Meeting Minutes

2008

DATE: October 15, 2008
ATTENDEES: Dale Wetherell, Dan Farrell, Ken McCabe, Bill Ferland, Lynn Gudeczauskas, Shelly Olausen, Edna O’Neill Mattson, Mary Baker, Dick Robinson, Kevin Salisbury, Pam Forleo, Walter Crocker, Rick Foote

NOTES:

Bill Ferland opened with introductions from the attendees. Rick Foote was then introduced as the person who represents the company Triumvirate. Triumvirate is the company hired since Manny Terezakis has stepped down as Chemical Safety Coordinator. Rick has 23 years of experience in addressing environmental issues under RI regulations with a specialization in the field of higher education.

Dick Robinson mentioned that Walter Crocker chaired a commission for heightened security at the Liston campus. That campus has 27 entrances and for Security reasons there was an effort to reduce entry to that building. The number of entrances at the campus has now been reduced to four which will be open at all times that the campus is open. For safety reasons the decision was made to have all parking lots numbered and signage will go up soon. An “active shooter” exercise is being planned but, classroom door locking mechanisms are needed and have not been installed which has postponed this exercise for now. Eventually, the findings of this committee will be instituted at all four campuses. Dick let everyone know that the college website holds an Emergency Response Guide that everyone should read. The guide explains how emergency situations should be handled.

Kevin Salisbury asked if “emergency texting” was ever considered on campus. Bill explained that we are a large population across four campuses and cost is the biggest factor but, that it will be re-addressed at some point.

Edna Mattson stated that cameras at the entrances for safety reasons would be a great idea. Dick said that they have been considered as well but, there are a lot of folks against “Big Brother” watching.

Bill let this committee know that there is a proposal to put cameras at all four campuses and that funding is holding that idea up.

Pam Forleo spoke about the PA system and how it is not audible in her department. This is a concern that during a fire drill, real fire or other emergency that department would not be notified.

Bill said that there are a few places within the Knight Campus where the PA is not working and those spots were noted. There is a requisition in the system to replace broken or missing PA speakers.

Walter wondered if a Broadcast message across everyone’s computer screen has ever been considered.

Lynn Gudeczauskas said that the capability is there on our network but, disabled at this time.

Shelly Olausen mentioned that a student had pushed the emergency button in a “Safe Area” in a stairwell at the Knight Campus and never got an answer. Dick will check on that area. She also asked if the special chairs have been considered to bring disabled folks down the stairs so that others are able to help them. Dick said that the fire department advises against the chairs.

Rick spoke about the construction of a “Safe Area” and that it is built to withstand a high heat for up to 3-4 hours which is where the Fire Department is sent to first to help those folks.

Pam questioned having push buttons for the double doors to open on corridors for those in wheelchairs. Dick said that they are very expensive but, it is being investigated.

Pam also asked whether all buildings have sprinkler systems and Dick said that only Newport and the Knight Campus have them but the other two campuses are “grandfathered-in” and do not require the system. There are smoke alarms at all campuses.

Shelly asked if anything will become public that the Threat Assessment Team has established and will training be provided. Walter said that the Liston Emergency Committee meets every two weeks and are putting together a list of emergency action workshops to be announced soon.

Pam had put a list of issues forward to this committee and Bill addressed the issues that related to this committee by campus. He also let Pam know that some of the things that were listed on her sheet of concerns were things that should go through the work order system. Bill and Danny were able to give her feedback on some of the work orders that were already in the system and either not addressed or not completed.

Pam’s topics were separated by concerns for temperature in different parts of the buildings as well as air quality and noise pollution. Each issue was expanded upon and Pam was able to get answers to bring back to faculty and staff with those concerns.

Lynn brought up the concern from her union members about the Environmental conditions on campus and the possible link between the breast cancer clusters that has once again been brought to light on the Flanagan Campus. There have been a few recent cases of breast cancer/issues here on the Flanagan Campus and there is concern that a possible cluster is occurring which has had folks concerned of the environmental association with the disease. Various tests were done on this campus for this reason in 2001.

Bill addressed a few items that have brought questions to the forefront of people minds regarding the building environment and this issue. The “sludge” in the elevator which was thought to have been bubbling up from the ground was from when the elevator was being upgraded. Work was being done on the cap that was keeping water out of the pit. That cap is in the elevator pit and a new procedure to cap the water is being worked on. In that process the water needed to be drained out of the pit with a hose and the noise people were hearing was the pump working.

Also, back-up of a brown substance in the mod 2 bathroom sinks had a couple of explanations. Either chemicals used to unclog the drain caused that or something put down the sink, possibly coffee grounds or potting soil. Roto-Rooter has addressed that problem.

Rick Foote said that he has reviewed most of the findings from the testing that was done back in 2001 and will look over them further and can give the committee the definite findings of those tests at a later date. He recognized that breast cancer is a disturbingly common disease and that little is known about the environmental risk factors for breast cancer. He said that it is not possible to conduct a simple environmental test to address concerns abut breast cancer.

Mary Baker let the committee know that the “go-ahead” has been given for the CCRI Green Team to start working on some green initiatives. So far, the two undertakings of the committee will be the implementation of recycling cans and bottles through the present recycling contractor, Cleanscape. There will also be an E-Waste Day at the Knight Campus on November 8, 2008 from 8:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

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