This article was written for the 2013 Pre-Conference issue of “Perspectives’ the magazine for members of the Upper Midwest Region of the Association of College & University Housing Officers. For more information about UMR-ACUHO visit umr-acuho.org.
As residence life professionals we balance many different roles and provide support to students and staff on a wide range of topics. In my time as a student affairs professional, I’ve noticed that we seem to struggle with having positive, appropriate and meaningful conversations with students about sex. The theme of this issue of Perspectives is “Making our Worlds Fair” and I think part of that is acknowledging and becoming comfortable with a topic that is a shared experience for many of our students.
I’m going to try to do something I never do, and that’s write a concise blog post. The title of the post is what it is because my day really was just ripped out of the textbooks from my higher ed master’s program. As many of us are probably doing at this time of year, my days have been focused on counting down the days until finals, dreading another conduct meeting, and preparing for a move to another building in my department. After almost a full year working full-speed at UW-Madison, I’ve needed something to remind me why I do what I do and what compels me to continue my work in student affairs. Here’s a quick rundown of today: Continue reading
As I sit here a full 7 days away from the start my first professional position in student affairs, I cannot help but think about the people who I’ve relied on over the last 7 years to provide me with guidance, support, encouragement and more recently, some necessary tough love. I recently had the opportunity to go back to Milwaukee on a mini staycation. While I was on campus I ran into the people pictured above: Becca, Jen and Warren who are all leaders in student affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, my undergrad. Continue reading
Yesterday, hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco released a single off of his upcoming album Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part I. The single is called “Bitch Bad” and I initially thought “okay what is this going to be about,” but when I actually listened to the song, I fell in love with it and thought we may have a hip-hop artist who is also a feminist. Here’s how it starts:
Now imagine there’s a shawty, maybe five maybe four
Ridin’ ’round with his mama listening to the radio
And a song comes on and a not far off from being born
Doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong
Now I ain’t trying to make it too complex
But let’s just say shawty has an undeveloped context
About the perception of women these days
His mama sings along and this what she says
“N***** I’m a bad bitch, and I’m bad bitch
far above average”
And maybe other rhyming words like cabbage and savage
And baby carriage and other things that match it
Couple of things that are happenin’ here
First he’s relatin’ the word “bitch” with his mama, comma
And because she’s relatin’ to herself, his most important source of help, And mental health, he may skew respect for dishonor.
This is a guest post for my friend’s littlemamajama blog, make sure you check it out!
If you’re reading this today, you’re probably someone who (either now or in the future) wants to raise their child in a world where people are respectful of each others’ difference and where we continue to bridge the gap between those who have power and those who are marginalized. Now I’ll confess, I’m not a parent, but I am an uncle to 4 little ones and I’d like to provide them with some understanding of what seeking justice in society means. I’m sure some of you may be thinking “I don’t understand social justice, so how can I teach my child about it.” Many parents that I know have fallen into this mindset and think that it’s too complex an idea to share with their children. In a way, they’re right. Social justice as a system challenging, sometimes cliché term is sometimes complex, but the ideas behind this movement are not. Continue reading
Myself and another Graduate Hall Director working the Moonlight Breakfast
So it’s winter break time here in Mankato, MN and I’m back on campus as the Hall Director on Duty for the next few days. It’s turned out that this time has been very productive as I’ve started my job search for a full-time ResLife position, done some pre-planning for next semester and have had some me time to dedicate to my hobbies, which I’ll write about in a subsequent post. As you can see in the rest of the post, I’ve also had time to clean out my closet!
After working for a little over a year in Residence Life and observing the dynamics between supervisors and staff while “living-in,” I’ve noticed how important creating strong boundaries is to the work that I do. For me, creating boundaries between myself, my staff and the residents in our system creates a structure that upholds my integrity and makes it easier for me to be a supervisor. I was thinking about how I’d want to articulate the boundaries that I’ve set and I found a list of best practices for social workers that seemed to fit for me too, so I’ve adapted that list: Continue reading