A Charge for Myself


Alright #ACPA15 and #NASPA15.

Its out there.

We can’t hide any more.

I can’t hide any more.

The Student Affairs field is not perfect.

Student Affairs Professionals are not perfect.

No one is perfect.

We all have different opinions. We all have different outtakes on our jobs, our field and our roles. We interpret student centeredness differently, we understand student development theory in different ways. We focus on different sub-populations of students because of our experiences and who we are.

We use our platforms in a plethora of ways for a plethora of reasons including personal and/or professional development. To support people and to tear others down. To call out the young fools or wise crazies. Some “practice what they preach” while others practice “do what I say and not what I do”.

We all have biases, we all have privilege. We are all smart people who can do stupid things. We each put people on pedestals. We each belittle one another. We self promote ourselves beyond whats needed for that extra follow and we follow others to get their follow back not to really get to know them.

We talk too much. We act too little.

If you’re reading this and in the back of your mind are saying “that’s not me” or “I don’t do that” you’re not helping yourself or being honest with yourself.

We are a community. Impacted by each others actions. Individual actions are reflective of the whole. The whole’s actions are reflected upon the individual. 

But I can’t change the whole without changing the individual. So what will I DO to make our field better?

I will do my best to be conscious of myself and the impact I have on others and the whole. I will work to better understand before talking. I will focus on listening before speaking. I will do my best to hold myself, my colleagues and those who represent me accountable to what I believe is right and to actions done. I will do better to educate myself on the going ons of society, my field, and my students. I will take on the “practice what I preach” philosophy. I will be true to who I am knowing that there are others who will not accept me. I will be awkward in person and weird but funny on my platforms. I will continue to love pandas and Tweet out baby animal photos. I will be a complicated mess of identities that even I don’t understand, but will work on to better understand. I will ask questions and be responsible to admit when I don’t know something or need help. I will make sure to limit my talking and complaining and always end every conversation with an action.

This is my charge to myself. Hold me to it.

What will YOU DO?

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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