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New Bloomington Staff Council events designed to foster connections, create community

Attendees enjoy a conversation and refreshments at a March 2 Get to Know Your Colleagues event pu... Attendees enjoy a conversation and refreshments at a March 2 Get to Know Your Colleagues event put on by the Bloomington Staff Council. Photo by Alison Sinadinos A new series of events from the Indiana University Bloomington Staff Council is intended to better connect staff employees across the campus and units.

Get to Know Your Colleagues has its roots in the My Voice at IU survey conducted in February 2022, Bloomington Staff Council President Alison Sinadinos said. Staff indicated that they didn’t feel connected enough with each other and the university, and sometimes felt siloed. Also, not enough staff employees were familiar with the council and what it does, she added.

“We’re striving to create more of a community for staff members on campus,” Sinadinos said.

The 90-minute “Coffee, Tea, Cookies and the Council” on March 2 in the Indiana Memorial Union’s Oak Room attracted about 40 attendees.

“I attended the Get to Know Your Colleagues event to catch up with the council,” said Kyle Newnum, environmental management leader for Residential Programs and Services. “After serving many years ago, it is great to see their continued efforts to create a positive impact on the overall staff experience at IUB. Attending these events makes it easier to connect with the council one on one and establish that personal connection to the work they are doing.”

Sinadinos said the Get to Know Your Colleagues events have no real agenda other than helping staff employees meet each other and learn more about the council. She said she’d like to have at least one more this semester, and then more throughout next school year.

She said the new series is a companion to the Get to Know Your Campus Tours that the council has been doing for a while. Those events introduce staff to interesting places and highlight unique work happening on campus. For example, the Council had one tour in December at the Lilly Library. Upcoming Get to Know Your Campus Tours are March 22 at the McCalla School and May 24 at the Indiana Geological and Water Survey Learning Lab.

Staff employees are welcome to provide feedback and share thoughts about events and programming via the council’s website, Sinadinos said.