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In this issue:
SLAC to Join University-wide Evacuation Drill October 7
SASS Celebrates 100th Seminar
The Lab Has An Agenda. Why Doesn't Your Meeting?

SLAC Today

Thursday - September 23, 2010

SLAC to Join University-wide Evacuation Drill October 7

(Poster - evacuation drill October 7, 2010)
(Poster by SLAC InfoMedia Solutions.)

Together with all of Stanford University, SLAC will run a lab-wide evacuation drill on October 7. During work hours that day, staff will be alerted to a mock "earthquake" and asked to briefly shelter in place, then gather at their building's emergency assembly point. SLAC building managers will sweep their buildings and make headcounts at their assembly points before releasing occupants back into the buildings. The exercise is expected to require about 30 minutes of most staff members' time.

The alerts will come through AlertSU and SLAC911 emergency e-mail and text messages. An initial message will warn that the drill is approximately 15 minutes away. At the time of the "earthquake," fire alarms will sound in key buildings and a second message will go out asking staff to duck, cover and hold (for example, under a desk) for 45 seconds before going outside to the building's emergency assembly point. (Check with the building manager to confirm the assembly location for a specific area.)

SLAC community members are encouraged to sign up for SLAC911 alerts, through the SLAC Phone Directory. Just search for yourself, then click the "Edit" link on the dark blue line that says "Optional Information (SLAC/Non-SLAC)." Opt in to the system by entering up to three phone numbers and/or one e-mail address, and tagging each as "SLAC911" using the "View" drop-down menu.

Information and updates about and during the drill will be posted to Thanks for your cooperation.

SASS Celebrates 100th Seminar

Yesterday afternoon, SASS co-founder Wells Wulsin presented the series' 100th seminar. "It sounds like it had to be staged, but it's really just a coincidence that this happens to be my talk," he said. "I signed up for one of two empty slots at the last SASS planning meeting, and only after that did we calculate which would be the 100th SASS talk." (Photo by Kelen Tuttle.)

Yesterday afternoon, more than two dozen graduate students gathered in the Kavli Building to take part in a milestone: the 100th SLAC Association for Student Seminars talk.

"That we're celebrating our 100th talk means that SASS has legs to go on for a long time in the future," said SASS co-founder Wells Wulsin. "I think it fills an important role at the lab, that's very valuable to the many students who work here."

The current SASS czars, who organize the group's once-a-week lectures, agree. "SASS is really the only presence of grad students throughout SLAC, offering a sense of community while also uniting all of the areas of science at SLAC, from photon science to theory to particle physics ," said SASS czar Andrew Larkoski, a graduate student in the theory department.  Read more...

The Lab Has An Agenda.
Why Doesn't Your Meeting?

Last month's PAUSE event generated numerous discussions about reducing the number and improving the efficiency of meetings. And for good reason: if you have a bunch of people in a room, it needs to pay off. It often doesn't. So what's the problem?

The usual complaints include: no agenda, unclear objectives, wrong people in the room, right people in the room but they are not listening, and people, right or wrong, being late as so many meetings are scheduled back-to-back. National surveys indicate that employees spend on average between six and 20 hours per week in meetings. These same surveys reveal that the majority of employees feel the time they spend in meetings is unproductive.

What's a lab to do? A lab can do nothing. It's what people can do. It's what you can do.

If you want to be a better meeting leader, prepare by considering the following:

1. Purpose: What type of meeting will this be—information giving, information getting, or decision-making?



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