Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Women’s employee group luncheon a huge success
More than 200 university employees attended a luncheon in support of the newly formed Women's Employee Resource Group. The group is recruiting new members interested in issues of common interest to women on campus. (Photo by Peggy Chiu)
By Laura Mutz
More than 200 Oakland University employees attended a luncheon in support of the Women’s Employee Resource Group (WERG) May 5, on Cinco de Mayo Day.
Held on the sun-filled patios of the Oakland Center, attendees were treated to flamenco guitar music; a drawing with giveaways; and tortillas, mock sangria and Mexican wedding cookies for lunch.
Terry Mejia, office assistant, Payroll Department opened the program in Spanish in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo. Several campus departments including Advising, Orientation, the OU Bookstore, Chartwell’s, Music Theatre and Dance, Meadow Brook Hall and Admissions generously donated items for a drawing. Off-campus donations were received from the OU Branch of the MSU Federal Credit Union, Arbonne and American Minority Business Forms. Personal donations were given by Jean Ann Miller, president of WERG and director of the Center for Student Activities and Mary Isaacs, office assistant, Oakland Center. Prizes included tote bags, mugs, picture frames and tickets to tours and concerts.
“We are thrilled with the high turnout at the luncheon and so pleased there are others interested in discussing issues of common interest to women on campus,” said Miller. “With 41 names in hand of newcomers interested in joining, WERG is off to a strong start.”
Darlene Boutwell, a founding member of the group commented on the strong turnout, “I came back to the office feeling so exhilarated! We had a strong showing and I can only hope that we gain several committed members as a result.”
Linda Sisson, director, Disability Support Services and Sara Luczyk, program coordinator, University Housing created a “Make a Promise, Get a Promise” activity for attendees. By agreeing to fulfill a “promise,” such as attending the next WERG meeting or recruiting a new member, attendees could select a Dove chocolate. “It was intended to be a fun way to encourage participation and spread the word about the women’s group,” said Sisson, “with a tasty reward!”
WERG’s next meeting will be held Thursday, May 18 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Oakland Room of the Oakland Center.
WERG’s mission is to provide support, programs, resources and referral information to women employees of Oakland University. Employee Resource Groups (ERG) were formed in 2004 by the Office of Diversity and Compliance to attract and support diversity on campus. Other ERGs include Asian-Indian, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning; and black and African-American groups. The groups are supported by the Board of Trustees and are employee-managed with an upper-level employee sponsor.