p.m. Suspicious persons at Alliot Student Center 7:42 p.m. Towed vehicle at Ryan Hall 8:21 p.m. Towed vehicle at Alliot rotunda 8:44 p.m. Towed vehicle at Alliot rotunda 9:37 p.m. Motor vehicle assistance at Klein Center

Thursday, Dec. 5 ce 7:51 a.m. Suspicious persons at St. Edmund’s Hall

Fun Fact

At her current pace, senior Liz LeFebvre - last week’s Northeast-10 -Conference Player of the Week - would become the only St. Michael’s College women’s basketball player with 1,500 points, 900 rebounds and 150 blocked shots during a career since the program was established for the 1974-75 season. Her team is also on pace for a -500 record for the first time since Liz was a seventh-grad-

Managing Editor Julie Cunningham ’03

News Editor Josh Kessler °03

Features Editor Joe Simpson °03

Photo Editors Luke Hudak °03 Cate Westberg *04

Sports Editor Greg Smith °04

A&E Editor Sarah Filippi ’03

Columns Editor Jay London ’03

Outdoors Editor Nick LaCour ’03

Health Editor Justine Orzel ’03

Calendar Editor Alex Abrami ’04

Ad Manager Dan Piano ’03

The Defender office is in Bergeron 114 and can be reached at 654-2421, by mail at P.O. Box 275, St. Michael’s College, Winooski Park, Vt., 05439, or by e-mail at defend- er@smcvt.edu. It is printed

Georgia, Vt.


| weekly by the B.D. Press in |

| | / | =

Photo by Luke Hudak

A plaque dedicated to Tammi Stokes sits beneath this tree outside McCarthy Arts Center. Stokes was an 18-year-old sophomore at St. Michael’s when she was killed 10 years ago in an automobile accident.

By Christine Johnson Staff Writer

A plaque sits in the ground beneath a tree outside the McCarthy Arts Center dedicated to Tammi Stokes, a student who died 10 years ago this month.

After completing her first semester exams in December 1992, Stokes set off on the trip home with her parents and sister to Yarmouth, Maine, on Dec. 18. However, Stokes made it no fur- ther than Piermont, N.H.

With her father driving, Stokes briefly removed her seat- belt to speak with her sister around the same time their car collided with a tractor-trailer. Stokes, 18, was the only passen- ger in the car to die. The other three passengers sustained injuries.

After Stokes’ death, a plaque dedication ceremony took place and her parents received an hon- orary diploma during graduation in May 1993. Dorothy Williams, the director of Multicultural Student Affairs at the time, was a close friend of Stokes and was instrumental in getting the plaque


“T think of her as an angel,” Williams said. “She touched everyone’s life she met and was a truly beautiful person.” °

Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Samara said he still remembers the night he received a phone call reporting the news of Stokes’ death.

“Tt was a shocking tragedy,” Samara said. “Tammi’s death was a terrible shock to the communi- ty, as is any death in those cir- cumstances.”

Stokes was involved with many extracurricular activies on campus. She was a disc jockey for WWPY and served in the stu- dent government. She was also active in the Diversity Coalition, a group that serves to educate and promote awareness of issues such as gender, race, religion and eth- nicity, according to _ the Multicultural Student Affairs Web site.

“She was a real human being,” Williams said. “She could see beyond ... the issues of black and white. Stokes worked ... to get these messages across,” Williams said.

er (1993-94).

9/27— WeBeBop 9/28- Trinity 10/S— Biltmore Grill’s First Theme Night

pes cs ean i ns fe se en ng

Stokes stood up for many of the rights and ideas that are cur- rently expressed by Multicultural Student Affairs and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Society, Williams said.

Every person has a story, and Williams said Stokes’ is one of


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the many that will live on for as long as the school exists.

“The plaque speaks for itself and beyond,” Williams said.

Stefan Botchev contributed to this article.

"! <9 thé Defénller * Wednesday: Devertber TY? 2002 * Issue Nuthber 10


Academic calendar changes proposed; January vote

St. Patrick's Day creates main obstacle for SMC

By Andrea-Sarada Spengler Staff Writer

During the Student Association meeting on Novy. 19, Provost Jan Sheeran emphasized two major issues regarding proposed changes to the academic calendar for the school years between 2003-04 and 2010-11. Changes include having Commencement fall on a day other than Mother’s Day and making St. Patrick’s Day occur during spring break.

While Sheeran said both were issues dis- cussed annually among her and a committee of administrators, faculty, staff and students, her main objective was to get school out of session on St. Patrick’s Day.

“A lot of students seem to think that get- ting drunk is a nifty way to celebrate,” Sheeran said. “This results in destructive and insulting behavior.” She said more and more colleges approach this problem by not having classes that day.

“Since this is a group thing, we figured that if students go home, this is less likely to happen,” Sheeran said.

Last week, Sheeran released a revised proposal for the 2003-04 through 2005-06 school years in which each fall semester has 70 class days and exams end no later than Dec. 19. The second semester which would

include 71 class days would begin no earlier than Jan. 12,

Comparing the 2002-03 and 2003-04 school years

2002-03 (69 class days)

Aug. 31 - Sept. 2 Sept. 3

Oct. 12-15 Nov. 27 - Dec. 1 Dec. 13

Dec. 21

2002-03 (70 class days)

22 days

Jan. 13

Feb. 22 - March 2 April 18 - 21

April 29


May 11 (Sunday)

Note: This is the proposed 2003-04 academic calendar, which has not yet been approved by President vanderHeyden and the Cabinet. If a President's Day break is scheduled into the 2003-04 calendar on Feb. 14-17, classes will begin Jan. 12.

spring break would occur the week of St. Patrick’s Day and

Commencement would take place a week after Mother’s Day.

However, spring break and Easter vacation would run together in

2004-05 and create a two-week vacation in the middle of the

semester. During that semester, students would have class every day for the first seven weeks instead of getting two days off for


Orientation First Day of Class Fall Recess Thanksgiving Break Last Day of Class Last Day of Exams


Winter Break First Day of Class Spring Break Easter Break Last Day of Class Last Day of Exams Commencement

President’s Day in mid-February. Some students see no reason for a calendar change. “I’m not too excited about it,” sophomore Tara Feeley said. “T could definitely live with the way it is.”

While looking at calendar changes, the committee dealt with other issues such as consistently having at least 70 class days per

See CHANGES, Page 6

Students want healthier foods, faster meals at Alliot, survey says

By Gavin Faretra Staff Writer

Feedback from an October survey regarding food at the Green Mountain Dining Room in the Alliot Student Center has helped initiate changes which will allow students to grab a quicker meal. The results also revealed the desire for more healthy food options among stu- dents, especially females.

An overall response of 271 students with 66 percent of the responses coming from women illustrated men are more satisfied with the food than women are in the Dining Room, said Hank Strashnick, the general manager of Sodexho Food Services.

“Overall, the women said that something was missing from the menu,” Strashnick said. “They want a more healthy and less fried-food diet.”

Strashnick was responsible for e-mailing the survey to stu- dents earlier this semester in an attempt to provide the kitchen staff with feedback regarding the daily food selection. He said the survey was available online so students could provide input without the pressure of friends telling them what to think.

“We want to find out what the students are truly thinking,”

Strashnick said.

Seventy two percent of the responses were from first-year students and sophomores, which Strashnick expected since many juniors and seniors either live off campus or in townhouses, which have working kitchens.

One problem that Strashnick has to deal with when putting together a menu is the college itself.

“The students aren’t the buyer; the college is the buyer,” Strashnick said. He said he has to propose changes to either Director of Purchasing and Auxiliary Services Dave Coseo or Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Samara depending on what changes he wants to make.

While some students desire change, many are happy with some things the way they are. Respondents highly rated the appearance of the staff, the quan- tity of food relative to price and the speed of service.

Even Strashnick points out the speed of service wasn’t always what it could be. The amount of students coming in at lunchtime on Tuesday and Thursday is so heavy that the speed of service has suffered, Strashnick said. On some days, staff shortages leave certain amenities unavailable, such as Chef’s Corner, which offers a

variety of international food.

In response, the rotation of the kitchen staff was changed. Stations that require more than one person now have that extra body.

“Students that have class at 1 p.m. and come in at 12:30 p.m. to eat need to do this quickly,” Strashnick said. “This is precious time, and if we can knock time down from five minutes to four minutes, this is an improvement.”

Junior Mat Santos is one of the students who hits the Dining Room during lunchtime.

“Sometimes I just like to stop off and grab a quick lunch in between classes,” Santos said. “But it gets so crowded I just don’t have time.”

The number of students eat ing in the Dining Room is so heavy at times that Strashnick is considering asking Registrar John Sheehey to reorganize a few class times.

“One school changed two classes (and affected) about 80 people,’ Strashnick said. “It solved the entire problem.”

A big problem revealed in the survey was the lack of variety on the menu. Students com- plained that there aren’t enough selections from day to day.

“IT think they should offer some more food that is just not simple sugars,” first-year student

2003-04 (70 class days)

Aug. 28 - 31 Sept. 1 Oct. 11 - 14 Nov. 26 - 30 Dec. 12 Dec. 19

2003-04 (71 class days)

23 days

Jan. 14

March 13 - 21 April 9-12

April 30

May 7

May 13 (Thursday)


Student teachers, M.O.V.E. might feel negative affect

By Katie Barry Staff Writer

The proposed changes to the academic calendar for the school years from 2003-04 through 2010-11 could negatively affect some student programs despite the positive intentions.

St. Michael’s students are always on campus for St. Patrick’s Day since spring break falls at the end of February. However, the proposed calendar for the next nine years has spring break scheduled for mid- March in order to send students home for the March 17 holiday.

The calendar changes will be voted on by President Marc vanderHeyden and the school’s cabinet in January.

“T’ve been talking about this for years,” Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Samara said. He said neighboring schools the University of Vermont Plattsburgh State University routinely schedule their spring breaks during St. Patrick’s Day to avoid the drinking and van- dalism that often accompany the holiday.


Samara said St. Patrick’s Day creates

many problems for the school, including lia- bility issues for the college and health and safety issues for the students and Residence Life staff. He said Residence Life hires extra security, doubles its staff duty sched- ule and works with the START team and

See AFFECT, Page 5

Photo by Cate Westberg

Students are asking for healthier alternatives to foods such as french fries, grilled cheese and hot dogs at the Green Mountain Dining Room

in Alliot Student Center.

Jaime Deacon said, “like really awesome healthy dishes that con- tain good protein and iron for us hard-working college students.” Strashnick is looking for a happy medium for the students. It’s important to make everyone happy, he said, not just the major- ity who like the basic offerings. “We want to provide a bal- ance for students,” Strashnick said. Students have to realize, “Realistically we can only pro- vide so many options,” he said. “The kitchen can do all it can to speed up service and fix the

menu to please the students,” Strashnick said, but the menu may not be the problem. The tastes of the students themselves might be the problem, he said.

“We have to look at the fact that there may not be anything wrong with the food, but that people change,” Strashnick said. Regarding the basic and generic foods, he said, “Students just don’t want to eat chicken patties anymore, because they have had them for the past two, three, even four years.”

The Defender * Wednesday, December 11, 2002°* Issue Number 10


Student Association plans budget surplus solution

Finance Committee meets with clubs to discuss intentions for excess money

By Brian Clifford Staff Writer

The Student Association Finance Committee met with all student clubs this week as part of a regulation process intended to prevent an excessive budget sur- plus this spring.

In these 10-minute meetings, the Finance Committee reviewed first semester events held by the clubs and let them know how much money they have left for the remainder of the year. They also reviewed the schedule of events planned for next semester in order to determine how much money clubs plan on spending.

The motivation behind these meetings is to avoid amassing a large budget surplus, said S.A. Secretary of Finance Andrew Karlowicz. S.A. officials said last year’s budget surplus ran between $20,000 and $30,000. Large budget surpluses often go unused because the S.A. has no access to those funds. Instead, the money goes into a general fund controlled by the S.A.’s E-Board, which provides a cushion that is used to pay for deficits if clubs go over their budget.

Karlowicz said he dislikes the fact that the annual $190 Student Activity Fee, a sum each student pays to fund S.A. budget allocations, could accumulate and remain in the general fund for many years.

“This money should be used

Special Events Hilltop E-Board


Fire & Rescue

MLK Jr. Society ..............

Political Science Coffeehouse


Rugby (Men) Peace and Justice


Diversity .............. ec

by us, not people 10 years down the road,” Karlowicz said.

S.A. President Matt Mona- han said he is confident these meetings will help the clubs man- age their finances in such a way that will prevent a surplus com- parable to last year’s.

“The problem (last year) was that too much money was given out to clubs and organizations

without enough guidance,” Monahan said. Monahan said he dislikes the

prospect of a large surplus because he thinks surplus money should be spent to help the stu- dents who provided it. He said he does not think it is fair for the E- Board to decide where this

S.A. formulates plan for 1% donation of budget to charity

By William Witcher Staff Writer

Student Association Pres- ident Matt Monahan recently proposed an amendment to the St. Michael’s Constitution to help improve the S.A.’s involvement with charities and non-profit organizations.

At the Dec. 10 meeting the S.A. voted on whether to pass an amendment allowing the S.A. to give one percent of its annual budget to charity. As of press time, the vote had not yet occurred. If passed, the S.A. would set a minimum dollar amount to donate to a charity which they feel has motivations coinciding with those of the col- lege.

The amendment included the St. Michael’s Charity Grant, which outlines the actions and guidelines the S.A. will follow regarding donations to charity or

non-profit organizations.

“There is such a large amount of money in the S.A. account that some should be donated to charity and to individ- uals who are in need,” Monahan said.

The amendment’ .was designed to benefit any charity or organization deemed worthy by the S.A., who will then decide which charities will get the fund- ing. The amendment states that at the S.A.’s first meeting of every academic year, three different charities will be presented to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will then decide which charity or organization will receive the grant, donated on behalf of the “Students of St. Michael’s College.”

S.A. Vice President Tim Ross said the S.A. already con- tributes money to different chari- ties throughout the year, but the amendment will set a precedent

Original 2002-03 budgets for student clubs and organizations

$51,840.00 31,680.00 28,800.00

18,720.00 17,904.00 16,800.00 14,400.00




oe w++++-4,800,00

money goes.

Monahan criticized last year’s E-Board for spending sur- plus funds on “non-necessity items,” such as the leather chairs for the S.A. office.

“If they have money, they should spend it,” Monahan said. “And don’t spend it on leather chairs or T-shirts.”

Senior Shaun Bryer is the club representative for Hilltop, which publishes an annual year- book. Hilltop is now over budget because of problems receiving advertisement funds that provide the publication with $5,000 annu- ally.

Bryer said he hopes these meetings will help the Finance

further allocation of funds set forth 1 by the:

Free the Planet A-Team

Founder's Society Computer


Alliot Governing Board

Snowboard Athletics Sleepless Knights Education

Freeride .......... Pe as

Guitar Club Class of 2006

OIG Playing ..................

VARS H ERAN ERR e eee en renee

Rieke 000

TOTAL... $851

Committee develop a good sense of what each club should receive this spring during the budget real- location process so any club deficits could be eliminated.

“A bill is a bill and it needs to be paid,” Bryer said.

Political Science Club repre- sentative Tim Rodes said he likes the idea of the budget planning meetings, but that they will not have a serious impact on his club since he said he feels his club will stay on budget.

“We weren’t as active first semester,” Rodes said. ““We did- n’t spend as much money as we planned, but we have a lot of con- crete plans for next semester that should make up for that.”

Track Club representative Dave Balint said he is concerned with the motivation behind these meetings. He said he does not know exactly what to expect, and he is unsure about what the Finance Committee plans to achieve by these meetings.

“If they’re completely hon- est about it I think it’s a good thing,” Balint said. “It would be | bad if they try to put pressure on clubs to not spend as much money as they were initially given.”

Ei eee

Section 4: At the first Student Association, meeting of the year the eu Bad present three and only three separate charities or organizations who they wish to receive the grant. There will be discussion and explanation on all three organizatio and a vote will be made before the mene is adjourned. - :

Section 5: The money will be donated to the approved charity or (ona in the name of the “Students of St. Michael’s College.” That particular organization can receive the grant the fotlowing year if the Student Association votes in favor of it.

Note: The amendment was voted upon at Tuesday night's Student Association meeting. Be on the lookout for an E-mail from the Defender reporting the results.

for the S.A. to donate a sum of money at the beginning of each year.

There is currently a set dollar amount for charities, but the plan is to make the average sum around $3,500.

“It’s not a lot of money com- pared to money we donate to our clubs, but it’s a great gesture from the students at St. Michael’s,” Ross said.

Monahan said he is confi- dent the S.A. members will pass

the amendment.

“It would be very disap- pointing for the student body to not give at least one percent of their annual budget to a deserving charity every year,” Monahan said.

The Defender * Wednesday, December 11, 2002 * Issue Number 10



AFFECT: Short vacations would leave little time for service trips

Continued from Page 3

local police to curb problems from drunk students every St. Patrick’s Day.

“Our general sense was enough is enough,” Samara said.

Samara said he did not believe students would stay at school during spring break solely in order to party with friends on St. Patrick’s Day.

However, moving spring break would create problems for M.O.V.E. The group offers its extended service trips over the recess, and in the past it has ben- efited from the fact that other schools were in session during St. Michael’s spring break. M.O.V.E. might have to compete with other college groups for reservations at service sites, M.O.V.E. Assistant Director Steve Garbarino said.

A previous version of the proposed academic calendar changes had spring semester starting as early as Jan. 6, raising concerns that M.O.V.E. members would not be able to go on win- ter extended service trips.

In an updated version of the proposed changes, which. was reléaséd last week, spring semes- ter would not begin until a week and a half into January, allowing time for the trips to take place.

“That’s really all I need for the winter trips,” M.O.V.E. Director Ann Giombetti said.

The Curriculum § and Educational Policy Committee, which is comprised of students and faculty, raised concerns with some of the academic dimen- sions of the new calendar. In a report to the Faculty Assembly, the committee expressed its con- cern that the new schedule creat- ed an unreasonably long academ- ic stretch before spring break. The report said student teachers would lose their spring break if the new break did not coincide with spring breaks at local public schools.

Schools in Chittenden County generally have their spring break during the last week of February. In the past, a February spring break at St. Michael’s has given faculty the opportunity to spend the week with their children.

The schedule changes work out better for other campus groups. Athletic Director Geri Knortz said a March spring break would help the sports teams.

“We could go south and train for the week in a warmer climate,” she said. “We’d have very few conflicts.”

It’s possible the current ver- sion of the new academic calen- dar won’t be the last one. The proposed calendar has changed many times this year as people keep giving feedback, Provost Jan Sheeran said. Nothing will be firmly set until January.

PROGRAM: 45 employees will leave the school between January and May to pursue jobs, retirement

Continued from Page 1

to fill the vacant positions.

“We certainly met or exceed- ed our expectations,” New said. He said 40 staff members and five faculty members signed up for the program. Staff members will be employed by the college until Jan. 3 while faculty will have until Commencement on May 11.

“T told them it’s gotta make sense to them personally, not because they’re afraid to lose their job,” New said. He said he hoped the instant money will benefit employees and that some employees might consider career changes or retirement.

“T just hope they all took it for the right reasons, not because they re afraid something’s gonna happen here; because it’s not,” he said.

The department hardest hit was the physical plant, where 23 employees chose to leave the col- lege, including a dozen custodi- ans. Mae Harrington, the associ- ate director of the physical plant for facilities, said she is unsure how many custodial vacancies she will be refilling.

Bette Grenon, an assistant for the Graduate Theology Program and Religious Studies,

_has worked at the school for 15°” years and falls into the 57/15 cat-

egory. She said the offer of healthcare coverage was the main selling point.

“That was one of the biggest drawing points for me accepting this,” Grenon said. “The fact (was) that I was thinking I'd be retiring within the next couple of years, and when this opportunity came it was too good to pass up.”

Mary Alice Irish, a staff nurse at health services for almost 23 years, is in the 57/15 category and decided to accept the program for the same reason as Grenon.

“I fall into the magic age group, and I’ve been here for enough years until Medicare,” Irish said. “That was an offer I just couldn’t refuse.”

Michael Sudduth, an associ- ate professor of philosophy, has been employed by St. Michael’s since 1997. After receiving tenure last year, he was granted an academic leave of absence this semester to complete his book on arguments for the existence of God.

“My decision not to return to St. Michael’s at the end of my leave of absence was not tied to the decision of whether to accept the VSP,” Sudduth said. “I had already decided for other reasons to voluntarily separate. The deci- sion came about the same time the VSP information came to me. Good timing, I suppose.”

Many employees were happy the school came forward with such a program as this instead of laying people off, and many appreciated the benefits of the program.

“T think it was wonderful for

the staff to have that opportuni- ty,” Irish said. “It was certainly wonderful for people in my age group.” She said the program could also help younger people by giving them money up front, which would afford them the time and flexibility to pursue another job they’re interested in, not just the first available posi- tion they find.

“In general, I think it is a good’ thing *to~have a severance package for employees of the institution,” Sudduth said. “Of course, it is important not to give the impression that we’re trying to motivate people to leave. The college needs to make sure that packages like the VSP are pre- sented in the most positive light. That’s not always easy.”

Grenon was happy the school offered the program to every employee, but she was par- ticularly pleased that older employees were offered better benefits.

“Yes, it’s benefiting the peo- ple closer to retirement,” Grenon said. “That’s the way it should be; we’ ve been here longer. Some of them that are leaving that are younger are telling me they know they have 18 months of medical coverage so it gives them just the right amount of leeway to find another job.” Grenon echoed Irish’s sentiments by pointing out employees can now seek out the “right job,” not just a job that will help pay the rent.

“There aren’t many times in your life you’re going to have that chance,” Grenon said.

Jessica Peck, a _ graphic designer in print services, has been employed by St. Michael’s for 14 months, and a number of factors influenced her decision to sign up for the program. She commutes an hour from her home in Stowe, and she said she’d like to be drawing, but her only options at St. Michael’s involve using computers. She said she’ll make more money doing freelance work from home, creating anything from business cards to brochures. However, she won’t completely cut ties with St.

Photo by Josh Kessler Mary Alice Irish, a staff nurse in health services, chats with first-year student Leilani Courtney, a work-study student in health services. Irish, who has spent nearly 23 years at the college, joined 44 other employees in signing up for the Voluntary Separation Program, which offered employees benefits in exchange for leaving the college.

Michael’s. She said she might continue to do work on a free- lance basis for the school.

“I enjoyed the people here,” Peck said.

As for her future, Grenon said one of her friends got her a part time summer job at the infor- mation gallery booth down at the Waterfront in Burlington.

“T have a friend who’s been waiting for me for many years to

retire?’ Grenon said: “It’s going

to be a lot of fun. I'll have to wear shorts and sandals.” She said she might do temporary work as well or decide to devote her time to volunteer work near her home in the Champlain Islands.

“Who knows, I may decide to take on a whole new career,” she said.

Jim Sears, an application systems programmer in Information Technology, has worked at St. Michael’s for 17 years and is planning a career change after he leaves.

“I might be looking to change,” Sears said. “Right now I'd say I'd be looking for some- thing else.”

Sears said he’s going to miss working at St. Michael’s, but he’s going to enjoy his free time while in between jobs.

“T’m gonna take it easy,” he said. “Within the next three months I’m gonna be looking for something to do.”

Unlike Grenon and Sears, Irish is seeking to continue her current career elsewhere.

“T love what I do, and I love nursing, and I hope to continue in the nursing field,” Irish said. She said she’d like to continue with health care at the college level, possibly at the University of Vermont, or work at a communi- ty health clinic or walk-in clinic.

Sudduth appears ready to resume his career near his home in Connecticut, but he’s making sure to leave free time for fun. He said his plan is to, “Write, contin- ue teaching here in Connecticut, work on restoring our historic