SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 16

SEAHO Feature Articles

Welcome to the Team: Now Leave Your Identity at the Door
Relius Johnson, Louisiana State University
Student affairs is tough work. Residence life is even harder. It's all day, every day. It's putting students'
development as the priority, and at times that can come at the cost of student affairs/residence life professionals.
We have to ask ourselves, "Am I creating opportunities for students' identities to be celebrated while
simultaneously pushing my own identity to the back burner?"
It's a harsh reality to admit, but in this line of work it can be hard to separate our self from the title we hold. And
should we even have to separate them?
A mid-level professional recently commented the following which sparked this article, "You were not hired for
your identities, but because it was believed you were the best to perform the duties of the job." Or are we hired
in some part because at least some of our identity adds value to an institution's professional staff and service to
students?
As more diverse students gain access to higher education, our role as student affairs practitioners becomes even
more important to create communities where all students are accepted regardless of their identity or beliefs. To
serve this growing student population, residence life departments should also be more mindful of hiring a staff
that reflects the diversity of its student body.
Consequently, as professional teams grow in diversity, how can student affairs practitioners ensure they are
creating similar support systems for staff at their institutions? We often talk about making sure our students feel
represented, but we must also make sure the staff feels supported and represented.
Yes, people are hired to complete the duties of a position, but higher education professionals would be remiss to
ignore the identities that a person brings along with their hiring. Here are a few considerations when creating a
diverse team:
1. Leadership Team
It starts at the top. Diversity cannot just be something that is an abstract goal, but an ever-present priority to
deliberately build a diverse staff to best serve students and each other. In our work, we are aware that students
feel more welcomed when they see someone that looks like them. This holds true for professional staff
members as well. Leadership teams are also responsible for defining diversity not just as race and ethnicity,
but a spectrum because of the intersectionality of identities. And if tensions or discomfort arise between staff,
leadership should be able to appropriately address the situation.
2. Dialogue and Training
Whether we like it or not, there are frequent occurrences on our campuses and in our country that spark
emotions and strong opinions. We have to have courageous conversations, training, and keep the dialogue
going. If we are not able to talk with our colleagues about it, then how can we create opportunities for our
students to feel safe? Even as professionals we should remain lifelong learners who create systems of inclusion.
3. Spoke Person Syndrome
It is not the place of the person(s) to teach you about their culture, belief, or identity. We are in a time where the
power of educating yourself is in your hand. Take the opportunity to learn on your own and then once you have
some understanding see if the person(s) want to have dialogue and not just bombard them.
SEAHO Report Spring 2019

16



SEAHO Report - Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SEAHO Report - Spring 2019

Contents
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - Cover1
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - Contents
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 3
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 4
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 5
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 6
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 7
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 8
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 9
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 10
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 11
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 12
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 13
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 14
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 15
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 16
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 17
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 18
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 19
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 20
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 21
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 22
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 23
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 24
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 25
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 26
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 27
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 28
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 29
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 30
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 31
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 32
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 33
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 34
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 35
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 36
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 37
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 38
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 39
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 40
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2024winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2023fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2023summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2023spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2023winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2022winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2021fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2021summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2021spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2021winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2020holiday
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2020fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2020spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2018fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2014winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/50thanniversary
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2013summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2013spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2013winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2012fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2012summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/2012winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/spring2011
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com