Kung Fu Panda Monday!

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Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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Kung Fu Panda Monday!

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Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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College Colors Day

I graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint. I’m a #TrueBlue Wolverine. While no higher education institution or system is perfect I love my Maize and Blue.

I work at Michigan State University. I whole-heartedly believe #SpartansWill and that the students and alumni are phenomenal human beings. Brian

So what did I wear for today, which has been dubbed College Colors Day?

My Maize and Blue!

I may or may not have stopped several cyclists and gotten multiple angry stares as I walked into work this morning.

Its apparent the hold that school pride and the football rivalrys (let’s be honest it’s all based on football) have created.

For the past week I have been thinking: being a Michigan Wolverine is part of my identity. So why not identify with it in a visible way on a day such as this, where you show pride in your school and alma mater?

 

As I thought, I began to see two ways to consider why or why not for me to visibly identify as a Wolverine today.

  1. Subdue the identity in order to fall in line with the institution I work at and to make Spartans on campus comfortable in their space.
  2. Show my identity and example how to balance and hold an identity when you are the only one.

Both have merit and I honestly don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.

Obviously, you know which way I decided to take. Perhaps I chose this way because it’s a subconscious way of trying to bring identity inclusion/exclusion to light in a very simple yet applicable metaphor. Maybe I needed an opportunity to take a visible position of my multiple minority identities. Maybe because I’m more of a practical practitioner exampling is the best way for me to teach. Or maybe I’m just being stubborn.🙂

Regardless, as we enter football season and the biggest season for school pride, we should consider our colleagues, supervisors, employees, and even transfer students, and how their identify with their alma maters. It’s still an identity and while we love creating school pride on our campuses for each other and our students, we also shouldn’t hide or be afraid to show our pride in our alma maters. Absolutely as employees we should have pride in the institutions we work at, and I do. But I also have pride and identify with my alma mater and celebrating it a couple days out of the school year shouldn’t be discouraged. On the flip side, we should also not shame or ridicule others for the way their choose to identify and show their school pride.

Its the very BASIC practice of social justice and diversity work. 

Respect and understanding; foundations of social justice, inclusion and diversity work but ones we tend to forget when it comes to school pride.

Just food for thought as we enjoy College Colors Day and enter football season 2016.

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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Kung Fu Panda Monday

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Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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I Prefer ‘Fraternity’

I identify as a gay, Asian, Asian-American Fraternity Member who use the pronouns he, him, his.

I am part of a predominately straight, white Southern Fraternity.

I prefer the term “fraternity” versus “frat” because of the negative contexts that has been built and associated with the term “frat”. For me, “frat” is a slur. I use slur as defined by Merriam Webster: “an insulting or disparaging remark or innuendo; a shaming or degrading effect” . “Frat” has that effect for me.

I acknowledge there are systems of oppression within the Greek Community on multiple levels and in many contexts.

I acknowledge there is work to be done and that we all, as fraternity and sorority advisors and all Student Affairs Professionals must engage in.

I actively work with my undergraduate Brothers in this work and address it within our fraternity.

I am a complex individual.

I am hurt and saddened by the lack of sensitivity when individuals inform colleagues that they do not wish to have a term used due to its negative context and it is ignored.

I am hurt and saddened that identifying as a Fraternity Member seems to lessen my opinions and perspectives as a gay, Asian, Asian-American Fraternity Member in how to address these issues in the community.

I am hurt and saddened that if an individual identifies with a specific term when relating to Fraternities and Sororities it is dismissed.

Just because Fraternity of Sorority Member identity is not a racial, sexual orientation, gender, etc identity, it is none the less an identity.

The Facebook post that initiated this unpacking post for me had merit and great potential for context, discussion and development. Unfortunately it was lost when individuals chose to dismiss the way I and many others prefer to be referred to as a community. I acknowledge even in that it is oppressive and not gender neutral. However, when my preferred term and identity is dismissed my walls go up and I don’t want to have further conversations. We respect and are open to the way individuals chose to racially identify, sexually identify, etc. Why is it any different than when we speak of any other identity? Fraternity and Sorority Members (I feel safe to say) all know the cultures of our identities have problems and that there is work to be done. But the key is to focus on the work and where we need to go and respect the way we each choose to identify in regards to, in this case, Fraternity and Sorority Life.

I’m still processing and unpacking some of the great context and discussion that was sprinkled about the post. And as you know I process best when I write it out so thank you for reading through my processing.

Until next time

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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Kung Fu Panda Monday

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Until next time

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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Kung Fu Panda Monday

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Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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