The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - 68

Pamela Altmaier

marginalized communities. These practices
should not only occur reactively- after an incident of bias, but also proactively.

Proactive and Reactive Practices
LePeau et al. (2016) indicated that BRTs are
naturally reactive since they initiate processes
when disclosures of bias-related incidents are
made. To create more inclusive and safe environments, housing departments and professionals need to balance proactive and reactive
practices (LePeau et al., 2016). Housing professionals have many opportunities to utilize
proactive practices with residents. Throughout
this study, participants indicated that having
established relationships were vital when deciding to disclose their experiences. Students
do not want to risk further harm or exposure
by disclosing to individuals with whom they
have no established relationships. Based on
these narratives, it is important that housing
professionals understand the role of personal
interactions with students. If seeking more
reports or disclosures of bias-related incidents,
then housing professionals need to prioritize
and commit to personal interactions with students before these incidents occur as one strategy to implement proactive approaches.
Furthermore, the role that housing professionals have in the disclosure and reporting
processes should be included in training sessions. Since participants illustrated the importance of previous relationships, housing
professionals should understand that they
could be the receiving parties of disclosures.
Evident from this study was that reactions to
disclosures have significant short-term and
long-term effects. Therefore, it is vital that
staff understand that their reactions to students' disclosures will be incorporated into the
68

students' decisions to disclose in the future.
During Stephanie's interview, she indicated
that she was unlikely to ever report to a university employee again because she had a negative experience disclosing previously. Housing
professionals need to be aware that their responses to bias-related incident disclosures
can influence students to either seek future
support from the institution or choose to never
disclose their experiences to university employees again.

CONCLUSION
As the review of literature illustrated, students
from historically marginalized populations have
vastly different experiences from students who
are not historically marginalized, and they live
and interact in environments where they are
frequently the targets of bias-related incidents.
In this study, participants indicated that established relationships with the receiving parties
are very important when deciding to whom they
would disclose in the future. Also in this study,
based on established relationships, all participants who disclosed to university employees
decided to disclose to housing staff. After each
disclosure, the participants evaluated the reactions and decided if they would disclose to those
individuals and possibly any other university
employees again in the future.
Training for housing professionals must
go beyond foundational knowledge for biasrelated incidents and protocols. Housing professionals need to be aware of their roles in
creating safe and inclusive communities for
students from historically marginalized communities. Safe and inclusive environments can
only be created if housing professionals are
trained on proactive practices when addressing

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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