The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - 66

Pamela Altmaier

Additionally, participants believed that the
burden was placed on the students to address
the issues occurring at the study site. Recently,
the university hosted a testimonial event for
students of color to share their experiences on
campus. While most participants were excited
the opportunity was created, participants were
aware that students requested the event. If
change was to occur, students believed that
they must ask for it. They needed to create the
change. Students indicated they are tired of
being the only agents of change. For example,
Matt stated, "Like get some people in here that
are not just students that are trying to get some
awareness. Like get some power to actually be
like 'yeah this is bullshit'... Stop leaving it to
the students."
The lack of perceived institutional support
seemed to cause participants general anxiety
regarding the overall campus climate. As previously discussed, students from historically
marginalized populations experience bias-related incidents on a frequent basis; they hear
messages that their experiences are insignificant, and that bias-related incidents are not a
reality when in fact they are a reality for these
students. The perceived lack of institutional
support seemed to contribute to this climate of
participants living in fear. Rose stated that she
was fearful that her experience of bias would
not be her last. Aviva's experiences have influenced her to keep her religious affiliation
concealed. Participants indicated that support
could include a more welcoming climate for
students with diverse backgrounds at the study
site, although this climate could only occur
when the university admits that there are
problems.

66

IMPLICATIONS FOR
PROFESSIONAL STAFF
TRAINING
This study has direct implications for the
university and college housing profession.
Housing professionals have an inherent opportunity to cultivate inclusive and safe environments for all students (Association of
College and University Housing Officers-International [ACUHO-I], 2012). However, based
on this study, it is apparent that students from
historically marginalized communities do not
perceive the residential and campus climates
as inclusive and safe, which supports previous research (Hughes et al., 1998; Milem,
2003; Rowley et al., 2002). One interesting
fact emerging from this study was that every
individual who chose to disclose his or her
experience of being targeted by a bias-related
incident did so to professional and student
housing staff members. Many indicated that
this was due to relationships that were already
established with these employees. Therefore,
relationship building and training becomes
even more important to ensure housing employees have the skills to build established
and meaningful relationships with historically
marginalized students subsequently providing an avenue of disclosure for bias-related
incidents. This recommendation aligns with
ACUHO-I's Core Competencies.
According to ACUHO-I Core Competencies and other student affairs organizations'
professional competencies, housing professionals should receive regular training on
diversity issues, social justice issues, and
bias-related incidents as well as appropriate
responses to these issues and incidents (Amer-

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - Cover1
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