The Daily Nexus has written several defamatory articles regarding my actions with one of the student employees that I supervise. I will point out that the reporter never contacted me to ask if these were indeed actions I have taken.
I have never threatened to terminate anyone from employment in the 20 plus years that I have worked here. Several times in my career I have assisted students who start off as employees and then have a conflict of roles as they become officers in the organization. Those conflicts are generally resolved by finding a different student staff position within A.S. not in conflict with their student leadership position.
It is also not true that “Under the direction of Marquez, A.S. Associate Director for Special Projects Denise Rinaldi threatened to exercise the permanent staff’s power to terminate student employees in an ultimatum … ” I did not make any threats. I did not say or suggest the employee would be “terminated.” I did not issue any ultimatums. My supervisor has supported my effort to resolve the conflict of roles, but has not directed me to take any of my actions.
I was in fact surprised that the student employee decided to choose resigning from Judicial Council rather than be reassigned to other work. During the summer, a fellow staff member informed me that the student employee was stepping down from taking Legislative Council minutes. This staff member had received the information from an executive officer.
Therefore, I authorized an e-mail message to go out inviting other students to apply for the position. The student employee then called me and told me that after consulting with her parents, she instead wanted to continue taking Legislative Council minutes. In subsequent discussions, I offered alternatives, which were refused, and it was not until the morning of the first Legislative Council meeting that I was told she was going to resign from her position as Judicial Council Chair.
I have no relation to Judicial Council and have no interest in interfering with the president’s appointments. To the contrary, I am happy to work with any student that is appointed to any position and have done so for many years. My responsibility is to ensure that my practices as a supervisor uphold the ethics expected by the university. Further, my responsibility is to the entire student body, not to a particular group of students holding office any particular year.
I have let our student staff know of the appropriate procedures when a staff member has a grievance with their supervisor. I have also offered to work with campus ombudsman to help resolve any such issues.
I am particularly concerned that the Nexus cites a student as being fearful of retaliation by me or other staff. The student has not brought these concerns to me or to my supervisor. It is a very serious allegation and maligns my character, something I do not take lightly.
I am glad that students on the council wish to review employee rights. Our students have a wonderful reputation for standing up in support of staff on this campus.
I would remind these students and the Daily Nexus that I am also an employee with rights and hope that I will be included and considered in this dialog.
Denise Rinaldi is the Associate Director for Special Projects for Associated Students.