Newsletter – Summer 2021

DSC History

The Danforth Staff Council (DSC) began in 2014 as a working group composed of staff members committed to providing an official voice for staff concerns at the university. A formal request was submitted to the university administration in the fall of 2015, and the DSC was formed in 2016.

Currently, the DSC has 30 members serving on nine committees working on issues ranging from human resources matters to engaging with the WashU and St. Louis community.

Here are just some of the DSC’s accomplishments:

Time off: The DSC encouraged the administration to provide extra time off to staff members as a way of thanking them for their hard work during a tumultuous 2020. After our proposal and discussions with leadership, Chancellor Martin announced that Danforth Campus staff would receive two additional days of paid time off in late 2020 or early 2021.

Parental and caregiver leave: The DSC worked for months researching other universities and businesses and making presentations to administrative leaders on the importance of leave for new parents as well as those who need time away from work to care for a family member with a serious illness. The resulting policy change, which took effect in 2019, provides important financial support and peace of mind for employees who need to care for a loved one.

Town halls: Thanks to the DSC, administrative leaders provide important updates twice a year on issues affecting staff members and respond to direct questions from employees.

Representation: The DSC has advocated for, and been granted, greater staff representation across campus, from roles on search committees for key administrator positions such as chancellor and leadership of the Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to membership on working groups and advisory boards.

Parking: The DSC researched similar higher education institutions in landlocked urban environments and presented findings to administrative leaders in 2018. The DSC determined that WashU is in line with or more affordable than many peer institutions. A DSC member also serves on a university working group that studies fare structures and considers equity issues.

What we are working on now

  • We recently submitted a letter to administrative leaders thanking them for their hard work and dedication to staff members during the pandemic. While staff members were directly impacted by the decisions the administration made, we also recognize just how difficult those decisions were. We also addressed the return to campus policy and asked administrators to encourage managers to have conversations about what we have learned from our pandemic year.

    If you have any concerns related to your work as we move forward, please let us know how we can help ( and make your concerns known.
  •  We recently advocated for a staff-focused personal and professional development strategic planning committee. We are pleased to announce the group has just formed and is working toward a more cohesive effort for staff development across campus.
  •  During the last year, we implemented new communication channels with staff members. We have now institutionalized the “DSC chat with the chairs” and regular newsletters going forward. The two-way communication these have provided has been invaluable to help set priorities and accurately represent staff members’ experiences to leadership.
  •  Starting July 1, the DSC welcomed nine new members. They are:

    Kandace Anthony, Disability Resources
    Anna Eggemeyer, Arts & Sciences
    Jennifer Kraus-Smith, Campus Card Services
    Lisa Muxo, Athletics
    Jacob Mydlo, University Advancement
    Ria Sharon, Office of Public Affairs
    Layla Souers, University College
    Genesis Steele, Gephardt Institute
    Marta Wegorzewska, Arts & Sciences 
  • Lastly, we would like to thank the following people for their dedication as their time on the DSC comes to a close:

    Kinda Abdin, Radiation Safety Office
    Alan Beck, Brown School
    Mary Clemens, Arts and Sciences
    Kim Cummins, McKelvey School of Engineering
    Catherine Determan, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
    Lia Garofolo, McKelvey School of Engineering
    Kristen Jones, Olin Business School
    Samantha Lacy, McKelvey School of Engineering
    Maire Murphy, Office of the University Registrar

Upcoming DSC event

Fall Town Hall: Date TBD, watch for an invitation in the new academic year!