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THE VERMONT C O NVERMONT NECTION THE

CONNECTION

V

THE.STUDENT A F F A I R S JOURNAL.OF THE.UNIVERSITY O F. V E R M O N T

Vo l u m e 3 5 2014 B U R L I N G TO N , V T


EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS:

The Executive Board of The Vermont Connection is elected by members of the Full Board,

consisting of all students in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (HESA) graduate program at the University of Vermont (UVM). The Executive Board is responsible for coordinating all editorial functions for the journal and ensuring the continuity of future publications, as well as serving as a link between current students, alumni/ae, and faculty. Executive Editor Managing Editor Co-Content Editors

Alumni/ae Public Relations Chair Membership Chair Social & Professional Development Co-Chairs

Marco A. Blanco Drake Douglas Marlenee L. Blas Pedreal Monisha Murjani Lindsay Hammond Danielle Nicole Aguilar Melissa Carlson Cristina M. Vega

FULL BOARD MEMBERS: Danielle Nicole Aguilar ‘14 David M. Anderson ‘15 Marco A. Blanco ‘14 Marlenee L. Blas Pedreal ‘14 Catarina Campbell ‘15 Melissa Carlson ‘15 Roman Christiaens ‘15 Drake Douglas ‘14 Robert D. Drago ‘15 Michael Drucker ‘15 Erin-Kate Escobar ‘14

Nakiya C. Findley ‘15 Jeff Godowski ‘15 Elizabeth Gomez ‘15 Lindsay Hammond ‘14 Lisa Keller ‘14 David Kloepfer ‘17 Emery Azad Lohrasbi ‘14 Jing Luo ‘14 Brandon C. Meyers ‘15 Monisha Murjani ‘14 Deryka C. Nairne ‘15

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Women’s Center Department of Student Life Development & Alumni Relations Division of Student Affairs Queen City Printers Inc.

Diana Dubuque Jackie M. Gribbons Deborah E. Hunter Kathleen Manning Lori McPeters Jill M. Tarule

Christopher Nial ‘14 Nicole Potestivo ‘15 Audrey Claire Redmond ‘14 Keyiona Ritchey ‘14 Victor A. Sánchez ‘14 Sean R. Smallwood ‘15 Trina S. Tan ‘15 Cristina M. Vega ‘15 Teddy Walsh ‘15 Kyrena Wright ‘14

Cover Design: Lester J. Manzano ‘99 Advisors: Deborah E. Hunter Nick Negrete ‘06 Kimberlee MonteauxDeFreitas

The Vermont Connection welcomes manuscripts addressing concerns of common interest among higher education and student affairs professionals. Of particular interest are articles exploring current issues, suggesting creative programming, and presenting original research. The opinions and attitudes expressed within this journal do not necessarily reflect those of the Full Board. The Vermont Connection acknowledges that scholarship is ever-changing; we include both traditional and non-traditional scholarly works in this volume. Copyright © 2014 by The Vermont Connection The Vermont Connection The University of Vermont 208 Mann Hall, 208 Colchester Ave. Burlington, VT 05405 USA http://www.uvm.edu/~vtconn

Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration The University of Vermont 208 Mann Hall, 208 Colchester Ave. Burlington, VT 05405 USA Printed at Queen City Printers Inc.


THE.VERMONT CONNECTION

VOLUME.35 2 0 1 4

TA B L E O F C O NT E NT S

5

Editor’s Note Marco A. Blanco

8 9

Kathy Cook Jackie Gribbons

11

Jill Mattuck Tarule

In Memory

Retiring Faculty Articles

13

Oppression, Domination, Prison: The Mass Incarceration of Latino and African American Men Danielle Nicole Aguilar

21

Using Social Media for Effective Customer Service Patrick Arsenault

32

At a Crossroad: The Intersection of Fraternity, Sexuality, and Masculinity Marco A. Blanco

38

Restorative Justice Programs in Higher Education Marlenee Lizeth Blas Pedreal

47

Meeting Their Needs: Transitioning to College with an Autism Spectrum Disorder Lindsay Hammond

55

On Creating and Framing Cissexual Advocacy with the Trans* Community in Higher Education Benjamin Z. Huelskamp

62

Ready for Anything Edward Keagle

71

Higher Education and External Communities: Interconnectedness and Interdependence Jing Luo

79

Breaking Apart the Model Minority and Perpetual Foreigner Stereotypes: Asian Americans and Cultural Capital Monisha Murjani


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Student Affairs’ Role in Helping First-Year Students Move Towards Self-Authorship Audrey Claire Redmond

99

Black Identity Development Keyiona Ritchey

106

Latino Gay Men and Their Relationship to the Gay Movement, Latino Communities, and Higher Education Victor A. Sánchez 

113

Affirmative Action Programs: Is the “Sun Setting” on Racial Preferences? Sean R. Smallwood

122

Race and Romance: Understanding Students of Color In Interracial Relationships Trina S. Tan Reflections

131

The Future of Higher Education!: Reflections on My First Year in Academia Shametrice Davis

134

Self-Work is Self-Liberation: Professional Development that is Beyond the Classroom Kristine A. Din

137

Back to the Basics: Meeting the Needs of Marginalized Populations on Campus Joshua Moon Johnson, Ed.D.

144

[Re]Centering Voice: The First and Last Domain of [m/y/our] Story Dirk J. Rodricks

154

The Final Word Diana Dubuque

159

Acknowledgements Nick Negrete & Kimberlee Monteaux-DeFreitas

161

Donors Guidelines for Authors


Editor’s Note• 5

EDITOR’S NOTE

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I begin by humorously admitting that the “struggle” is real. As I struggle to put into words my feelings about my graduate experience, I also find myself deeply embedded in the finalization of the 35th volume of The Vermont Connection (TVC). This past year has been difficult, not only due to the amount of change and loss, but also because as a collective unit we dealt with personal and professional challenges. As I sit at a table full of editors, writers and enthusiasts of the journal, I reflect on lasting memories of phone calls, endless nights, and outlandish laughs that every single member of the full board experienced in our process of producing this year’s volume. The meaning behind this volume is twofold in that for some authors it contains their first article published, while our seasoned authors utilize this medium as a way of sharing their wisdom. Nonetheless, the journal possesses the fears, smiles, tears and collective emotions of our beloved communities. As we produce this journal in the midst of winter, it makes me reflect on the process of transformation. Transformation is a means of conserving what exists and building on what currently is nestled underneath the frigid ground. This concept relates very much to the experiences of the current cohorts. As some of us are about to graduate and utilize the skills we have germinated through our experience, others are only in the midst of sprouting through their anxieties of being at the University of Vermont. What we have noted is that higher education is ever-changing; students and institutions continuously reframe and recreate their experiences through multiple identities and dimensions. The theme of this volume, “(Re)creating New Domains: The Future of Higher Education”, is therefore used to discuss the very domains that we believe will shape the future of higher education. This volume in particular is unique because it acknowledges and gives gratitude to the trailblazers within The Vermont Connection that continuously created the domains that we redefine within the academy. We lost a remarkable alumnae and member of our community Kathy Cook, who devoted her life to being an ally and mentor to everyone she touched. We also lost a pioneer within The Vermont Connection who laid the roots of our esteemed Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (HESA) program, Jackie Gribbons. Additionally, two of


6 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 our current “connections” - collectively holding more than half a century of experience at the University of Vermont - are parting ways with their professional careers. The first, Dr. Jill Tarule, has graciously mentored and advised students throughout her time at UVM, and the second, Diana Dubuque, has seen the transformation of the HESA program and closes our volume with her thoughts and wisdom in The Final Word. I am unable to express all the gratitude due to those who came before us and those who humbly serve the academy. Last year during production week, the cohorts utilized the mantra of “it takes a village” as a means to push through not only the creation of the 34th volume, but to address the way in which we supported each other throughout the year. The cohorts this year are (re)creating that mantra, and in observing their high spirits and proactive systems of support, it reinforces the life-force that is The Vermont Connection. That is why I not only thank the entire board, but I also thank the continuous support of our advisors Kimberlee Monteaux De Freitas and Nick Negrete (’06), and our faculty advisor Deb Hunter. Lastly I would like to thank our friends and alums of the HESA program who show support financially and personally throughout the year as we prepare and assemble The Vermont Connection. The process of creating this volume has been a humbling experience, but it is also one that has made me very proud. It it with this great pride that I introduce the 35th volume of The Vermont Connection.

Marco A. Blanco Executive Editor The Vermont Connection


In Memory • 7

IN MEMORY OF...

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8 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35

Kathy M. Cook 1968 - 2013

Kathy earned B.A. and M.Ed degrees from The University of Vermont, and served as Associate Director of Residential Life. She was a dedicated Student Affairs staff member for 16 years at the University. Kathy’s professional interests included a commitment to diversity and social justice, innovation, and service to students. A devoted educator, mentor, colleague, and friend, Kathy touched the lives of many students, staff, and faculty. Her influence on rising higher education professionals can be seen throughout the past two decades worth of HESA graduates. Moreover, her legacy will be well remembered amoung The Vermont Connection and beyond.

“How can I be of service today?” ~ Kathycook


In Memory • 9

Jackie M. Gribbons 1932 - 2014

Professor Gribbons was a faculty member of the HESA program since its inception in 1970 until her retirement in 2007. As the previous Coordinator of the Practicum Internships, she developed over 200 credit internships and provided the leadership, organization, and quality control for this nationally acclaimed practicum program. When she took early retirement in 1993 following 27 years of service as an administrator at UVM, she continued her faculty assignment with the HESA program as an advisor to HESA students. In 2007, she retired from the HESA faculty but continued her contact with HESA alumni and continued to serve on several University committees. A person who told it as it was, she strove to be accepting, understanding, supportive, and fair... all tempered with her infectious laugh, constant sense of humor, and energy for and love of life, the environment, and all living things. Most of all, she prided her quest of honor, integrity and compassion.


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RETIRING

FACULTY


Retiring Faculty • 11

Jill Mattuck Tarule

Jill Mattuck Tarule, Ed.D. is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Vermont. She has served UVM as Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and as dean of the College of Education and Social Services. She also served as an administrator and faculty at Goddard College and Lesley College (now University). She holds a doctoral degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an honorary doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School for Lifelong Learning. She is co-author of Women’s Ways of Knowing: the Development of Self, Voice and Mind and co-editor of Knowledge, Difference and Power: Essays Inspired by Women’s Ways of Knowing and The Minority Voice in Educational Reform, An Analysis by Minority and Women College of Education Deans, as well as articles and chapters on leadership, adult learners and leaders’ moral decision-making. Among the awards she has received are the Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education and the Gender Equity Architect Award, both from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Jill has been a tremendously supportive mentor for many HESA students. Her legacy will continue to ground and inform the field of higher education and student affairs and guide many practitioners to come.


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ARTICLES


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Oppression, Domination, Prison: The Mass Incarceration of Latino and African American Men Danielle Nicole Aguilar  The disproportionate number of Latino and African American men who occupy prison beds brought much attention to the U.S. prison industrial complex. According to Sabol and Couture (as cited by Rios, 2011), “In 2007, about 16.6% of all Black males and 7.7% of all Latino males were or had been incarcerated” (p. 34). This literature review connected internalized oppression and the prison industrial complex. It further explained the prison system as a form of internalized domination. A review of drug laws and federal financial aid is discussed. This literature review defined and explored the concepts of internalized oppression and internalized domination as it pertained to the academic success gap and mass incarceration of Latino and African American men. Hostile educational environments of Latino and African American youth were explored to uncover the connection between the flawed education system and the prison industrial complex. Internalized domination was used to analyze the prison industrial complex and argued the prison system as a cultural tool that perpetuated the subordination of Latino and African American men in U.S. society. Considering the high rates of incarcerated Latino and African American men, student affairs professionals should understand the implications of this racist institution, the challenges exprisoners face when entering the academy and the financial implications certain charges have on federal financial assistance. Internalized Oppression Griffin (as cited by Tappan, 2006) defined internalized oppression as a phenomenon such that the subordinate group adopts the dominant group’s ideology resulting in the “acceptance that their subordinate status is deserved, natural and inevitable” (p. 2116). Although individuals internalize these ideologies, Pyke (2010) argued Danielle Aguilar is a second year HESA student. She received a B.A. in Feminist Studies with a minor in Black Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Danielle’s passion for gaining knowledge about the prison industrial complex started in her undergraduate career. She hopes to continue her research on the effects of the prison industrial complex on communities of color and access to higher education.


14 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 that internalized oppression was “not the result of some cultural or biological characteristics of the subjugated. Nor is it the consequence of any weakness, ignorance, inferiority, psychological defect, gullibility, or other shortcoming of the oppressed” (p. 553). Pyke’s clarification was crucial because subordinate groups are blamed for their inferiority when their actions align with cultural stereotypes. For example, Latino and African American youth who do poorly in school are blamed for their failure. Internalized oppression works when the dominant discourse becomes powerful to the extent that people internalize negative ideas about their group. The result was dominant group members, through assumptions and superiority, blamed subordinate group members for their subordinate status and subordinate group members did the same through the mechanisms of internalized oppression. Pyke (2010) wrote, “Renowned African American Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who heads Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, attributes poor Blacks’ poverty to ‘deciding to get pregnant. Deciding to do drugs. Deciding not to study.’” (p. 565). Henry Louis Gates Jr. perpetuated a cultural stereotype, placing the responsibility of poverty on the impoverished. He failed to critique the long-standing institutional policies and systems that ensured the continuation of African American poverty. Furthermore, through his remarks, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. positioned himself as an African American scholar at an Ivy League institution, distancing himself from poor African Americans. Pyke (2010) attributed distancing as a form of internalized racial oppression. “The strategy of distancing oneself from negative stereotypes [occurs] by suggesting they are true, just not for oneself ” (p. 558). Internalized oppression blames the oppressed and hinders growth of individuals and communities of color, a concept that will be explored in the next section. The History of “Acting White” The “acting White” phenomenon received much attention since Fordham and Ogbu (1986) coined the term. They argued the academic gap between the African American and White communities was due in part to the concept of acting White. The authors’ interviewees equated academic success as “White” therefore, “to behave in a manner defined as falling within a white cultural frame of reference is to ‘act white’ and is negatively sanctioned” (p. 181). The authors claimed that African American students do not want to be ostracized or negatively sanctioned by their peers. Therefore, they performed below capability as a way to ensure in-group respect. Fordham and Ogbu (1986) found that “one major reason black students do poorly in school is that they experience inordinate ambivalence and affective dissonance in regard to academic effort and success” in the form of name calling, disownment or even physical violence (p. 177). African American students are seen as purposely performing poorly in class and blamed for their


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failure without criticizing the system and institutional culture that perpetuates the academic success gap. Contemporary “Acting White” Findings Since Fordham and Ogbu’s (1986) original claim, Wildhagen (2011) and Rios (2011) conducted research that refuted the acting White phenomenon as a factor within the academic success gap. Wildhagen (2011) argued, “no scholarly research has tested the validity of the process proposed by the acting White hypothesis” (p. 445). Rios (2011) claimed that the Latino boys he interviewed actually congratulated their friends for their academic success. Similarly, Wildhagen (2011) found that “African American students actually identify African American with doing well in school” (p. 445). Although high achieving students of color may get encouragement from friends, why does a common misconception that academic success within communities of color equates to “acting White?” The academic gap continues to expose disparities between high school graduation, college matriculation, and college graduation rates. Although some African Americans reported negative sanctioning for taking school seriously, they also reported “lower academic payoffs” from teachers, such as negotiating a grade or having the teacher believe that the student is putting in a full effort (Wildhagen, 2011, p. 459). It is possible that the idea of acting White may actually be academically successful African American students are treated similarly to White students as opposed to the effort put into school. African American students may understand that regardless of the effort they put into school, teachers have continued to privilege their White classmates. African American students may feel compelled to maintain respect with other African Americans and resist acting White, behavior which is interpreted as not putting effort into academics. Currently the variables attributed to the disparities between academic success of African American and White students are unknown. Internalized oppression and acting White may contribute to the academic success gap. How is the academic success gap seen within society? Where do the majority of male high school students of color end up? Internalized Domination Internalized domination is defined as “members of the [dominant] group who accept their group’s socially superior status as normal or deserved” (Griffin as cited by Tappan, 2006, p. 2116). Tappan (2006) argued, “internalized oppression and domination become deep, internal, psychological qualities, characteristics, or ‘marks’ that are extremely difficult to resist, interrupt, or abandon once they are in place” (p. 2122). Due to this circumstance, the relationship between internalized oppression and internalized domination is referred to as mediated action.


16 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Mediated action consists of two elements: “an agent and specific cultural tools” (Tappan, 2006, p. 2122). Wertsch (as cited by Tappan, 2006) argued that mediated action accounts for both “the psychological inquiry and the sociocultural inquiry to understand the relationship between the individual and the social, cultural, historical and institutional contexts in which the individual lives” (p. 2122). Therefore, a teacher’s preferential treatment towards White students can be viewed psychologically and socioculturally. The teacher’s assumption that White students try harder in school than African American students is the psychological aspect and the differentiation of treatment between White and African American students is the sociocultural aspect. Within this context, the agent is White society and cultural tools are the systems and institutions put in place to allow the perpetuation of the academic success gap. A cultural tool can be a physical or linguistic. The physical tools emphasized in this paper are police enforcement and prisons and the linguistic tools are the policies and laws that have disproportionally affected Latino and African American men. These linguistic tools are communicated to Latino and African American male youth in a variety of ways, but particularly through the classroom. Classroom Realities of Young Latino and African-American Men Rios (2011) analyzed how high schools with large populations of Latino and African American students consequently became hostile environments. Police presence on campus created a disadvantageous atmosphere for the school’s foundational purpose – learning. The policing within the researched high school classrooms are both a physical and linguistic tool. It is a physical tool because police officers are actually present on school grounds policing the behavior of the students. It is also a linguistic tool because there is most likely a policy that allows free movement of police officers at the high schools. The young men Rios (2011) interacted with during his research felt the concept of policing had infiltrated every aspect of their lives, including school. Davis (2003) argued “when children attend schools that place a greater value on discipline and security than on knowledge and intellectual development, they are attending prep schools for prison” (p. 39). Rios (2011) found that teachers used jail, prison, and/ or the police as a threat to get the young men to act how the teachers wanted them. This threat by the teacher, the agent, is another example of a linguistic tool. Similarly Wildhagen (2011) critiqued the notion of the proper way to act in class because it becomes synonymous with White middle-class culture. The term acting White may not be synonymous with high academic achieving students of color but rather with the manner students of color adopt while in a classroom setting. The threats and policing of high schools are two characteristics of what has been termed “the school to prison pipeline,” a phenomenon of funneling


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disadvantaged youth from schools into the criminal justice system. Davis (2003) claimed that Latinos and African American men have a better chance of ending up in prison throughout their lives than getting a decent education. Psychologically, police officers and other forms of authority are trained to police Latino and African American youth in high school. Socioculturally, laws and policies ensure the imprisonment of Latino and African American youth. One example of this cultural tool are drug laws that have disproportionately affected communities of color. Drug Policy as a Cultural Tool The United States has one the fastest growing prison populations in the world. “In less than a single decade, 1984-1989, the number of California prisons doubled” (Davis, 2003, p. 13). Sabol and Couture (as cited by Rios, 2011) argued that “roughly 27% of the incarcerated population is Latino, while it represents only 16% of the total US population and roughly 50% of incarcerated population is Black while making up only 14% of the U.S. general population” (p. 34). According to Mauer and King (2007), the war on drugs was a campaign started by Richard Nixon to reduce the presence of illegal drugs. This legislation is another example of a linguistic tool within mediated action. Any policy, law, and/ or rule that is institutionalized and targets a specific population is a linguistic tool. According to Mauer and King (2007), “the ‘war on drugs,’ officially declared in the early 1980s, has been a primary contributor to the enormous growth of the prison system in the United States” (p. 1). The statistics indicate this effort may actually be a war on communities of color as opposed to drugs. For example, there has historically been a significant sentencing disparity between crack cocaine, mostly found in poor African American neighborhoods, and powder cocaine, mostly found in White affluent neighborhoods. According to the Washington Post (2010), “under the law, a person convicted of crack cocaine possession got the same mandatory prison term as someone with 100 times the same amount of powder cocaine” (p. 1). Although the sentencing ratio was reduced 18:1, the law perpetuates internalized domination because crack cocaine still holds harsher sentencing penalties than powder cocaine and therefore the sentencing is racialized. Mauer and King (2007) analyzed the arrest records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2002 and found that “African-Americans [only] constitute 14% of the nation’s monthly drug users [yet comprise] 56% of those in state prison for a drug conviction” (p. 2). The stigma and penalties drug offenses carry are heavier for African Americans. The U.S. federal government and society have a greater commitment to incarcerating Latino and African American men than educating them and have mastered a system that ensures their continued subordination.


18 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Federal and State Commitment to Higher Education Today, the United States is known more for its mass incarceration than its education. “The United States has fallen from 12th to 16th in the share of adults age 25 to 34 holding degrees” yet accounts for the largest prison population in the world (Washington Post, 2011). “The U.S. population in general is less than five percent of the world’s total, whereas more than twenty percent of the world’s combined prison population can be claimed by the United States” (Davis, 2003, p. 11). Regrettably, the same statistics cannot be said about higher education. “The chance of a Black male going to prison sometime in his lifetime is one in three, compared to one in six for Latino men and one in seventeen for White men” (Rios, 2011, p. 34). This is an unfortunate reality that has plagued Latino and African American communities. Knowing these odds, how do young Latino and African American men defy this reality? Rios (2011) found that even when young men wanted to change their paths, they were criminalized and bound to certain stereotypes making it difficult to go back to school or find employment. Rios (2011) argued, “the after effects of incarceration include permanent stigma, the loss of opportunities to receive federal and state assistance or accredited certification in several trades (e.g. automotive, construction, plumbing)” (p. 37). The issue is not merely who is in prison but also how much is devoted to the prison system. According to Meiners (2011) and Hatt (2011), between 1980 and 2000 state spending on prisons was six times greater than that of higher education. Historically, politicians used fear tactics to make people think prisons equal safety. In reality, the boom of the prison system occurred when overall crime was decreasing (Davis, 2003). Considering this contradiction, it can be concluded that the prison system is just another institutional way of subordinating Latino and African American men, ensuring that their social mobility is non-existent. According to the Legislative Analysis Office of California, the state cost per inmate in 2008 was $47,000 whereas the average cost per student attending the University of California while living on campus was $25,000 according to the California Student Aid Commission. The commitment to the prison industrial complex is not only legislative, but also monetary. Legislation and financial restrictions have and continue to work together to keep men of color from pursuing a higher education. This unfortunate reality keeps higher education as a luxury from which many are excluded. The overrepresentation of incarcerated young Latino and African-American men is clear. According to Sabol and Couture (as cited by Rios, 2011), “In 2007, about 16.6% of all Black males and 7.7% of all Latino males were or had been incarcerated” (p. 34). When comparing these numbers to the amount of bachelor,


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master, and doctoral degrees awarded to young Latino and African American men, it is more common to find these young men in prison cells than in classrooms. Drug Offenses and Financial Aid A criminal record can have detrimental effects on whether a student receives financial assistance for college. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), asks the applicant about previous drug charges. It is noted that an answer of yes can affect eligibility. Considering the percentage of Latino and African American men who are charged for drug possessions, one can assume that those men will most likely not obtain the aid necessary to pursue higher education. This is not only an issue of racialized discrimination and injustice but also a matter of access to higher education. With increasing tuition and student fees nationwide, federal student aid is a necessity for many. Conclusion The present and future cost that internalized domination and internalized oppression has had on Latino and African American men is unmatched. The prison and education systems are set up to ensure that Latino and African American men are left out of the higher education conversation. The prison industrial complex and drug laws have created an access issue for Latino and African American men. It is crucial that student affairs professionals understand the multiple barriers between convicted Latino and African American men and higher education. Student affairs professionals need to understand the complexity of finances that a student may have. Being aware of programs and scholarships to aid such students is vital. Furthermore, education in general needs to be something that is valued beyond imprisonment. As seen from the financial commitment, more time, effort and money needs to be funneled into all levels of education and away from prison construction.


20 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 References Abrams, J. (2010, July 29). Congress passes bill to reduce disparities in crack, powder cocaine sentencing. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti cle/2010/07/28/AR2010072802969.html. An Office of the U.S. Department of Education. (2012). Who gets aid: Stu- dents with criminal convictions. Retrieved from http://studentaid.ed.gov/ eligibility/criminal-convictions. California Student Aid Commission. (2008). 13 ways to pay it off. Retrieved from http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/13OtherWaystoPay. pdf. Davis, A. Y. (2003). Are prisons obsolete?. Toronto: Publishers Group Canada. de Vise, D. (2011, September 13). U.S. falls in global ranking of young adults who finish college. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www. washingtonpost.com/local/education/us-falls-in-global-ranking-of- young-adults-who-finish-college/2011/08/22/gIQAAsU3OK_story. html. Fordham, S. & Ogbu, J. U. (1989). Black students’ school success: Coping with the “burden of ‘acting White.’” Urban Review, 18(3), 176-206. Hatt, B. (2011). Still I rise: Youth caught between the worlds of schools and prisons. Urban Review, 43, 476-490. doi: 10.1007/s11256-011-0185-y. Legislative Analysis Office of California. (2009). Criminal justice and judiciary: How much it costs to incarcerate an inmate? Retrieved from http://www.lao. ca.gov/PolicyAreas/CJ/6_cj_inmatecost. Mauer, M. & King, R. S. (2007). A 25-Year quagmire: The war on drugs and its impact on American society. Retrieved from http://www.sentenc ingproject.org/doc/publications/dp_25yearquagmire.pdf. Meiners, E. R. (2011). Ending the school-to-prison pipeline: Building abolition futures. Urban Review, 43, 547-565. doi:10.1007/s11256-011-0187-9. Pyke, K. D. (2010). What is internalized racial oppression and why don’t we study it? acknowledging racism’s hidden injuries. Sociological Perspectives, 53(4), 551-572. dio: 10.1525/sop.2010.53.4.551. Rios, V. M. (2011). Punished: Policing the lives of Black and Latino boys. New York: New York University Press. Tappan, M. B. (2006). Reframing internalized oppression and internalized domination: From the psychological to the sociocultural. Teachers Col- lege Record, 108(10), 2115-2144. Retrieved from https://bb.uvm.edu/ webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fweb apps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse% 26id%3D_59243_1%26url%3D. Wildhagen, T. (2011). Testing the acting white hypothesis: A popular explana tion runs out of empirical steam. The Journal of Negro Education, 80(4), 445-463.


Arsenault • 21

Using Social Media for Effective Customer Service Patrick Arsenault  

Colleges and universities can no longer be characterized as education institutions only, as they are increasingly facing the same challenges as traditional businesses (Anctil, 2008). More specifically, students now want to be seen as customers and thus expect more value from institutions where they choose to matriculate (Halbesleben, Becker & Buckley, 2003; Woddall, Hiller & Resnick, 2012). Offering education as a commodity no longer suffices and institutions that want to remain competitive should engage with stakeholders to create meaningful experiences, which are part of the institutions’ offer (Pine & Gilmore, 1998). Many colleges and universities show increased interest in the potential of social media as way to engage with their stakeholders (Constantinides & Stagno, 2011). This article looks at what customers’ expectations on internet are and how higher education professionals can address them to offer effective customer service via social media.

Introduction Higher education is going through colossal changes in the United States and beyond. Institutions are now forced to “reframe themselves as both education and business institutions” (Anctil, 2008). Students are starting to display customerlike behaviors and are thus expecting more value from the institution where they choose to matriculate (Halbesleben, Becker & Buckley, 2003; Woddall, Hiller & Resnick, 2012). Many organizations in other fields are embracing customer-focused strategies not only to offer commodities, but also to push the limits of customer engagement in order to stage experiences (Pine & Gilmore, 1998). One of the ways du jour to create stronger connections throughout customers’ experiences is to leverage social media for customer service. “With the worldwide explosion of social media usage, businesses are feeling extreme pressure to engage where their customers are paying attention” (Heller Baird & Parasnis, 2011). Patrick works as a marketing coordinator at the Telfer School of Management (University of Ottawa). He obtained undergraduate degrees from Université Laval and Université de Poitiers. He graduated from a Master of Science in International Marketing with a specialization in Customer Management from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. His research interests are focused around internationalization of higher education and customer relationship management through new technologies, such as social media.


22 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 As social media is now ubiquitous (nearly three quarters of the population uses it) (Pew Research Center, 2013), it is becoming vital for institutions not only to be active on social media but also to build distinct customer service strategies, carefully adapted for this new media. In fact, many colleges and universities show increased interest in the potential of social media as a marketing tool, especially to help prospective students make better-informed decisions (Constantinides & Stagno, 2011). This article aims to provide meaningful insights that will enable higher education and student affairs professionals to effectively leverage social media to engage with students and other stakeholders by focusing on their expectations of (customer) service. Student Satisfaction through Online Customer Service Student affairs professionals can use social media to connect with students and other stakeholders in order to maximize perceived quality and satisfaction. Actually, customer service provided by organizations is known to have a direct impact on customer satisfaction in most industries (Lightner, 2004). In addition, customer satisfaction was proven to affect customer retention and business profitability (Meuter, Ostrom, Roundtree, & Bitner, 2000). As noted before, higher education institutions are starting to face challenges that are of concern to traditional businesses, such as dealing with higher expectations from students and needing to focus on student satisfaction to maximize retention and profitability. Hence, it is becoming more important for higher education professionals to manage interactions with students, like it is for their counterparts in traditional businesses (Athiyaman, 1997). However, this is also becoming an increasingly complex endeavor as these interactions now take place through a plethora of new media, including social media. Social media is inherently different from other online means of communications such as websites, emails and chat, which means it requires a different approach. Succinctly, social media interactions are public, restricted in length or content, and tend to be customer-led (Heller Baird & Parasnis, 2011; Nambisan & Nambisan, 2008; Shankar & Malthouse, 2009). Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988) thoroughly studied service perception and built an instrument, named the SERVQUAL, for the then-emerging brickand-mortar service industry. The SERVQUAL has since played a vital role in the creation of virtually any customer service policy. It revealed what factors could significantly influence the overall satisfaction of customers. These findings were subsequently combined in five dimensions: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy (Parasuraman et al., 1988). As a result, these five key dimensions are important to consider when creating service standards for any traditional organization.


Arsenault • 23 Arambewela and Hall (2006) worked with the SERVQUAL and empirically demonstrated that meeting students’ expectations in terms of service could significantly increase their level of satisfaction and experience. In recent years, many studies showed how the SERVQUAL could be adapted to the internet. Table 1 amalgamates online determinants (e-determinants) that were identified in previous studies. Implications for Student Affairs and Student Culture Higher education and student affairs professionals should use these e-determinants as a starting point to build successful customer service policies and strategies on their social media channels. Leading institutions have already implemented ingenious strategies based on these e-determinants. Below are some real examples of how institutions can adapt their practices on social media to make sure they meet known expectations of their students and other stakeholders. Table 1 The E-Service Determinants of Customer Satisfaction E-Service DetermiDefinitions nants of Customers’ Satisfaction Trust, reliability, secu- Customers’ willingness rity or safety to accept vulnerability in an online environment based on their positive expectations regarding future online behaviors.

Supporting Authors

Customer support or customer service

Field, Heim, and Sinha (2004) Rowley (2006) Santos (2003) Yang and Fang (2004)

The assumption that the organization will show empathy and provide appropriate support.

Field, Heim, and Sinha (2004) Kuo (2003) Lee and Lin (2005) Rowley (2006) Rust and Kannan (2003) Santos (2003) Surjadaja, Ghosh, and Antony (2003) Yang and Fang (2004) Zeithaml (2002)


24 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Responsiveness and usefulness

How often an organization voluntarily provides services that are important to its online customers.

Kuo (2003) Lee and Lin (2005) Loiacono, Watson, and Goodhue (2007) Meuter, Ostrom, Roundtree, and Bitner (2000) Rowley (2006) Surjadaja, Ghosh, and Antony (2003) Yang and Fang (2004) Zeithaml (2002)

Web design and content (information)

The appeal that user interface design presents to customers as well as the quality of the content available.

Dabholkar (1996) Field, Heim, and Sinha (2004) Kuo (2003) Lee & Lin (2005) Meuter, Ostrom, Roundtree, and Bitner (2000) Rowley (2006) Santos (2003) Surjadaja, Ghosh, and Antony (2003) Yang and Fang (2004) Zeithalm, Parasuraman, and Malhotra (2000)

Personalization

The ability to offer individualized services as an added value to the core offer.

Kuo (2003) Surjadaja, Ghosh, and Antony (2003) Rowley (2006) Rust and Kannan (2003) Walsh and Godfrey (2000)


Arsenault • 25 Accessibility, delivery and ease to use

The ability to easily access and use services.

Dabholkar (1996) Loiacono, Watson, and Goodhue (2007) Meuter, Ostrom, Roundtree, and Bitner (2000) Rowley (2006) Surjadaja, Ghosh, and Antony (2003) Yang and Fang (2004) Zeithaml (2002)

Self-service

The ability to offer information and services that can be used without additional help from the organization. Sharing information about other products or services based on the customers’ interests and developing a relationship that goes beyond the business transaction.

Meuter, Ostrom, Roundtree, and Bitner (2000) Rust and Kannan (2003)

Communication and advertising or complementary relationship

Entertainment

Loiacono, Watson, and Goodhue (2007) Rowley (2006) Santos (2003) Surjadaja, Ghosh, and Antony (2003) Zeithaml (2002)

Providing consumers Loiacono, Watson, and with entertainment con- Goodhue (2007) tent or opportunities.

Trust, Reliability, Security or Safety Online and offline posts on social media can encourage actions from readers. As a result, posts can persuade readers to visit a link or to complete an action not requiring internet access. When the institution provides a link, it induces risk, such as getting viruses or accessing unsafe websites. A way to increase the perceived safety is to avoid using shortened links that dissimulate the destination website (Mishra, 2009). When institutions encourage students and stakeholders, such as prospective students, to carry out actions, videos or other content can attest to the veracity of the post that can be used to maximize trust. For example, when the Telfer School of


26 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Management (2013) posts about information sessions for its graduate programs, it often adds pictures of previous sessions or of students using the facilities to give an idea of how the events take place. Customer Support or Customer Service In order to meet the expectations of social media users, student affairs professionals can create channels that are purely devoted to customer service, like the University of Ottawa (2013) did with their “uOttawa Direct” Twitter account. The University of Ottawa also displays superior empathy by using employees as the face of their various accounts and by apposing the initials of the employee writing the post at the end of each entry. These practices show commitment of the institution for customer support through social media and could be adopted by other institutions. Responsiveness and Usefulness Because social media channels enable institutions to offer customer service, it is paramount that they monitor their channels on a regular basis to ensure answers to important questions are delivered in a timely fashion. Institutions should have someone specifically in charge of monitoring social media, and let followers/ fans know how often the page is updated in the description and how soon they can expect to get a response. Athabasca University (2013) lists service standards in person, via the Web, email and over the phone for each of its departments, administrative units, and services. Unfortunately, it fails to indicate service standards for social media. Doing so would be a great way to promote social media responsiveness on campus. Higher education professionals can also look for comments that may have not been directed to them in particular, but that still need to be addressed. For instance, the University of Vermont should track all tweets including “#UVMProblems.” This would allow more effective use of social media and allow for better response rates. Web Design and Content (Information) Social media does not usually offer many opportunities to change the appearance of the pages viewed, as they are mostly standardized. The profile pages sometimes leave at least some flexibility, but most students will most likely not primarily visit these pages, as they may only look at the information on their news feed or through other curator software of devices. Nevertheless, many institutions, such as Queen’s University (2013), have put a lot of effort to design an appealing Twitter main page and University of Poiters (2013) uses different header pictures to promote timely events on their Facebook page.


Arsenault • 27 Institutions have the ability to choose the name of their accounts and to insert a short description about them. Brown University (2013) lists the hashtags it most commonly uses to indicate what some of the institution’s priorities are on its Twitter profile. It also provides useful information to users who are interested in joining conversations that matter most to the institution. Personalization In order to meet the expectations of social media users in terms of personalization, colleges and universities can create multiple accounts that are specifically targeted to different populations. This allows transmitting only the most relevant information to followers and fans of the institutions. Many schools, departments, or programs have their own channels where they can share posts from their parent institution if deemed appropriate. For example, Harvard has a Twitter account dedicated to its professional development programs (Harvard University, 2013). The Telfer School of Management (2013) created two Twitter accounts, one in French and one in English, as it is officially bilingual. This way, followers only see the tweets in the language of their choice. Accessibility, Delivery and Ease to Use Social media users are looking for content that is easily accessible. Consequently, it is crucial for institutions to list all their official social media accounts on one page to ensure students know where to look for appropriate information and understand which media to use to interact with the institution. The University of Ottawa (2013) has put together a comprehensive list of all accounts around campus. Using hashtags is also a good way to make information more accessible by organizing it in different topics. For instance, Ontarian universities used “#OUF2013” in September 2013 when they tweeted about the Ontario University Fair in Toronto (Ontario Universities’ Application Centre, 2013). This way their students and prospective students could easily follow the different conversations taking place around studying in Ontario on that day, even if they were not able to attend the event in person. Self-service Opportunities to offer self-service solutions through social media are limited by the standardized nature of social media platforms. However, institutions can promote links to web pages that enable self-service. For instance, the Twitter account for recruitment in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration program at the University of Vermont (2013a) provides direct links to the Graduate College application page.


28 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Université de Sherbrooke (2013) created sub-pages on its main Facebook page that provide information and steps about programs and admission. Most of the information is available without using the main university website and is very action-focused to facilitate users’ transactions with the institution. Communications and Advertising or Complementary Relationship In order to encourage complementary relationships, to communicate and advertise courses and opportunities, the University of Strathclyde Alumni Association (2013) created a Facebook page to keep in touch with alumni. Through this page, it promotes continuing education opportunities, news, alumni discounts, and alumni events around the world. They post pictures of “Barony,” the association’s mascot, with alumni in events and encourage interactions between alumni. Entertainment The University of Vermont (2013b) has an online page, (uvm.edu/bored) solely devoted to entertainment opportunities on campus. It also manages social media accounts to support its activities. Its Facebook page provides fans with information on things to do on campus and often posts pictures of interesting or activities in the university community. This practice meets students’ expectations in terms of having access to entertainment-related content or opportunities and it should be incorporated by other institutions. Conclusion In recent years, researchers have demonstrated that higher education should be treated as a traditional business in many regards, including its relationships with students, which are often portrayed as customers (Anctil, 2008). This article emphasized the growing similarities between postsecondary institutions and traditional organizations and explored common challenges in terms of customer engagement and the use of social media to provide adapted customer service. It was meant as a practice-oriented paper articulated around theory and concrete examples that can help student affairs professionals further develop effective strategies for using social media as a mean of customer service.


Arsenault • 29 References Anctil, E.J. (2008). Selling higher education: Marketing and advertising America’s colleges and universities. San Francisco, CA: Wiley Periodicals Inc. Arambewela, R., & Hall, J. (2006). A comparative analysis of international education satisfaction using SERVQUAL. Journal of Services Research, 6(July), 141-163. Athabasca University. (2013). Service standards for students. Retrieved from http:// www.athabascau.ca/students/servicestandards.php Athiyaman, A. (1997). Linking student satisfaction and service quality perceptions: The case of university education. European Journal of Marketing, 31(7), 528-540. Brown University. (2013). [Official Twitter page]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/BrownUniversity Constantinides, E., & Stagno, Z. (2011). Potential of the social media as instru- ments of higher education marketing: A segmentation study. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 21(1), 7-27. Dabholkar, P.A. (1996). Consumer evaluations of new technology-based self-service options: An investigation of alternative models of service quality. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 13(1), 29-51. École de gestion Telfer. (2013). [Official Twitter page]. Retrieved from https:// twitter.com/telfer_UdO Field, J.M., Heim, G.R., & Sinha, K.K. (2004). Managing quality in the e-service system: development and application of a process model, Production and Operations Management, 13(4), 291-306 Halbesleben, J.R.B., Becker, J.A.H., & Buckley, M. R. (2003). Considering the labor contributions of students: An alternative to the student-as customer metaphor. Journal of Education for Business, 78(5), 255-257. Harvard University. (2013). Harvard ContinuingEd [Official Twitter page]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/HarvardContEd Heller Baird, C., & Parasnis, G. (2011). From social media to social customer relationship management. Strategy & Leadership, 39(5), 30-37. Kuo, Y.F. (2003). A study on service quality of virtual community web sites. Total Quality Management, 14(4), 461-473. Lee, G-G., & Lin, F-F. (2005). Customer perceptions of e-service quality in online shopping. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 33 (2), 161-176. Lightner, N.J. (2004). Evaluating e-commerce with a focus on customer, Communications of the Association of Computing Machinery, 47(10), 88-92. Loiacono, E., Watson, R., & Goodhue, D. (2002). WebQualTM, a measure of web site quality. American Marketing Association, 13(Winter), 432-328.


30 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Meuter, M.L., Ostrom, A.L., Roundtree, R.I., & Bitner M.J. (2000). Self-service technologies: Understanding customer satisfaction with technology- based services encounters. The Journal of Marketing, 64(3), pp. 50-64. Mishra, S. (2009). How to check original url of a short url for security reasons [Expert’s blog]. Retrieved from http://www.clickonf5.org/3080/ check-original-url-short/ Nambisan, S., & Nambisan, P. (2008). How to profit from a better virtual customer environment. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3), 53. Ontario Universities’ Application Centre. (2013). Ontario universities’ fair: New website. Retrieved from http://guidance.ouac.on.ca/resource/ new-ouf-website/ Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A., & Berry, L.L. (1988). SERVQUAL: A multiple item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality. Journal of Retailing, 61(1), 12-40. Pew Research Center. (2013). Pew internet: Social networking [Highlights of the Pew Internet Project’s research related to social networking.]. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/March/ Pew-Internet-Social-Networking-full-detail.aspx. Pine II, B.J., & Gilmore, J. H. (1998). Welcome to the experience economy. Harvard Business Review, July-August 98, 97-105. Queen’s University. (2013). [Official Twitter page]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/queensu Rowley, J. (2006). An analysis of the e-service literature: Towards a research agenda. Internet Research, 16(3), 339-359. Rust, R.T., & Kannan, P. K. (2003). E-service: A new paradigm for business in the electronic environment. Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery. 46(6), 37-42. Santos, J. (2003). E-service quality: A model of virtual service quality dimensions. Managing Service Quality, 13(3), 233-46. Shankar, V., & Malthouse, E.C. (2009). A peek into the future of interactive marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 23(1), 1-3. Surjadaja, H., Ghosh, S., & Antony, F. (2003). Determinants and assessing the determinants of e-service operation. Managing Service Quality, 13(1), 39- 44. Telfer School of Management. (2013). [Official Twitter page]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/Telfer_uOttawa Université de Poitiers. (2013). [Official Twitter page]. Retrieved from https:// www.facebook.com/universitedepoitiers?fref=ts Université de Sherbrooke. (2013). [Official Facebook page]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/USherbrooke University of Ottawa. (2013). Social media at #uOttawa [Official social media hub]. Retrieved from http://www.uottawa.ca/social-media/home.html


Arsenault • 31 University of Ottawa. (2013). uOttawa direct [Official Twitter page]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/uOttawaDirect University of Strathclyde Alumni Association. (2013) [Official Facebook page]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/strathclydealumni?fref=ts University of Vermont. (2013a). HESA admissions [Official Twitter page for admissions in 2014]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/UVM HESA2014 University of Vemont. (2013b). uvm.edu/bored [Official Facebook page]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/uvmbored?fref=ts UVM Alumni Association. (2013). [Official Facebook page]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/UVMalumni?fref=ts Walsh, J. & Godfrey, S. (2000). The internet: A new era in customer service. European Management Journal, 18(1), 85-92. Woddall, T., Hiller, A., & Resnick. S. (2012). Making sense of higher education: Students as consumers and value the university experience. Studies in Higher Education, 20(1), 1-20. Yang, Z. & Fang, X. (2004). Online service quality dimensions and their relationships with satisfaction: A content analysis of customer reviews of securities brokerage services. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 15(3), 302-326. Zeithalm, V.A., Parasuraman, A., & Malhotra, A. (2000). A conceptual frame- work for understanding e-service quality: Implications for future research and managerial practice. Marketing Science Institute, Report No. 00-115, Cambridge, MA. Zeithaml, V.A. (2002). Service excellence in electronic channels. Managing Service Quality, 12(3), 135-139.


32 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35

At a Crossroad: The Intersection of Fraternity, Sexuality, and Masculinity Marco A. Blanco Within the college environment, gender roles serve a unique purpose when it comes to finding a partner, interactions with other students, and personal identity development. Masculinity and sexual orientation stand as two of among many of identities that college men hold. In this article I will review existing literature on masculinity and sexuality within the Latino culture. I will also address the implications and practices of membership within a Latino fraternal organization and how these two ideas intersect.

Introduction Fraternity membership is a way in which any male-identified student can access and begin to explore involvement in a collegiate organization, as well as explore different identities that they hold. From personal experience, I was encouraged to look for opportunities that existed outside fraternal membership. Institutions of higher learning foster critical thinking, discussions of different topics, as well as personal reflections on beliefs and identities. In knowing that Latino males are statically less likely than Latino females to attend college (Saenz and Ponjuan, 2009), a context is set to understand how Latino males in fraternities seek and create meaning from their fraternal experience and their involvement in a student organization. Vasti Torres provided a useful tool to understand identity development through the Model of Hispanic Identity Development (2003). While the model gives depth to how the environment and other factors influence identity, it is limited to the analysis of one identity. It does not address the complexity of student development for a gay Latino male, and furthermore, does not address the experience in the context of fraternity membership. Currently student services practitioners use Torres’ (2003) model as a blanket theory for identity development of all Latinos, which can create some confusion to those who use it as a foundational theory. Marco is the Fraternity & Sorority Life Coordinator at the University of Vermont and is a member of the 2014 HESA cohort. Having the experience of advising and working with fraternities and sororities at a extremely predominant white institution, and using his personal identities, he explores the intersections of student, sexuality, masculinity and racial identity development within the context of the fraternal collegiate experience.


Blanco • 33 Furthermore, the idea of intersecting identities has become an emerging topic in the field of higher education. The emergence of these ideas in the field gives space to focus on critical practices that professionals, such as fraternity and sorority advisors and directors of LGBTQA, centers should consider. This gap in Torres’ theory challenges us to reexamine gay male Latino identity development and identity intersections within fraternity membership in the collegiate experience. The article will review existing literature on machismo, particularly how machismo is defined through homophobic behavior in the Latino culture. Additionally, it will provide some concepts regarding fraternity membership and the role of community and brotherhood. The hope of the review is to provide an understanding of the challenges associated with being a gay Latino fraternity man and the depth of confusion that can exist. A Cultural Construct of Masculinity The difficult part of entertaining the idea of how all these identities intersect is the scarcity of research around the topic. Extended research shows that ideals of masculinity and homophobia continue to pose challenges for gay White men (Hesp & Brooks, 2009). Moreover, fraternity membership in White fraternities continues to show homophobic tendencies that exist in their practices. Hesp and Brooks (2009) found that, of the fraternities observed, there was a general acceptance of gay men. However, issues arose with being labeled as the “gay” fraternity. The study also identified several gay men who mentioned through personal reflection that they felt the need to be more masculine during their membership process. Hesp and Brooks mentioned, “some gay participants felt it was necessary to behave in a more masculine manner or not invite same-sex friends or partners to events” (p. 409, 2009). It is uncertain that this would be the same for Latino men and research suggests that masculinity is entrenched in the foundation of fraternity membership. While most boys are socialized to conceptualize manhood in a hypermasculine context, the Latino culture exacerbates this issue (Addis, Mansfield & Syzdek, 2010). Regarding issues of masculinity, research primarily addresses machismo as a means to understand Latino masculinity and primarily focuses on Mexican and Mexican-Americans (Arciniega, Anderson, Tovar-Blank, and Tracey, 2008). Arciniega et al. (2008) differentiates machismo into positive and negative attributes, which resulted in the idea of caballerismo. As a result, machismo in the context of their study and for the purposes of defining it in this article is characterized through “negative characteristics of sexism, chauvinism and hypermasculinity” (p. 19). Arciniega et al. (2008) later explained that the origins of machismo came from Mexican culture, but was not limited to address masculinity in Latino males as their study is bracketed between Mexican or Mexican-Americans and all other


34 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 ethnicities. It also holds positive attributes that they call caballerismo. They measure caballerismo through the measures of “masculine chivalry” (Arciniega et al., 2008, p. 20). These measures include education and awareness of their own cultural identity, which reflects on the way in which Latino men contribute positively to society and their personal relationships. Their goal was to tie family and chivalry to the idea of machismo and create two different scales: one reflecting machismo, and another reflecting callaberismo. They concluded that various factors had higher levels of caballerismo and machismo, including levels of education. Higher education led to an advanced level of caballerismo and a lower of the scale of machismo (Arciniega et al., 2008). Although they do not mention a direct correlation of how different factors lead to a higher measure of caballerismo, they recognized the importance of family and acceptance of others. This led them to identify themselves as having higher levels of caballarismo. Estrada, Rigali-Oiler, Arciniega & Tracey (2011) furthered the research to empirically use the scales as a way to address internalized homophobia and machismo expression. They found that “callaberismo could be positively associated with measures of ethnic identity, problem-solving skills, and life satisfaction, whereas traditional machismo has shown positive relations with measures for aggression, antisocial behavior, and alexithymia” (p. 363). This differentiation between machismo and cabellerismo is important in giving context to some of the issues surrounding joining a Latino fraternity as a gay man. Ideally a student would join a fraternity based on values associated with cabellerismo rather than the values associated with machismo. In an effort to connect to culturally based organizations, DeSantis and Coleman (2008) first examined gay membership and the stigma around gay men in historically Black Greek lettered organizations (BGLOs). In their research they defined masculinity similarly to traditional machismo, which emphasizes hypersexuality, manliness and aggression. The authors found that the mere mention of someone being gay would deny them membership. Religion, according to DeSantis and Coleman (2008), is one of the more defining reasons that gay men are not allowed entry to the organization. Study participants often emphasized the Bible as the guiding rule for not accepting gay men. BGLOs hold strong roots in religion, allowing those values and beliefs to guide policies and protocols regarding membership. Guardia and Evans (2008) mentioned, however, no specific religious connection to the origins of Latino fraternities. They explained, “Latino fraternities began in the late 1800s as secret societies whose members were elite and wealthy students from various Latin American countries attending prestigious colleges and universities in the United States” (Guardia & Evans, 2008, p. 165). This serves as a distinct difference between Latino and Black fraternities as their initial missions and visions have stemmed from different sources and served two different communities. As time passed, the visions and mission of both BGLO’s and Latino fraternities


Blanco • 35 began to emphasize themes of social and political awareness. The Cultural Definition of Community The links embedded between caballerismo and family, allow us to understand how community is weaved into the fraternal experience, specifically within Latino fraternities. Hesp and Brooks (2009) addressed that although gaining membership into a historically White fraternity as an “out” male can be difficult, “outing” yourself after gaining membership can lead to conversations surrounding sexuality and masculinity. When some members of their study discovered that a brother was gay, positive reactions seemed hopeful for the gay member, and believed that the comfort of being able to “out” themselves was a result of a “breakdown of each member’s façade of hyper-masculinity, a direct result of the absence of women” (p. 408). The researchers emphasized the fact that the gay participants “perceived that [their] brothers viewed him as just another chapter member who happened to be emotionally and sexually attracted to men” (p. 409). Although the implications are that brotherhood and friendship are important, it still does not recognize Latino men and how membership in a Latino fraternity encourages or discourages their process of coming “out” Hesp and Brooks (2009) used their research to explain how a hyper-masculine façade is a way of ensuring membership into a fraternity and foster male friendship. In hopes of understanding the development of Latino fraternity men, Guardia and Evans (2008) conducted research based on various Latino and Hispanic identity development models and focused on environmental influence, depicted by of Brofenbrenner’s (1995) bioecological theory of human development. Through their investigation they were able to identify that family, both biological and fraternal, heavily influenced Latino fraternity men. Fraternity or hermandad, as Guardia and Evans (2008) explained, “provides a family atmosphere on college and university campuses” (p. 173). Family is of importance within the context of cultural organizations and they “provide support as well as cultural education to individuals who are still defining the many aspects of their identity” (Castro as cited in Guardia and Evans, 2008, p. 173). Moreover, Guardia and Evans expressed that one participant in the study struggled to define his racial identity, and by joining a Latino fraternity grew to understand what being Latino meant to him. While there is research that emphasizes community and family as important components of membership, there is no research that explores the intersection of sexual identity and Latino fraternity membership. This allows for the continuing towards discussion and research to determine the accessibility and inclusion of gay men in Latino fraternities.


36 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Conclusion: Author’s Perspective Knowing that masculinity and creating community are two major parts of pursuing and maintaining fraternity membership, it is difficult to know where the future lies in understanding students who have these complex identities. From my own person experience I know the challenge of reconciling the male Latino identity that my parents understood with the one that I continue to redefine and reclaim as my own. My fraternity membership experience also served as a catalyst to explore other identities such as sexuality and masculinity. The support I received from my chapter members helped me engage in conversations about these identities. The conversations then led to explore my own sexuality and “unpack” critical identities that I never expected to internally examine. Nonetheless, it was still a gruesome process of creating and molding an identity that did not exist in my prescribed molds of identity. The conversation around this issue is just beginning as the future of the conversation lies in how to support students within higher education and advocate for them. Research is critical in keeping relevance and momentum in higher education. There is a research focusing on the White male narrative, but with looking at the other underrepresented groups, Latinos still hold a void in literature regarding the college student experience and their development. In writing this article I hope to inspire the advancement of more research dedicated to people of color. Examining this literature and gaining better perspective of Latino male issues might lead to a better understanding of other student development complexities that exist on a college environment.


Blanco • 37 References Addis, M. E., Mansfield, A. K., & Syzdek, M. R. (2010). Is “masculinity” a problem?: Framing the effects of gendered social learning in men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 11(2), 77. Arciniega, G. M., Anderson, T. C., Tovar-Blank, Z. G., & Tracey, T. J. (2008). Toward a fuller conception of Machismo: Development of a traditional Machismo and Caballerismo Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55(1), 19. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1995). Developmental ecology through space and time: A future perspective. In P. Moen & G. H. Elder, Jr. (Eds.), Examining lives in context: Perspectives on the ecology of human development (pp. 619- 647). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association DeSantis, A. D., & Coleman, M. (2008). Not on my line: Attitudes about homosexuality in black fraternities. Black Greek-Letter Organizations in the 21st Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun, 291-312. Estrada, F., Rigali-Oiler, M., Arciniega, G. M., & Tracey, T. J. (2011). Machismo and Mexican American men: An empirical understanding using a gay sample. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58(3), 358. Hesp, G. A., & Brooks, J. S. (2009). Heterosexism and homophobia on fraternity row: A case study of a college fraternity community. Journal of LGBT Youth, 6(4), 395-415. Guardia, J. R., & Evans, N. J. (2008). Factors influencing the ethnic identity development of Latino fraternity members at a Hispanic Serving Institution. Journal of College Student Development, 49(3), 163-181. Saenz, V. B., & Ponjuan, L. (2009). The vanishing Latino male in higher education. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 8(1), 54-89. Torres, V. (2003). Validation of a bicultural orientation model for Hispanic college students. Journal of College Student Development, 40(3), 285-298.


38 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35

Restorative Justice Programs in Higher Education  

Marlenee Lizeth Blas Pedreal Numerous university campuses have adopted the practice of restorative justice to address conduct, behavior, and conflict (Karp, 2013). Currently, restorative justice teachings and trainings implement programs that are committed to student learning and community development, but do not account for racial discourse. This article considers the concept of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of 1995, restorative justice (Davis, 2003), and community teachings (hooks, 2013). Through a principled examination of the links between the reproduction of whiteness, colorblind approaches, and praxis, this reflection considers race as to not reproduce racism, but more importantly, to engage in anti-racist, social justice work. Finally, this reflection brings a further understanding of facilitation, narrative, and context within a higher education setting.

It was the summer Residence Life training of 2012 and I was a first-year graduate student and an incoming higher education student affairs professional. During our training, I was introduced to the restorative justice (RJ) program at the University of Vermont.1 I sat at the corner of my seat, along with 100 new resident advisors, trying to understand how RJ served as a way to address conflict, bias incidents, and reintegration. As I learned of this innovative approach, I also heard worthwhile criticisms. After a two-day training, I noticed one of my resident advisors’ (RA) unease as she shook her head and raised her hand. She asked if a restorative conference would take place in a Black community and if restorative justice was a luxury that people of color could not afford. Staring at the facilitators, she began to boldly raise underpinning questions about the interconnections of RJ and racial dynamics. She put her hand down after making it clear that she was not opposed to the 1 With roots in restorative justice, a way of looking at criminal justice that emphasizes repairing the harm done to people and relationships, restorative practices has the broader goal of proactively developing community, managing conflict, building relationships and increasing social capital (IIRP, 2013). The University of Vermont uses restorative practices, however the literature in higher education and student affairs refers to restorative justice as an overarching term (Karp, 2013) and will be used in this article for consistency

Marlenee Blas is a Higher Education & Student Affairs graduate at the University of Vermont. She received her B.A in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interest raise questions around social justice in higher education.


Blas Pedreal • 39 overall mission of RJ programs but instead to the unequal access, in her experience, to a RJ procedure. Her questions marked a turning point in our discussion and challenged me to think about her interventions. The following year, as I began to wrap up my second training on RJ, a different student leader began to share her honest thoughts on RJ. At first she appeared hesitant, but finally in a shy voice she shared that she wished her community and people of color knew about RJ, because then they could address problems more effectively. Beyond my attempts to disentangle both claims with my students, I realized the overwhelming challenges we, student affairs professionals, face to provide a broad account of RJ. In fact, I would argue, we unconsciously secured a colorblind approach and presumed whiteness to be the norm (Bonilla-Silva, 2006; Sue, D.W., 2006). The questions raised by the students challenge us, student affairs professionals, to begin a principled examination of the links between the reproduction of whiteness, colorblind approaches, and praxis by considering race as to not reproduce racism, but more importantly, to engage in anti-racist, social justice work. The interventions made by two different Black women in a setting in which they were often singled out for being the only Black identified students, suggest an ongoing and overdue analysis of the racial dynamics embedded in RJ teachings. This reflection will shift the focus to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 1995 efforts, Davis’ (2003) work on restorative justice, and finally bell hooks’ (2013) community teachings. This added perspective will enhance our understanding of facilitation, narrative, and context as we move forward with RJ praxis. Expansion of Restorative Justice According to John Braithwaite (2004), RJ has adopted a process where “all the stakeholders affected by an injustice have an opportunity to discuss how they have been affected by the injustice” and “decide what should be done to repair the harm” (p. 28). Rebecca Webber (2009) argued that in RJ processes, “offenders must take responsibility for their actions and try to repair the harm they’ve done,” for example by, “apologizing, returning stolen money, or doing community service” (p. 1). Since the 1990s the United States Department of Justice has sponsored several conferences on RJ and began funding pilot programs (Olson & Dzur, 2004). In “Restorative Justice in the Twenty-First Century,” the authors claim that “restorative justice policies and programs are known today to be developing in nearly every state and range from small and quite marginal programs in many communities” (Umbreit, Vos, Coates, & Lightfoot, 2005, p. 263). Various systemic change initiatives are taking place in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania,


40 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin (as cited in Umbreit et al., 2005, p. 263). Growing rapidly, RJ trainings, programs, and conferences are at the center of various higher education settings (Karp, 2013). However, as the push for RJ programs in diverse education institutions increase, we should be mindful of the ways in which higher education and student affairs professionals might perpetuate whiteness by taking a colorblind approach in applying RJ. Much of the higher education teachings on RJ also termed as restorative practices in some institutions, embody pillars and core themes of RJ and as such focus on mediations, repairing harm, and positively influencing human behavior (IIRP, 2013). Others point to restorative justice as an alternative to the racial project embedded in criminal justice systems, prisons, and mass incarcerations (Alexander, 2010; Davis, 2003). The work of these scholars challenge us to pay close attention to race in the application of restorative justice. To further understand racial realities, “Critical Race Perspectives on Theory in Student Affairs” recommends student affairs professionals to pay attention to race as a means to disrupt white dominance and racism embedded in colorblind approaches (Patton, McEwen, Rendón, & Howard-Hamilton, 2007). As America’s colleges and universities struggle to increase and serve a growing, changing student body, a compelling and diverse account of restorative justice will be essential to prepare higher education and student affairs practitioners. Although higher education institutions have made progress in identifying ways in which campus programs can bridge diversity efforts, the essence of the dominant White narrative and colorblind approaches manifested, for example, in the experience of the two Black identified student leaders continues to be pervasive (Bonilla-Silva, 2006). Lessons from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission After Nelson Mandela came to power in 1995, he helped pioneer the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which Michael Gavshon argued to be one of the most compelling attempts to “heal the wounds of apartheid” (CBS Interactive, 2013). The TRC was set up to help deal with crimes and violence committed under apartheid in efforts to “establish the truth in relation to past events,” pursue national unity, reconciliation, and understanding (Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2003, p. 2). Through public hearings, victims were granted the opportunity to tell their stories and persons responsible for the commission of violations were expected to disclose facts and context of such violations (p. 4). Desmond Tutu, chairman of the TRC, explained how the commission understood justice: I contend that there is another kind of justice, restorative justice, which was characteristic of traditional African jurisprudence. Here the central concern


Blas Pedreal • 41 is not retribution or punishment but, in the spirit of ubuntu, the healing of breaches, the redressing of imbalances, the restoration of broken relationships. This kind of justice seeks to rehabilitate both the victim and the perpetrator, who should be given the opportunity to be reintegrated into the community he or she has injured by his or her offence. This is a far more personal approach, which sees the offence as something that has happened to people and whose consequence is a rupture in relationships. Thus we should claim that justice, restorative justice, is being served when efforts are being made to work for healing, for forgiveness and for reconciliation. (as cited by Gade, 2013, p.12) The ultimate point of the commission was not to provide a “fair trial”, repayment, or retribution but to challenge the public to begin a principled examination of the anti-racist aspects of society. They challenged colonial, racist, and punitive forms of justice through negotiations and conversations rooted in indigenous forms of justice. Looking at previous institutionalized programs, such as the TRC, we can begin to better recognize and narrate the historical account of unequal access to resources, contextualize the aftermath, and finally allow for honest dialogue about ways to prevent similar acts. Evidently, this was an example of an honest and maybe uncomfortable conversation. If my students were aware of the efforts of the TRC, or if I as a facilitator knew about the RJ and racial dynamics embedded in these efforts, then maybe the question about race would have been more seriously explored, discussed, and validated as important and current. The profound efforts of the TRC invite us to engage in a close analysis of community, restorative justice, and race. Lessons about Responsibility and Restorative Justice As a result of RJ efforts, various non-profit and higher education institutions have embraced RJ models to support youth, promote responsibility, and build community. For example, Fania Davis, founder of a nonprofit organization in Oakland, California, saw RJ as an innovative way to help make youth responsible citizens and to attempt to give young people in trouble with the law an alternative to incarceration (Davis, 2010). Through the program, Davis (2010) argues that “it-takes-a-village method of addressing rule breaking” and as a result all community parties should be involved. Similar efforts continue to be explored by prison abolition movements. Fania Davis’ sister, Angela Davis, an activist, educator, and intellectual, remains among the greatest supporters of punitive system abolition and proponent of RJ. Davis (2003) chose to bluntly title her book, Are Prisons Obsolete? When we consider our education system, Davis (2003) claimed that we cannot ignore the alarming expansion of punitive systems:


42 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 The population of U.S. prisons increase with such rapidity that many people in Black, Latino, and Native American communities now have a far greater chance of going to prison than of getting a decent education. When children attend schools that place greater value on discipline and security than on knowledge and intellectual development they are attending prep schools for prison. (p.39) The vigor of her analysis exposed the contradictions of both our understanding and assumptions of punitive systems. Davis (2003) depicted the disappointing barriers and limitations that youth of color face in the United States. With such odds, we must make some daring connections between RJ and communities of color, especially as we see an increase of use of RJ on college campuses “to respond to bias incidents as an approach to improve campus climate” (Karp, 2013, p. 51). As we consider how the principles of RJ draw from current social justice movements, it is also evidently important to link our theory to practice. Lessons on Community Facilitation Although there is a widespread assumption that we live in a post-racial society race remains heavily contested across various institutions (Bonilla-Silva, 2006), including higher education. Inevitably the facilitation is informed by our understanding and awareness of our own positionality as facilitators, account of narrative, and context. As a result, it is crucial that as higher education and student affairs professionals, we provide a more diverse analysis to our own training and reconfigure our programs to meet a more diverse student body. Facilitation As we begin to undertake the role of facilitators and educators we must consider bell hooks’ (2003) analysis of community. She claimed, “to build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that lead us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination” (p. 36). As we begin an RJ intervention and student conduct response, how do we assess our role and sanctions? Do we at any point recognize the presence of People of Color in a context where the privileged identity is White? (p. 37). During facilitations, it is important to recognize our biases, how we perpetuate racist stereotypes, and how we may play into securing a dominant narrative. Evidently, in RJ facilitations, an acute awareness of self-thinking and behavior are critical to the outcome. If we recognize how we learn and the content to which we are exposed to, we will recognize the methods we use to teach.


Blas Pedreal • 43 Narrative In my work at a predominantly White institution I have become aware of how we can portray and narrate students of color in RJ programs and other educational settings. Dynamics that can surface include: “guest” like treatment, offenders by default, and subordinated position (hooks, 2013). At a predominantly white institutions (PWI), where students of color presences are heightened, their voices and contributions can be seen as minimal. In Teaching Community, bell hooks (2003) claimed that: Often individual Black people/and or people of color are the only colored person present. In such settings, unenlightened White folks often behave toward us as though we are the guest and they are the host. (p. 33) Evidently in a PWI setting, this is often the experience of students of color; early on they are positioned as guests in residence halls, classes, and programs. Embedded in this dynamic we hinder the voices of students of color and automatically impose a charity model, allow for “permission,” and uphold a pervasive dominance of whiteness through implicit and “innocent” colorblind assumptions. As facilitators, it is important to break from the guest/host narrative of racial bias and expression of White-dominant thinking. For example, by addressing the question and interventions made by students like the ones I worked with, we can better engage in conversations that break from guest/host narrative, even if they are outnumbered by an overwhelming White group. Context As racial bias incidents continue to disrupt community and space, RJ practices are used to mediate and respond to such incidents. In these situations, dialogue is an important step to address oppressive behavior. In various scenarios, students of color can be portrayed as offenders. During response protocol to bias incidents, universities in California turned to RJ in hopes to facilitate and address racial campus climate (Karp, 2013, p. 51). While it is important to address racial climate and use RJ, it is equally as important to be aware of how students of color are portrayed in the incidents. In the example that bell hooks (2013) boldly exposes: Individual Black people/People of Color often describe moments where they challenge racist speech at meetings or in other formal settings only to witness a majority of folks rush to comfort the racist individual they have challenged, as though that person is the victim and the person who raised the question a persecutor. (p. 27)


44 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Rooted in a narrative that caters to whiteness, it is crucial to become aware of how we address conflict and how we may respond to interventions that challenge the norm. The context in these scenarios becomes evidently important, since students of color can automatically be portrayed as offenders, disruptors, or angry. Discussion Most recently, in The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities, Karp (2013) outlined principles of RJ to “encourage colleges and universities to seriously consider implementing restorative practices on their campuses” (p. 7). First, through a close account of RJ principles and practices, the author provided a broad account of RJ definitions and a review of programs across college settings. After an evaluation of various models of RJ conferences, circles, and boards, he described best practices to identify and repair harm. Following a close review of RJ models, practices, and limitations, Karp outlined a brief account of “multipartial facilitation techniques” to help bridge the concepts of restorative justice and social justice (p. 54). Despite an increased interest in social justice work, this review offered little account for the experience of students of color and diverse curriculum perspectives. Like any curriculum, special attention should be directed to the content of RJ training and facilitation. RJ is a practice embedded in many communities that represent various cultures and practices, and as such we should recognize and contextualize their work. Racial markers determine who we read, what information we accept, and how we legitimize authority (hooks, 2013). When we fail to include a diverse narrative, a broad range of examples, or omit students of color and their relation to RJ, we perpetuate and secure a White narrative through a colorblind approach and nonetheless we perpetuate a racist stereotype. The account of the two students of color, scholars, and partners urge us to unravel the links between the reproduction of Whiteness, colorblind approaches, and praxis to undertake the challenge that comes with social justice work. In reflection, we must continue to reconfigure our curriculum and facilitation to meet the needs of our students and to provide a more holistic, complex, and broad account of RJ.


Blas Pedreal โ€ข 45 References Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York: The New Press. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2006). Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America. United States: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. Braithwaite, J. (2004). Restorative justice and de-Professionalization. The Good Society, 13(1), 28-31. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/ stable/20711154 Davis, A. (2003) Are prisons obsolete? New York: Seven Stories Press. Davis, F. (2010) California convergence: Preventing violence in Oakland. Retrieved from http://www.californiaconvergence.org/blog/ preventing-violence-oakland-compassionate-justice-program-wins-tce- grant Gade, C. (2013).Restorative justice and the South African truth and reconciliation process. Retrieved from http://pure.au.dk/portal/ files/53264449/Restorative_Justice_and_the_South_African_Truth_ and_Reconciliation_Process.pdf Gavshon, M. (2013, December 5). How Mandela tried to heal the wounds of apartheid. CBS Interactive. Podcast retrieved from http://www. cbsnews.com/news/how-mandela-tried-to-heal-the-wounds-of-apart heid/ hooks, b. (2013). Teaching Community. New York: Routledge. International Institute for Restorative Practices. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.iirp.edu/ Karp, D. (2013). The little book of restorative justice for colleges and universities: Repairing harm and rebuilding trust in response to student misconduct. Philadelphia: Good Books. Olson,S and Dzur, A. (2004). Revisiting informal justice: Restorative justice and democratic professionalism. Law & Society Review, 38(1), 139-176. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/155511 Patton, L. D., McEwen, M., Rendรณn, L. and Howard-Hamilton, M. F. (2007), Critical race perspectives on theory in student affairs. New Directions for Student Services, 39-53. doi: 10.1002/ss.256 Sue, D. W. (2006). The Invisible whiteness of being: Whiteness, white Supremacy, white privilege, and racism. Abstract retrieved from American Psychological Association database. http://psycnet.apa.org/ psycinfo/2006-10123-002 Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (2003). Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995. Retrieved from http://www. justice.gov.za/legislation/acts/1995-034.pdf


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Umbreit, M. S., Vos, B., Coates, R. B., & Lightfoot, E. (2005). Restorative justice in the twenty-first century: A social movement full of opportunities and pitfalls, 89, 251. Webber, R. (2009). A new kind of criminal justice. Retrieved from http://www.parade.com/news/intelligence-report/archive/091025-a- new-kind-of-criminal-justice.html


Hammond • 47

Meeting Their Needs: Transitioning to College with an Autism Spectrum Disorder Lindsay Hammond It is important to understand the unique challenges that students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) face. In the medical sciences, there is a growing body of knowledge regarding an increase in diagnoses of ASDs, but this phenomenon also impacts those of us in education. Student affairs administrators need to examine what is working on campuses as well as what is missing from creating the most successful experience possible for this population. The author will review the definition of ASDs, housing options for students on the spectrum, current practices, the gaps in literature, and the roles of student affairs professionals and faculty relating to the success, retention, and transition of students with ASDs. Introduction In 2012, the rate of diagnoses for an ASD was as high as 1 in 88 children (ASD) (Center for Disease Control, 2012). While these young children are not the students currently living and studying on our campuses, it demonstrates the prevalence of these intricate and highly stigmatized diagnoses. The increase in the number of student diagnosed with ASDs can be linked to the growing body of knowledge regarding the autism spectrum. These students are attending post-secondary institutions with varying levels of social and academic differences (Adreon & Durocher, 2007; Center for Disease Control, 2012). Students on the spectrum, however, may have unique difficulties in accessing support services. The most noticeable differences between those with ASDs and those without fall under the following categories: difficulty with social skills and communication (Adreon & Durocher, 2007), difficulty with detail-focused processing (Happe & Frith, 2006), and difficulty with adaptation to change in daily routines. Along with these differences and difficulties, there are common transitional issues that many students face. These often manifest as difficulties with classes, studying, time management, and organization. Adding these common transitional challenges that all students face to the new experiences of navigating disability services and acLindsay is a residence hall office manager and communications graduate assistant for the department of Residential Life at the University of Vermont. With her lived-experience as a first-generation college student and as the younger sister to a sibling with Autism, Lindsay is interested in post-secondary student support services and transitional guidance for all.


48 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 commodations may create stressful obstacles for students with ASDs to overcome. University Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Once students leave secondary education and move into higher education, whether at a community college or a four-year institution, students with special needs and ASDs do not automatically receive the same services and accommodations upon matriculation (Adreon & Durocher, 2007). They must file their disability with the appropriate office and at times might need to “prove” their need for support. Shaw et al. (2010) linked much of the issues surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance to a loose interpretation of ADA statutes. This led schools to begin using the law to verify or reject a student’s claim of a disability instead of using the law to ensure that the student did not face discrimination during the application or admission process (Shaw et al., 2010). This inspired the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), a broader interpretation of the ADA (Shaw et al., 2010). Because of ADAAA, student services personnel are no longer solely focusing on verifying whether or not a student has a disability. They are now working to determine functional impact of the disability. There are countless websites that describe student rights and responsibilities in terms of disability support. Associated online forums showed a common concern for—and lack of knowledge surrounding—exactly what post-secondary institutions are supposed to do for students with documented disabilities (Office for Civil Rights, 2011). Once these questions are sorted out, however, the problems of accessing resources on campus and succeeding while in school arise. The need for legal statutes and legislation protecting students with disabilities in higher education is apparent when looking at the growth of this population. The number of students who self-reported disabilities rose from 3% to 9% between 1978 and 1998 (Hall & Belch, 2000). The increase is striking considering that many of these students may be facing an abrupt transition from receiving government-mandated support to needing to advocate for themselves in a new environment. Arky (2012b), in an article about a college student on the autism spectrum, reminds us, Add to the challenges of independence the withdrawal of the educational supports and services some of these kids have been receiving since they were as young as 2 years old; those supports vanish when they age out of children’s services. They do not grow out of their autism, and they may very likely have other, accompanying problems, including anxiety and ADHD, that may make things that much harder. (para. 8) Arky (2012a) adds that because the resources are no longer mandated, it puts added stress on a young adult with an ASD to come out and mark themself as different. Once an individual does choose to self-identify as needing additional


Hammond • 49 resources or accommodations, it is almost completely up to the student to seek out each of the various offices, directors, counselors, and professors to discuss what might work best. Further, “The report from the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) says that: at the postsecondary level, there is a lack of uniformity in determining whether an individual is eligible as a person with a disability and in identifying needed supplemental services and accommodations for access” (Vickers, 2010, p. 8). This difficulty in identifying services is also caused by “the absence of a common approach to students with Asperger’s [which] has led to widely differing interpretations of what constitutes ‘reasonable accommodations’ for them on campuses, as required by federal law” (Farrell, 2004). This demands an examination of the processes that our universities are using. Despite a legislative right to reasonable accommodations, students still struggle to access, understand, and interpret the services available to them. What Are Schools Doing? Most schools offer resources for students with varying learning differences or needs, but others go beyond the typical services offered. “The common experience reported in interviews is that once autism-spectrum students learn to navigate the things that most people take for granted, the better the college experience” (Jones, 2012). Some of these institutions offer specialized programming to students with learning disabilities, including those with Asperger syndrome and others along the Autism Spectrum, which support the successful navigation of life in college. Most of the schools offering specialized programming focus on mentorship and supporting academic and behavioral skills. A few programs focus on the transition to college with attention to the acquisition of independent living skills. Mercyhurst University’s website notes that fewer than twenty colleges offer structured services to help students with ASDs (“Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst,” 2012), but almost all of these programs charge additional fees of up to thousands of dollars per semester (“Programs for Students with Asperger Syndrome,” 2012). Taft College offers one of the more unique programs, providing a two-year residential living experience called “Transition to Independent Living” (“TIL,” 2011). This residential program is located within a residence hall designed specifically to fit the unique needs of students with Asperger syndrome and other ASDs. The program is designed for students to learn effective decision-making skills in a college environment and to learn how to take care of their own needs. Typically, students with ASDs who initially live on-campus often relocate to live in close proximity to strong support networks such as family, but the students that graduate from this program often have the skills necessary to live on their own and independently from their families.


50 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Mercyhurst University also hosts a strong program called the Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM), which is designed for students who, while exhibiting superior intellectual ability, face challenges in executive functioning and social interactions… our students participate with faculty and staff in an advisory board to identify what students with ASD require to succeed on this campus. (“Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst,” 2012, para. 2,3,5) This unique advisory board calls for faculty, staff, and students to work together to create the most effective and successful environment. Thus, responsibility for student success does not just fall onto the lap of student affairs professionals, but also onto the lap of faculty as well. Landmark College in Vermont models exemplary resources and implementation strategies because of their unique service they provide to students with learning disabilities. The admissions office markets the school as “The College of Choice for Students Who Learn Differently” (“Landmark Channel,” 2012). In a web video on Landmark College’s website, the students and faculty agree that “there is no one-size fits all” approach and “everything that they can do to help you succeed, they do” (“Landmark Channel,” 2012). This is a school that prides itself on innovative and integrated approaches for students with learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit (and Hyperactive) Disorders, Dyslexia, and ASDs. The Literature Gap In the mid-1990s, Morgan (1996) noted that there was a large research focus on children with ASDs and a markedly smaller focus on adults and college-age students on the spectrum. Adreon and Durocher (2007) added that although there has been more research on college-age students with ASDs, there still exists a literature gap regarding their transition from high school to college. Harpur, Lawlor, and Fitzgerald (2004) focus the first twenty pages of their book, Suceeding in College with Asperger Syndrome, on the topic of preparing for college. The transitional needs of these students are threaded throughout the book in sections such as “You’re on your own now” and “To see or not to see the support office” (Harpur et al., 2004). These chapters reference the many commonalities students with learning disabilities share with other marginalized students and the similar challenges that they might face when first entering college. The unique struggles for a student on the autism spectrum, however, encompass a wide range of transitional challenges. These often include setting a routine or plan for each day, (Arky, 2012b), explaining to others the characteristics and challenges associated with ASDs (Willey, 1999), as well as the heightened need for self-advocacy and the “risk of social isolation due to difficulty forming relationships” (Adreon & Durocher, 2007).


Hammond • 51 In Adreon and Durocher’s (2007) work, they addressed the topic of “Adjusting to the Transition” (p. 277), but, like many others, noted problems that all students face: acclimating to campus and being away from home. Research omits how universities can best prepare a residence hall, its residents and staff, academic advisors, staff members, and all faculty to promote success for students with ASDs. Many pamphlets on study habits for students with ASDs do not differ much from suggested study habits for other college students (“Understanding and Identifying Autism,” 2004). Other books meant to be used as guides for parents or students often work under the pretense that the student will be actively seeking out guidance when needed, or that the resources on the chosen campus are helpful or accommodating (Harpur et al., 2004; Palmer, 2006; Willey, 1999). Another problem, still unresolved, is battling the stigma surrounding students with invisible disabilities. A conversation with the mother of a student with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) shed light on the student’s embarrassment of asking for “extra help” while seeking services (personal communication, November 10, 2012). The sensitive nature of this student is not an anomaly. This stigma is largely ignored when discussing how students with ASDs can access these resources and services. Much information comes from observations and researcher points-of-view, with little information coming directly from students with ASDs. Some books are written or co-written by students with an ASD, but they do not seem to focus much on the primary struggle of talking about one’s learning differences and diagnosis of having an ASD. While there is significant research on the presence of stigma surrounding disabilities, the theory-to-practice component to destigmatize them is still largely missing. Thus, we arrive at the problem of how to encourage students with ASDs to utilize resources without marginalizing them. This stigma is a detriment to the possible success and future engagement of students with visible and invisible disabilities. What is the Role of the Student Affairs Staff ? Among many of the challenges that college students with ASDs face, they “are likely to be quite socially isolated and may experience considerable loneliness” (White, Ollendick, & Bray, 2011). Although many programs and services fight to combat these social issues, student affairs staff members often are tasked with preventing this isolation. Palmer (2006) writes at length addressing the issue of self-disclosure of one’s disability and the isolation and feelings that might follow. The body of literature on this subject lead to the conclusion that universities need a proactive, not a reactive, call to student affairs staff to consider the unique situations of these students.


52 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Social justice advocates recognize that students with ASDs fall under the same category as other students from commonly marginalized groups, but face the unique problem of being invisible unless they choose to self-advocate or “out” themselves. Student affairs professionals can act as social justice advocates for students with ASDs and other learning disabilities. This will enable them to bring into the public eye the unique barriers that these students face and will urge faculty to work more directly with staff and students. Mercyhurst University, as mentioned before, has had a successful program for over 30 years because of their adoption of the student, faculty, and staff advisory group to help students with ASDs (“Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst,” 2012). Student affairs professionals should prepare themselves as best as possible to be advocates for the needs of students with visible and invisible disabilities just as social justice advocates have supported the needs of underrepresented ethnicities, races, and other marginalized identities in higher education. Colleges have been diversifying their campuses and opening their admissions to these underserved groups, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that these students receive the best possible chance for success, education in classes, and experience while in college. Conclusion Fortunately more work is being done in this field. The State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has recently published educational literature for students with disabilities that focuses on the transition to life after secondary education. This includes pamphlets on self-determination skills, employment, adult services, and, more pertinent to the field of student affairs, a handbook for Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training (Kallio & Owens, 2012). As more of these guidebooks are published, scholars and student affairs professionals can better share, examine, and find the best practices. By following the lead of such institutions as Taft College, Mercyhurst University, and Landmark College, other schools can employ successful intervention and prevention strategies to create an environment conducive to the success, retention, and engagement of students with ASDs and other learning disabilities. Working with a student with learning differences may pose many challenges to student affairs professionals. However, with the services and systems to which these professionals have access, they are in a unique position to impact change. This change starts with bridging the gap for these students, linking the academic world with appropriate and accessible support.


Hammond • 53 References Adreon, D., & Durocher, J. S. (2007). Evaluating the college transition needs of individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Intervention in School and Clinic, 42(5), 271-279. Arky, B. (2012a). Aging out: When kids with autism grow up. Retrieved from http://www.child mind.org/en/posts/articles/2012-4-2-aging-out- when-kids-autism-grow-up-lose-services Arky, B. (2012b). Going to college with autism: Aging out of supports, kids on the spectrum struggle. Retrieved from http://www.child mind.org/ en/posts/articles/2012-4-30-going-college-autism Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. mercyhurst.edu/campus-life/learning%20differences%20program/ asperger%20initiative Center for Disease Control. (2012, March 29). Autism spectrum disorders. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/NCBDDD/autism/facts.html Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/fact sheets/504.pdf Farrell, E. F. (2004). Asperger’s confounds colleges. Chronicle of Higher Education, 51(7), 35-36. Glennon, T. J. (2001). The stress of the university experience for students with Asperger syndrome. Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 17(3), 183-190. Hall, L. M., & Belch, H. A. (2000). Setting the context: Reconsidering the principles of full participation and meaningful access for students with disabilities. New Directions for Student Services, (91), 5-17. Happé, F., & Frith, U. (2006). The weak coherence account: Detail-focused cognitive style in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(1), 5-25. Harpur, J., Lawlor, M., & Fitzgerald, M. (2004). Succeeding in college with Asperger syndrome. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Jones, J. (2012, March 15). Autism in Academia. Retrieved from http://www. oakland.edu/upload/docs/SEHS/Marketing/News/CHE%20Di verse%20Issues%20in%20Higher%20Education.pdf Kallio, A., & Owens, L. (2012). Opening doors to postsecondary education and training: Planning for life after high school. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Landmark.edu. (2012, May 15). Learn differently: Take a peek inside Landmark College with Scout and Gordon. [Video file]. Retrieved from http:// www.landmark.edu/ Morgan, H. (1996). Adults with autism: A guide to theory and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


54 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Office for Civil Rights. (2011). Students with disabilities preparing for post secondary education: Know your rights and responsibilities. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/ list/ocr/transition.html Palmer, Ann. (2006). Realizing the college dream with autism or Asperger syndrome. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Pigza, J. (1995). Learning disabled students in higher education: Hidden disabilities and visible challenge. The Vermont Connection, 16. Retrieved from http://www.uvm.edu/ ~vtconn/v16/pigza.html Programs for students with Asperger syndrome. (2012). Retrieved from http:// collegeautism spectrum.com/collegeprograms.html Shaw, S. F., Keenan, W. R., Madaus, J. W., & Banerjee, M. (2010). Disability documentation, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, and the summary of performance: How are they linked? Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 22(3), 142-150. Transition to independent living program. (2011, April 5). Taft College website. Retrieved from http://www.taftcollege.edu/tcwp/til/ Understanding and identifying autism. (2004). In Learning Centre: Unique News. Retrieved from http://webdev.confederationc.on.ca/learningcentre/ documents/unique_news/ UNWinter2004.pdf Vickers, M. Z. (2010, March). Accommodating college students with learning disabilities: ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia. Retrieved from http://www. popecenter.org/acrobat/vickers-mar2010.pdf White, S. W., Ollendick, T. H., & Bray, B. C. (2011). College students on the autism spectrum. Autism, 15(6), 683-701. Willey, L. H. (1999). Pretending to be normal: Living with Asperger syndrome. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


Huelskamp • 55

On Creating and Framing Cissexual Advocacy with the Trans* Community in Higher Education Benjamin Z. Huelskamp Utilizing scholarly personal narrative (SPN) and the author’s experiences as a cissexual aspiring ally to the trans* community, this essay discusses cissexual advocacy with the trans* community. In order to frame this advocacy a theoretical framework is proposed for cissexuals. I have never doubted that I am a man born in a gendered body and thus have been treated as a man my entire life. The congruency between my perceived sex and my gender identity has always been solidly aligned. I was taught the expectations of the male gender in my society and was socialized to perform that gender in ways that eventually felt natural. I have also been gendered by others each day of my life in ways that had aligned with my identity. Because of the congruency I experienced, I was and still am accorded significant privilege as a cissexual man. As I explored my identity as a gay man and my membership in the queer community, I came into contact with the trans* community. While I aspire to be an ally I continue to educate myself about the trans* community. This led me to wonder how I could appropriately engage with trans* people while also acknowledging the privileges inherent in my identity. Freire (1993) stated that “The convert who approaches the people…and attempts to impose his [sic] ‘status,’ remains nostalgic towards his [sic] origins” (p. 61). Freire’s convert is any person who attempts to lay aside their own privilege in order to join in the mission of liberation for an oppressed group. In other words, attempting to impose a “status” of the dominant group on the non-dominant group is not a step in the liberation of that group. One of my first attempts—and not a particularly successful attempt at that—at self education around the trans* community was reading the book Stone Butch Blues (Feinberg, 1993). Set just before the Stonewall Riots in 1969, I clearly recall the part of the story surrounding Jess’s arrest, the protagonist who self-identifies as butch. I remember reading a section of the book where she is arrested and taken to a police station. There she is mocked and brutalized at the hands of the officers who ridicule her performance of the “opposite” sex. The first time I read the book I thought to myself: “Why doesn’t she just conform and be relatively safe?” For Benjamin Z. Huelskamp is a community director at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate of the HESA program at the University of Vermont. Utilizing feminist and contemplative approaches, his work explores and negotiates the intersections of identities as a means to dismantle systems of privilege and oppression.


56 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 me, conformity to gender-based expectations was mostly a simple process. I did not have the knowledge or experience to process the dissonance I was experiencing. This dissonance was important because it was the first challenge I experienced to what Serano (2007) called the “cissexual assumption” or the “common, albeit mistaken, assumption that the way they experience their physical and subconscious sexes…applies to everyone else in the world” (pp. 164-165). Reading the same passages now, I am struck by the courage Jess shows in standing up to physical oppression to be honest to the truth and narrative she holds. As I deepened my knowledge and experience with the trans* community, I experienced the challenge of understanding that not just people like me perpetrated oppression, but I was a direct party to that oppression. With this epiphany came a deep desire to be an ally for the trans* community. However, there is no clear blueprint, guideline, or framework—at least not that I know of—which speaks to cissexual ally-ship with the trans* community. Speaking to cissexuals in academia, Serano (2007), who identifies as a member of the trans* community, addressed the problems inherent in how the trans* community is often portrayed and about how the community is spoken. There are relatively few cissexuals who have addressed cissexual privilege and the work cissexuals need to do both individually and collectively. Cissexual privilege, like all forms of privilege, is often invisible to the dominant group—in this case cissexuals—and while it certainly rewards us daily, cissexuals could go through life without ever being aware of the privilege. To follow McIntosh (1988) in recognizing dominant group privilege: this morning I got up and went to the bus stop. Another rider greeted me with “Good morning, sir,” and I said the same in return. The two of us immediately assumed that the other identified as male based entirely on cultural cues. The bus driver greeted me the same way. Though I would like to think I was passively observing gender, “…in reality we are constantly and actively projecting our ideas and assumptions about maleness and femaleness onto every person we meet” (Serano, 2007, p. 163). When I arrived at the mall I saw advertisements and signs that portrayed individuals who had very similar presentations of my gender. I entered a store that had “men’s wear” on the logo and was shown around without being asked if I was in the right place or if I was buying a gift. When I needed to use the restroom no one accosted me or denied me entrance to the bathroom marked “men.” I did not fear for my safety in using that facility. When I was asked to fill out a comment card at one store there was an option for my gender. The entire time I was out, no one asked me for my “real” name, distrusted my gender identity when I presented identification to buy a bottle of wine, or asked me to explain how, when, or why I had surgery to “obtain” my gender identity.


Huelskamp • 57 I use these examples of unnoticed gender-based experiences to demonstrate the unearned privilege I am accorded as a cissexual. Although this essay does not directly address language, language is very important and has the power to both assist liberation and to oppress. I am choosing to use “trans*” as an umbrella term for the multiple identities expressed in the trans* community which cannot be captured in other available terms. My word choice follows similar terminology in Serano (2007). I personally identify as a cissexual and use this term to define the fact that my biological sex is congruent with my self-perceived gender. That said, I also acknowledge that the terms “cissexual” and the similar though separate “cisgender” present problems for some members of the trans* community who view the use of “cis,” “cisgender,” and “cissexual” as a means of further stigmatizing the experiences of trans* people (Enke, 2012). In order to better frame this work I would like to propose a theoretical developmental model for this advocacy. It seems natural to position the first step in the development of cissexual advocacy at the place of awareness. Though the majority of development theories and models begin with a “pre-phase,” in my experience, when a person recognizes a need for advocacy they have already moved beyond the preparatory portion of their journey. A cissexual who has reached awareness may have had any number of experiences previously, ranging from a personal epiphany to having a first interaction with a member of the trans* community. This stage is characterized by questions and the need for thorough self-reflection and beginning education. A person in this stage should be advised against trying to advocate for anyone because they run a high risk of doing unintentional harm to the people they are trying to help. Many people in the awareness stage think of the trans* community monolithically based on however few experiences they have had with the community. A person begins to move out of the awareness stage when they perceive the need for intensive study and purposeful experiences with the trans* community: reading books by trans* authors which directly address the trans* community, attending conferences, pursuing other educational opportunities, volunteering with trans-conscious organizations, or engaging in other activities. This is the developing stage and, like the awareness stage, a person in the developing stage needs to be mindful when actively engaging with trans* spaces and trans* folks so as not to do unintentional harm. Unlike the awareness stage, a person in the developing stage is actively seeking out new ways to learn and be involved. Indeed the process of finding appropriate activities for involvement is a learning activity in itself. In this stage a person, through experiences with the trans* community, first encounters resistance to their identities, whether from trans* people distrustful of cissexual involvement or from those people seeking to help develop cissexual allies. In this stage a person begins to learn the dynamics of perceiving gender versus being perceived to be of one or another gender.


58 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 When a person begins to be accepted as an ally by trans* folks and delves deeper into their knowledge and action they also begin to enter the assumed allyship stage. This stage is very important because it has a singular lesson which must be learned. Therefore it is the longest stage of this model and one that can involve the most movement back to earlier stages. An assumed ally is a person who has unilaterally assumed the title of ally—or just assumes they are an ally—without ever having been designated an ally by a person or group of people. Assumed allies often struggle deeply when their status as an ally is called into question. Any member of a privileged group knows that it is easy to set up oneself as an ally, perhaps find an ally-based training, and call yourself an ally to every member of a particular non-dominant group. The trouble with this assumption is that every member of a non-dominant group also knows the great harm assumed allies can do to individuals and even communities. The lesson in this stage is that an ally is someone who is called an ally by a person or group and having been designated an ally by that person or group is only an ally for that person or group. Just because one of my friends who identifies as a queer woman of color calls me an ally does not mean I am ally for all women, for all people of color, or for all queer people—even though I identify as queer myself. I aspire to be an ally, but aspiring to be an ally makes me nothing more than an aspiring ally. Simply put: “ally” is not a title you assign to yourself. This perhaps is the point at which I should pause and clarify something about this model: I am not arguing that each stage is a concrete step. Rather, the model is fluid and is driven by the individual and their unique identities and circumstances. It is also very possible, even probable, that a person will move back and forth between stages quite frequently. As I write this article I would like to think I am at the aspiring ally stage (see below), but I also quite often find myself at the developing phase and also all too frequently at the assumed ally stage. These stages and our place within them largely depend on the circumstances of our interactions with others and the environment in which we exist at each moment. That being said, my hope is to give structure, however fluid or abstract, to the continued growth of cissexuals who have begun to reach out to the trans* community. Therefore, an aspiring ally, the last stage in this model, is a person who seeks to continue developing their knowledge, skills, and experiences around the trans* community, but who also recognizes that in order to be an ally they must be designated as an ally by a person or group. So being an aspiring ally is not a termination stage, but rather a continual journey which requires the individual to actively engage in new experiences, education, and reflection in order to continue to grow as an ally. A person who reaches this stage and then decides to stop actively engaging with their own development easily returns to previous stages. The aspiring ally stage is in many ways the beginning of a journey rather than end of a path of


Huelskamp • 59 development. A challenging element of this stage is working through the continual or potential feelings of guilt around the entitlement of our gender. One of my students came out to me as transgender and in working with him I realized that I was silently questioning to what point he could understand being a man given that he had been raised as a woman. This limiting of a person based on gendered lessons and socialization is a myth and is a key element of cissexual privilege. Serano (2007) said “In other words, cissexuals view their gender entitlement as a birthright” (p. 168). Aspiring allies also learn that while self-identification is an important part of a trans* person’s identity development, identifying others is also important. Abes and Kasch (2007) introduced queer theory into earlier work with the trans* community (Abes and Jones, 2004) in order to further analyze the experiences of one of the participants named in both studies as “KT” who identified as transgender. One of several conclusions Abes and Kasch (2007) drew was that “Aspects of KT’s queer narrative are about the viewer, not the viewed. It is the viewer’s perception of KT’s identities that constructs distinctions and unities among KT’s dimensions of identity” (p. 633). This statement situates much of the understanding of a trans* person’s identity not on the trans* person, but rather on the external viewer of that person. This view is supported by experience, for example, around bathroom use. A trans* person who identifies as a woman, but is perceived as a man will potentially have more difficulty accessing a female bathroom than a cissexual woman. That fact has little to do with the actual way the trans* person identifies, but rather with the way they are viewed. This lesson carries a two-fold weight for a cissexual aspiring ally: my conclusions about another person’s gender have power and the way in which every person experiences gender is dictated by the gendered conclusions of others. Aspiring allies have a responsibility to engage in reflection as well as continual engagement. For that reason I envision the aspiring ally stage as comprised of four sub-stages, each which drives the overall stage through the course of reflection. I borrow the idea for these sub-stages, though not their names, from Nash and Viray (2013). The first sub-stage is a challenge idea, in which the aspiring ally faces an unplanned or difficult situation and must work through its implications. For example, an aspiring ally who has never been an ally for a trans* person in their immediate family or close circle of friends. The next sub-stage is simply sitting with this challenge. Once the edge of the discomfort has dulled, the cissexual moves to the third sub-stage which is full reflection on the challenge and what it means to them and to the trans* person or group of trans* people. Narrative writing, counseling, and other externally reflective means may be useful to consider the situation without projecting the challenge on others, particularly on trans* people. If the aspiring ally is able to move through reflection they reach resolution. Resolution, as the fourth sub-stage, should be understood in this context not as a resolution of all questions or challenges, but rather as a state of being


60 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 that “holds of the promise of inner transformation” (Nash & Viray, 2013, p. 72). The transformation is what moves the cissexual aspiring ally forward to greater awareness of what it means to truly be an ally. While I do not believe it is possible for cissexuals to ever fully resolve our privilege because we can never truly understand a noncongruency between our internal and external gender and sex identities. In not understanding this reality we also lack the capacity to truly grasp how gender can be internally identified and not always performed. However, as cissexuals become allies with the trans* community the inability to understand creates significant feelings of guilt which is simultaneously unsettling and necessary to their further growth and development. By sitting with these feelings and reflecting on their power, cissexuals can move forward to supporting the trans* folk they encounter. No one cissexual can ever be an ally of all trans* people, but one cissexual can show other cissexuals the way. This is perhaps the goal of being an aspiring ally: help those who identify like us along the way.  


Huelskamp • 61 References Abes, E. S. & Kasch, D. (2007). Using queer theory to explore lesbian college students’ multiple dimensions of identity. Journal of College Student Development, 48(6), pp. 619-636. Abes, E. S., & Jones, S. R. (2004). Meaning-making capacity and the dynamics of lesbian college students’ multiple dimensions of identity. Journal of College Student Development, 45, pp. 612-632. Enke, A. (2012). Transfeminist perspectives in and beyond transgender and gender studies. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Feinberg, L. (1993). Stone butch blues. Old Chelsea Station, NY: Alyson Books. Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. McIntosh, P. (1988). White privilege and male privilege: A personal account of coming to see consequences through work in women’s studies. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley Centers for Women Nash, R. J. & Viray, S. (2013). Our stories matter: Liberating the voices of marginalized students through scholarly personal narrative writing. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Serano, J. (2007). Whipping girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.


62 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35

Ready for Anything Edward Keagle Graduates of student affairs programs do not all sustain careers in college student personnel. Is that a failure of the programs? What is it about the student personnel point of view that allows many of us to find success in alternative careers? We owe a lot to the lessons learned in higher education administration. The author began his professional career in student affairs before realizing a long-deferred childhood interest to become an architect. Thirty years later, he continues to draw on training from his first career. Perhaps a M.Ed. degree in college student affairs, along with working experience in the field, can prepare people with the organizational, individual and group skills needed to thrive in many arenas outside of the academy. Scan the alumni roster from the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) and Student Personnel Services (SPS) programs from the past 40 years, and you will be struck by the number of graduates now in alternate careers – attorneys, personnel managers, along with the majority of expected job titles. Clearly the profession offers a solid foundation for a variety of pursuits. It also broadens the reach of the profession to have expatriates in other fields. I came to the University of Vermont (UVM) directly from college in 1973. A recession narrowed job opportunities in my professional field of television, and that, along with some personal ambivalence about commercial broadcasting, propelled me in a new vocational direction. Trusted mentors suggested that a more interesting future lay in student personnel considering my extensive involvement in student life as an undergraduate. After UVM graduate school and several years in the field, I reached a point where I again questioned my career track. My positions called for increasing administrative duties and less student contact, Edward Keagle is a 1975 SPS (now known as HESA) graduate who worked at Georgetown University, the University of Maine at Orono, and finally at Northlands Job Corp Center before becoming an Architect. He earned his Master of Architecture degree from Syracuse University in 1988. Since 1992 he has been a member of Centerbrook Architects in Connecticut, a nationally recognized design firm with projects throughout the country. He lives in Ashford, CT with his wife Martha, who since 1991 is Director of the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences Program at the University of Connecticut. She also has an M. Ed from UVM (1984) and could write her own article on how much she learned then about writing, teaching, and testing that she still relies on. They will celebrate their 40th anniversary this summer and have two grown sons, Matthew and Benjamin.


Keagle • 63 and my background in the visual arts was underutilized. In the midst of another recession and while caring for my first child, I began re-reading Maslow (1954) and Erikson (1968) and realized I had abandoned my childhood obsession for architecture. Encouraged by examples in Cross (1981), I enrolled in a four-year graduate program in architecture. On a typical day I will be meeting with clients, coordinating project teams, interviewing prospective staff, mentoring interns, or preparing submissions for new projects. Other times I will be negotiating contracts, traveling to job sites, answering questions from bidders, or scheduling staff for the coming week. On a good day there will be something to design. There is excitement in the design phase, a nonlinear but deeply satisfying exercise best shared with trusted colleagues, enlightened clients, and enthusiastic interns. The fact is that the time we spend in creative mode is very small. Edison had it right. Genius, or design in our case, is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration. That ninety nine percent of hard work and focus on detail, along with technical training and lifelong learning, are what we do to earn our keep. Fortunately for me, I had a good foundation as a student affairs professional and enjoyed nearly a decade in academia. What better training for my new career or for those in many other work settings outside of higher education? I have often thought about the parallels between my careers in the last 30 years since I left the HESA world for that of design and construction. Almost weekly, I am aware of things I do or ways I react to events that I realize were learned in student affairs. I also recognize the familiar in some of the things we do as architects. Here are some of my observations. Administration After a decade or two as an architect I discovered the irony of my career change. I left HESA because I was becoming more of an administrator and less creative. Years later, I realized I was still a manager, albeit in a creative field. How lucky for me that I had some management training and the firsthand experience to give me confidence. Architecture schools typically offer only a few classes in practice and project management; I had a good grounding in the theory and the practice of management. This preparation accelerated my late-bloomer career and gave me an edge. HESA graduate students and young professionals are routinely leading or managing dozens of employees, or responsible for hundreds of students. Organizing and advising these student and professional activities requires a high degree of coordination within the unforgiving framework of the academic calendar.


64 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 They do this all the time while managing administration egos, negotiating campus politics, and nurturing young students. Time Management In the design professions time is our currency. Our chief measure of productivity is the hourly rate. Architecture is a labor-intensive enterprise even with computers. Being efficient is vital since projects change course for many reasons. It is easy for a project or a firm to go into a deep hole financially or out of business altogether. Helping others to be efficient and cost-effective is valued. The time management seminars I attended as a HESA professional enabled me to offer them at my office on several occasions and raised my consciousness about the simple strategies one can use to become more efficient personally and in organizing others. Professional Development Nurturing, mentoring, and developing staff is second nature in education. Retention is important to any office. Most student affairs professionals are naturally inclined to recruit and hire the best people and see that they get the support they need to further their careers. Not all design offices share this view. After interning at several firms and finally coming to work at my current office, I soon felt right at home. The partners valued the staff. Unlike some firms that hire and fire as projects come and go or host grueling unpaid internships, I found a work culture that rewarded high expectations with high regard. In addition to the usual fringe benefits, we were encouraged to become Registered Architects. Licensure is incentivized, promotion stalls until you pass the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE) and interns are given support via advising and reimbursement to do so. We offer numerous Continuing Education Unit (CEU) seminars required for those already licensed; we have memorable parties, happy hours, cookouts, and many other unique perks. Staff should feel appreciated and empowered. They need to see themselves as rising talents and prospective deans or partners even though they have many years ahead of them before they reach a level of unquestioned attainment and authority. Jackie Gribbon’s resumé and job search group in my final year at UVM was a model for how to motivate young professionals to reach their potential. We were critiqued and pushed, and yet we were encouraged to believe our futures were unlimited. I learned from reading Rogers (1961) that unconditional positive regard is strong medicine for the psyche.


Keagle • 65 Diversity and Helping All Voices to be Heard Collaboration is at the heart of our design process, and everyone from intern to partner needs to feel empowered to have a say. Good staff development policies set the stage for full collaboration. We joke that you are likely to have your ideas turned down or disregarded as often as not, but our senior staff look for interns who keep coming back and keep offering ideas or alternatives despite a cool reception on one occasion. In recruiting, we look for people who have the self-possession to thrive in this arena. To help make sure many different views are represented, our professional staff come from a variety of backgrounds, regions, and countries. We try to create a cosmopolitan atmosphere in our New England location. The same principles that tell us a diverse student body is important in education tell us it improves our design abilities. Optimism In the face of setbacks, boundless enthusiasm leavened with humor helps us carry on. Realizing that failure is an opportunity to make something better is a lesson learned by those who have struggled. Architecture school revolves around the studio model and critics can be harsh. We learn to be resilient. Many times our initial design is poorly received. We need to go back and create other options or start over. You learn to be dispassionate and not view your “creationâ€? as something precious, just one possible response to the problem, site, or program. Expectations are high and deadlines are relentless. Good designers learn when it is okay to break the rules to get something memorable. As a HESA grad, I was prepared for this environment with an upbeat attitude. Now when I see a resume from a candidate who was an RA or campus leader, I get a level of confidence in their ability to fit into our environment. Then I can focus on their design portfolio. The potential for rejection does not end in school. An architectural office may only get selected for one out of every ten prospective projects it pursues. Developing Consensus Shepherding projects and keeping them alive is an art. Momentum needs to be maintained. We have some clients, projects, non-profits and community groups that have worked with us for five or ten years before a building or renovation is achieved. Even for large institutions and corporate clients with the means, a prospective project is a tender shoot. It is rare that a fully formed, programmed project falls into our laps. Many do not end up where they started. Indeed the most sustainable building is one that is not built. Often we can find solutions that simply involve an efficient renovation or a willingness to think differently about scheduling. The patience and persistence to develop a project over time and build consensus for it is familiar to HESA professionals.


66 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Building Community To me this used to mean strengthening bonds and ties among a group of people. Now it means that, and something more concrete. It means creating space to support and empower people and groups, whether in residence halls, museums, sports facilities, research science labs, religious, or academic buildings. Workshops and participatory design charrettes are unique to our practice, and their use helped me to feel at home when I arrived 21 years ago. These approaches come naturally to those schooled in group theory and residential education. Shared Experiences The value of shared experiences in building community was something I learned early on in graduate school. During my final semester at UVM, with ample help from my new bride, we created a patchwork quilt with all the residents of Wright hall taking part and embroidering their own distinctive patch. We raffled it off, and hopefully Madeleine V. still considers it a treasured keepsake of her UVM years. In addition to our professional duties here, sometimes the little things like our badminton tournament, bowling nights, ad hoc design presentations, or field trips to construction sites give us these shared experiences and help us connect with the people we work with during the waking hours and beyond. It is much like residence hall programming and creates relationships between staff that we draw on in the heat of developing projects. Dealing with Ambiguity Building codes, not to mention zoning regulations, are fraught with contradictions and conflicted meaning. They are layered human constructs, much like software, with many work-arounds to allow them to stay in force until the time comes for a paradigm shift. That happens rarely, so it helps to see through the chaff to the kernel of real intention. Student affairs professionals help others to deal with the ambiguities of adult life and understand that everything is not always as it seems. Chickering and Riesser (1993) introduced the Seven Vectors of Identity Development which still help me think about how to respond to the frustration of working constructively with codes, regulations, and standards. Certainly, the first vector, developing competence, and the second, managing emotions are at play. When faced with an interpretation that could be cheaper or advantageous to my client is not the seventh vector, developing integrity, important in my professional judgment? The tenets of personal growth and development I learned in graduate school apply to architects as well as college students.


Keagle • 67 Counseling and Listening Most people do not realize how client-centered architecture is. The novelistic image of the heroic designer in search of truth is not accurate. The most memorable buildings derive from engaged clients with clearly understood goals made real by attentive designers. The importance of relationships fostered and tested over time is valued by student affairs staff. Successful design firms recognize this, too. “You are only as good as your last job” is a common refrain. In our office much of our work comes from repeat clients, institutional and residential. Some of these relationships stretch back 30 years or more. We seek out and hire staff that can maintain these ties with existing clients and help us create new ones. It is not enough to be inventive designers or technically proficient; we seek personable, sociable designers who enjoy engagement with others and listen carefully so we can realize client’s goals. In fact listening skills should be taught in every professional program. Collaboration Not only do we work together closely in-house, these days architects must be able to engage, manage, and coordinate the activities of a vast team of consultants. These include structural and mechanical engineers, civil engineers, code consultants, specifications writers, acousticians, IT and AV professionals, landscape architects, cost consultants, and arcane specialty consultants. We need to bring them into the process at the right time so the work flow is maintained. It can be like conducting a symphony for three or four years, over the phone or online when we are not meeting in person. It is also very much like establishing and maintaining a noteworthy student affairs program. Negotiation Architecture is about building as opposed to winning arguments and points. Architects and contractors, although engaged in different activities, live to build. A project that goes on hold is unsatisfying and doesn’t allow us to show what we can do. Alas, there are no unlimited budgets; every building is the result of successful compromises achieved throughout the design and construction process. Some aspects are not negotiable such as structural design, life safety, and so on, but often some cost reductions end up producing a better, simpler design. Again, a student affairs background can give one the foundation necessary to negotiate and find the acceptable middle ground.


68 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Vision We try to help our clients make decisions and develop master plans or projects for the long view not for short term results. In the same way, student affairs administrators have learned to approach their institutional needs with a view to the future and counsel students to make good and responsible choices in the conduct of their academic careers. Sustainability is the current term for an attitude many of us have had for years. This awareness for energy conservation and the environment has helped us to shift the focus from first cost to operational costs, and given us a reason to do the right thing in the face of budget pressures. My personal concern for conservation was sharpened in my first year at UVM when the Arab Oil Embargo occurred in October 1973. One important lesson from then was the difficult choices the administration made to cope with the staggering rise in fuel costs. Rather than simply reducing department budgets across the board, they made hard decisions to maintain strong programs and eliminate others. This was unpopular perhaps, but mindful of what must be preserved at the core, not just in an emergency but also in daily situations. Living through that era was important to my personal development and helped me become the person I am now. Major Influences Many experiences prepared me for the work I do as an architect. As a college athlete on crew, I learned about teamwork and leveraging the power of the group. My architectural training was lengthy, rigorous, intense, and continues to this day. I studied and traveled. I learned to see that an architecture education can be another foundation for one’s world view. I also learned much from my student affairs experience. The goal then was to get things done for the benefit of people. In architecture now the goal is similar, to get memorable spaces built for the benefit of people. My background has served me well and I consider the time I spent before becoming an architect an asset. Those of you now in the field should get on with your careers confident that you will be prepared for a variety of opportunities that come your way, some that you may not even imagine now. You are ready for anything. Here is one example of why it is good to have HESA grads in wider circulation. Several times a year I catch myself reminding colleagues to refer to dorms as residence halls, explaining pedantically that the Latin root of dormitory is dorm, as in dormant, or sleepy. A good residential life program is not about sleep, it is about living and growing. Dr. Keith Miser, then Director of Residential Life and one of my professors, taught me that. Now I teach it to others. Those of us who move into other professions are not abandoning the profession. We are extending its influence. We not only benefit personally from the can-do attitudes


Keagle • 69 and preparation for leadership we gained from HESA, but we are also valuable emissaries, helping those around us to understand the importance of student affairs to a vibrant university experience and the value of its practitioners to the students they serve. “Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not preparation for life but is life itself.” - John Dewey


70 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 References Chickering A. W. & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Cross, P.K. (1981). Adults as learners: Increasing participation and facilitating learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Erikson, E.H. (1968) Identity, youth and crisis. New York, NY: W. W. Norton Company. Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York, NY: Harper. Rogers, C. (1961). On becoming a person. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.


Luo • 71

Higher Education and External Communities: Interconnectedness and Interdependence Jing Luo Higher education institutions interact closely with a multitude of external communities. The diversity and multitude of communities have resulted in new relationships within higher education stakeholders. These relationships have ranged from local, regional, national, and international discourses. It has led to internal and external functions. Internal functions, including teaching and research, apply to work-based industry and affect the external functions of economic and societal change. Taking the initiative to reach out to communities will create fundamental social change, take on civic engagement and warrant the necessity that teaching and research hold the public accountable and adjust to societal needs. Market-based societal changes reconstruct the context of higher education and mandate that academic teaching and research be responsive to societal needs. The academic pursuits and entrepreneurship of higher education are intertwined as higher education and communities are interconnected and interdependent. Introduction As nationalization and globalization bring about dramatic demographic change and inevitable exchange dialogues, the trajectory of American higher education is tremendously influenced. The fundamental changes include a large national and global pool of potential students, various resources for student access, partnerships among community stakeholders, and economic and societal change (Killick, 2011). One word frequently appears in an institutional strategic plan – community. Traditionally, it is regarded as one tangible geographic location embraced by political, societal and economic boundaries and shared by common exchanges (Cortes, 1999). Several aspects need to be discussed, including the approaches instituJing Luo is a second-year Higher Education & Student Affairs graduate student at the University of Vermont. She received her B.A. in teaching English from Fujian Normal University, China and also holds a M.Ed in Educational Leadership from the University of Vermont. Her identity as an Asian student influences her research interests in international students, service, higher education globalization and community impact. She enjoys every moment working with students and loves to stay in the field for a life-long commitment.


72 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 tions use to collaborate with external communities, the definition and functions of the communities, the role senior leaders, faculty members and student affairs professionals play, and how student navigate through higher education and the communities. Community ranges from affinity group, intergroup, or campus-wide group, to local, regional, national and international. Whether the community is small or large, many communities at different levels are interlinked with one another (Cortes, 1999; Maurrasse, 2002; Sandy & Holland, 2006). Sustainable long-term effects of building communities require consistent time, effort and relations. What benefits do the community stakeholders pay attention to when they intend to keep long-term relations? Butcher, Bezzina, and Moran (2011) indicated that there are two types of partnerships between institutions and other organizations in the context of community engagement: transactional and transformational. Transactional partnership means that every party is concerned with individual purposes and achievement when stakeholders engage in the exchange of community. A transformational partnership means that every party pursues common benefits under moral consideration and the stakeholders nurture the possibility of sustainable growth over generations by addressing vexing problems (Butcher, Bezzina, & Moran, 2011). The transformational partnership between higher education and external communities must be prioritized for sustainable development since it will foster short-term and long-term benefits. There are several organizational partnerships within community relations: one institution connected to several organizations from the local to national arena; partnership among several institutions within one country; several institutions partnered with various organizations, and international partnerships. The maintenance of community relations requires the agreement of common benefit and purposes in a moral dimension on a timely basis. Long-term community partnerships require openness and honesty to accommodate current affairs, tendency, and necessity (Butcher et al., 2011). Several studies showed that consistent community partnership entails effective communication among stakeholders, long-term strategic plans, short-term adjustment in terms of temporary changes, effective implementation and timely evaluation (Butcher et al., 2011; Cortes, 1999; Sandy & Holland, 2006). Applying Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model to Build Up Communities Bronfenbrenner (1979) introduced an ecological model to address how communities impact college student development. He indicated that “development is defined as the person’s evolving conception of the ecological environment, and [their] relation to it, as well as the person’s growing capacity to discover, sustain, or alter its properties” (p. 9). The environment Bronfenbrenner (1979) conceptualized includes the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem.


Luo • 73 Bronfenbrenner (1979) defined a microsystem as “a pattern of activities, roles, and interpersonal relations experienced by the developing person in a given setting with particular physical and material characteristics” (p. 22). A critical term in the definition is “experienced” (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, p. 22). The experience can be a mixture of encountering a given or common situation, processing different feelings, taking lessons from study and work, involving in a community, reflecting on own and others’ behaviors, and acting or reacting according to received information. A microsystem can be a class, a student organization, a service learning opportunity, an internship, a residence community, a family and other settings where one student experiences tight interpersonal relations. Often a microsystem is an affinity community in which one student is highly and consistently involved. Bronfenbrenner (1979) defined a mesosystem as “the interrelations among two or more settings which the developing person actively participates” (p. 25). One community does not develop without collaboration and communication with other communities. For example, a female student of color may be highly involved in both the multicultural center and women’s center, tangibly assist in programming in both centers, and subsequently foster intangible relations and partnership between the two centers. This mesosystem should gradually include more students from other communities who are impacted by how this student behaves, engages, interacts, and therefore helps connect more communities. The overlapping of mesosystems form, develop, and maintain larger communities. An exosystem, as Bronfenbrenner (1979) defined, referred to “one or more settings that do not involve the developing person as an active participant, but in which events occur that, or are affected by, what happens in the setting containing the person” (p. 25). For example, while the female student of color mentioned earlier may not be directly involved with the international community, she is impacted when the women’s center and multicultural center collaborate. Once she increases her connection with other students who engage in the international community, she may regard the international community as closer to her microsystem. The student may experience transition between the exostystem and the microsystem as connections are developed between the student and community. A macrosystem, in Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) words, implied “consistencies, in the form and content of lower-order systems that exist at the level of the culture as a whole” (p. 26). As students live in microsystems, mesosystems and exosystems, their experiences, behaviors and perspectives will impact macrosystems directly or indirectly, tangibly or intangibly. Macrosystems include a state, a country and the entire world, depending on what world view students carry, to what extent their behaviors and perspectives impact communities, how they define various systems and what effects the systems have produced.


74 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 As diverse bodies of college students converge in higher education institutions, they simultaneously promote the diversity of campus communities and raise serious questions about the concept of community. Students shift in and out of various communities and seek the most comfortable niches. Many students primarily find a sense of community by engaging in a smaller affinity community. This affinity community may serve as a bridge to fuller participation in a larger affinity community and, finally, the campus-wide community (Cortes, 1999). Affinity groups may form around social, cultural, and spiritual norms. For example, at the University of Vermont there are affinity communities such as Hillel, Greek Life, ALANA (Asian, Latino, African, Native American, and bi/multiracial) Center, LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Questioning, Advocate) Center, International Student Community, Women’s Center and other spaces. Many students build up close relations with others who are in the same affinity group (Cortes, 1999). During the process of building affinity community, “the formation of self-selected campus communities based on perceived commonalities reflects the inevitable process of group aggregation” (Cortes, 1999, p.13). Increased student involvement in the affinity community strengthens group aggregation. It is likely that group aggregation will regress into self-segregation without interaction and collaboration among different communities (Cortes, 1999). Over involvement of students in a given community undermines the fundamental concept of community. “The creation of a sense of community that goes beyond the superficial requires a serious engagement with the process of building bridges among groups” (Cortes, 1999, p. 14), which reinforces Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model. Strengthening bridges among communities, nurtures and develops intergroup relations so that students will have a deeper recognition of differences and underlying commonalities. Senior Leadership Team Senior administrative leaders need to increase expectation, ensure the well-being of communities, present necessary formal tools, take initiative, and make concrete plans. Doing so will foster a holistic campus culture and cultivate seamless relations among communities (Caputo, 2005; Maurrasse, 2002). Higher education will benefit when it attempts to centrally incorporate community partnerships into its missions, operations, and commitments to long-term change across communities (Maurrasse, 2002). The partnerships with external communities will also propel student affairs professionals to reach out, faculty to engage in various communities, and students to be better after senior leaders take action. According to White (2006), “Universities generally maintain among the highest levels of civic reputation, political clout, expertise, and resources of any institution in their regions” (p. 2). Some community services rely on institutions as a source of revenue. There is a trend that both the institution and its communities will gain greater financial and societal benefits and collective goals based on shared interests if both strategize


Luo • 75 deliberately and collaboratively on how to expand partnerships together (Caputo, 2005; Maurrasse, 2002). Individual effort is not sufficient. It is imperative that the institution be engaged in strengthening and supporting community partnerships (Caputo, 2005). Effective senior leadership makes the institutional mission a shared vision that is practiced across communities. For example, students gain access to discussions, learning, activities, and reflection; faculty apply research into industry; institutions build up goals and improve their reputation; and external organizations gain economic benefits and a positive image (Harris, 2008). Although there are distinctions in motivations, purposes, and benefits perceived among stakeholders, the goal is to figure out a common interest based on which diverse perspective of long-term community partnerships will create and promote mutually tangible and intangible benefits (Sandy & Holland, 2006). Well-established partnerships will be strengthened when diverse perspectives come into one focus and experiences provide solid recommendations for implementation. Faculty Members It is very important to include faculty in community partnerships. Usually faculty instruct students to pursue academic excellence by putting theory into practice, doing research, and applying research into industry. Huber (2001) elucidated the integrative benefit of faculty engagement in community partnerships: Faculty members who can extend their intellectual curiosity into their service activities can unify their professional lives, bringing together their teaching, research and service in a synergistic way, to the benefit of each aspect of their work and the benefit of those with whom they work. (p. 3) As community partnerships are sensitive to emergent changes, it is vital for faculty to know societal needs and what is the tendency for research to be geared toward. Only by being applied to industry and producing economic effect can the value of research be realized to the largest extent (Harris, 2008). To encourage faculty members to engage in the community and play their role requires communication, negotiation and strategic planning (Harris, 2008; Sandy & Holland, 2006). Traditionally, faculty members focus on teaching and researching because their tenure depends upon their professional performance. (Harris, 2008). It is critical for administrators to create opportunities to encourage faculty to do more campus service, which will better the community and enhance their growth and career. The research faculty conduct can be applied to community service or faculty can do quantitative and qualitative research on community. Both ways will involve faculty’s contribution, enhance research value, and promote community development in many ways and in a long-term cycle.


76 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 The involvement within community includes outreach, consulting, service-learning, community involvement, civic engagement and other forms beyond campus responsibilities. A professor in counseling can be a very good resource for nonprofit organizations. A professor in the math department can develop a training program for organizations that help students from first-generation college families and refugee and low-income families. When faculty incorporate scholarly work to community work, value is realistically realized. The value of community work is structured and documented so that it has a theoretical framework, shared value, and further research. Community service may help faculty improve their reputation, advance their research and obtain external funding. These benefits will not interfere with teaching and research. Instead they will enhance their quality. As higher education institutions are largely sensitive to the change of a more culturally diverse society, offering space and chance for faculty members to apply their scholarly attainment outside campus is much needed (Cortes, 1999; Harris, 2008). Community service allows faculty to have a positive role outside of the traditional classroom, contribute to different communities, and bring about a shared value across communities. The accumulating effects faculty members are able to produce play an indispensable role in higher education and external communities. Student Affairs Professionals Since student affairs professionals are physically present everywhere on campus, it is vital that they take steps in accordance with institutional missions, communicate with professionals in other communities, serve more students beyond targeted groups, send verbal and behavioral messages, and expand communities. Whether an office is big or small, it serves a certain number of students. Bridging different campus spaces and connecting students with external communities causes students to understand the meaning of community, apply what they learn, and enrich their life experiences. Simultaneously, the partnerships among different communities offer professionals opportunities to relearn what their students need, consider what they can do to better accommodate students’ needs, sense the relation between higher education and the outside world, and take appropriate approaches in front of new trends (Butcher et al., 2011; Maurrasse, 2002). Through partnerships, student affairs professionals can update their format of advising, programming, workshops and events to help students get a better sense of the community they are tightly engaged in and other communities they might not have the chance to understand. Previous research has shown that role models directly impact college students (Caputo, 2005; Cortes, 1999; Maurrasse, 2002). Once student affairs professionals


Luo • 77 nurture partnerships among different communities, make good use of their relations, and present a measurable accomplishment, it is likely that students will have an intention to engage in communities they are not familiar with, and see how they feel about the underlying interconnectedness (Caputo, 2005; Maurrasse, 2002). Conclusion As higher education accommodates nationalization and globalization, the relationship between higher education and external communities needs to be revisited, maintained and developed. Senior leaders, faculty members and student affairs professionals need to take initiative, make strategic plans, strengthen communication, and develop partnerships between higher education and external communities based on shared common interests. Interconnecting higher education institutions and external communities helps students to realize societal needs, adapt to the outside world and present the value of a theoretical framework.


78 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 References Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Butcher, J., Bezzina, M., & Moran, W. (2011). Transformational partnerships: A new agenda for higher education. Innovative Higher Education, 36(1), 29–40. Caputo, D. A. (2005). A campus view: Civic engagement and the higher education community. National Civic Review, 94(2), 3–9. Cortes, C. E. (1999). Building community from communities: Diversity and the future of higher education. Metropolitan Universities, 9(4), 11–18. Harris, N. (2008). Faculty community service: At the intersection of campus and community. New Directions for Higher Education, 2008(143), 101– 108. Huber, M. T. (2001). Balancing Acts: Designing Careers Around the Scholarship of Teaching. Change, 33(4), 21 - 29. Killick, D. (2011). Seeing-ourselves-in-the-world: Developing global citizenship through international mobility and campus community. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(4), 372–389. Maurrasse, D. J. (2002). Higher education-community partnerships: Assessing progress in the field. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 31(1), 131–139. Sandy, M., & Holland, B. A. (2006). Different worlds and common ground: Community partner perspectives on campus-community partnerships. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 13(1), 30. White, B. P. (2006). Sharing power to achieve true collaboration: The community role in embedding engagement. In B. Holland & J. Meeropol (Eds.), A More Perfect Vision: The Future of Campus Engagement. Providence, RI: Campus Compact.


Murjani • 79

Breaking Apart the Model Minority and Perpetual Foreigner Stereotypes: Asian Americans and Cultural Capital Monisha Murjani Despite recent challenges to the literature and dominant narratives that shape the United States’ notions of cultural capital, educational research continues to ignore the cultural capital of Asian Americans. This paper will use Yosso’s (2005) framework of cultural capital among communities of color and the concept of community cultural wealth to illuminate the ways Asian American students complicate and challenge current dominant narratives in the field of higher education. In addition, the longstanding stereotypes of the “model minority” and “perpetual foreigner” are addressed, including how these have also contributed to a severely limited view of Asian American cultural capital. A lack of cultural capital is often cited as the reason for the low performances of communities of color in political, social, and educational realms. They are viewed as deficient populations who lack the valued skills and knowledge necessary to achieve success (Yosso, 2005). Scholars are shifting this notion and view communities of color as populations with great amounts of cultural wealth (Prudence, 2003; Solórzano & Villalpando, 1998; Tatum, 1997; Yosso, 2005). Populations of color do possess cultural capital; it is merely different than the dominant view of cultural capital. Unfortunately, much of even the more recent literature has ignored Asian Americans due to their different experiences with racism as compared to other populations of color such as Blacks and Latinos (Ng, Lee, & Pak, 2007; Ovink & Veazey, 2011). More specifically, the model minority and perpetual foreigner stereotypes of Asian Americans mask the cultural wealth existing among this community. This has resulted in a severely limited view of the Asian American experience in the United States, especially as it relates to higher education.

Monisha Murjani is a second-year Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate student at the University of Vermont. She received a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Business from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently serves as an Assistant Residence Director for the Department of Residential Life. Her identity as a South Asian woman combined with her passion for working with students of underrepresented groups greatly influence her research interests.


80 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Cultural Capital The concept of cultural capital was first developed by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to analyze economic structures and their relation to social mobility. In Bourdieu’s (1984) original work, cultural capital served as a force of power and an explanation for social inequalities. Winkle-Wagner (2010) described the concept as “culturally based resources that act as a form of ‘capital’” (p. 5). These resources include “embodied dispositions (i.e., class specific tastes, preferences, consumption patterns, ways of inhabiting space…), material objects, or educational credentials” (Ovink & Veazy, 2010, p. 373). These resources serve as agents to advance or maintain one’s social standing. Winkle-Wagner (2010) stated that cultural capital can be obtained through both family origin and education. Individuals can only improve their social status to a certain extent through education. In that sense, the foundation of cultural capital is one’s class origin which is transferred intergenerationally. This “accumulation and deployment of cultural capital” (Ovink & Veazy, 2010, p. 373) is what allows the dominant class to transfer resources to maintain power and define what resources are important. Those without the cultural capital needed for social mobility are inherently at a disadvantage within the economic system. Simply put, “one who acquires high-status cultural capital through family origin and through education will be more privileged in society generally” (Winkle-Wagner, 2010, p. 6). Bourdieu’s (1984) concept has been applied and adapted to many fields, including higher education (Ovink & Veazy, 2010; Winkle-Wagner, 2010; Yosso, 2005). Cultural capital often arises in issues related to access. For example, “teachers, administrators, and others in a school system may reward, perhaps unconsciously, a student who has acquired cultural capital from her or his family over a student who has not” (Winkle-Wagner, 2010, p. 6). Furthermore: Education appears to offer credentials based on merit when in reality these credentials may simply be rewards for displaying a particular cultural capital. Education, in this theoretical reasoning, has a direct role in the perpetuation of social stratification, in part through teaching people to accept their place in the social strata and in part through rewarding the cultural capital of those who are already of higher status (p. 20) Students of Color, Cultural Capital, and Education The history of race and racism in the U.S. has directly influenced institutions of higher education. The notion that education perpetuates social stratification is especially relevant when analyzing experiences of students of color (Yosso, 2005). The concept of cultural capital “has been interpreted as a way to explain why the academic and social outcomes of People of Color are significantly lower than the


Murjani • 81 outcomes of Whites” (Yosso, 2005, p. 70). Rather than being used as a tool to address the power hierarchies and access differences among these communities, cultural capital is being used as a justification of social inequality. Students of color are seen as lacking the necessary tools – the cultural capital – needed to navigate classroom settings. This notion becomes linked to their race and class background (Yosso, 2005). Consequently, a binary of cultural wealth and cultural poverty has been created, with People of Color viewed as culturally poor. Yosso (2005) combated this idea that communities of color come to the classroom with “cultural deficiencies” (p. 70) and instead, used critical race theory (CRT) to provide a broader view of cultural capital. Yosso (2005) argued that students of color actually come to the classroom with an abundance of cultural capital that does not get acknowledged, a concept she coined as community cultural wealth. Through the CRT lens, Yosso (2005) described six forms of non-dominant cultural capital that communities of color cultivate and pass down to one another: (a) aspirational, (b) linguistic, (c) familial, (d) social, (e) navigational, and (f) resistant. Despite the fact that they are not given value in the educational sphere, these forms of capital significantly impact communities of color and their ability to respond to and survive systems of oppression. Asian Americans and Community Cultural Wealth Yosso (2005) combated a singular view of cultural capital through an extensive analysis of Black and Latino communities. Examples of how these two communities of color are victims of deficit thinking are clearly explained and established. Deficit thinking is the notion that communities of color are at fault for their poor performance in academic settings. Examples of deficit thinking include a perceived lack of cultural knowledge that the dominant society expects people of color to possess or the assumption that parents are not sufficiently involved in their children’s educational experience. Yosso (2005) mentioned Asian/Pacific Islanders as a part of the communities of color category, yet most examples of community cultural wealth focus on Blacks and Latinos. Asian American communities are rarely discussed. When discussing familial capital, Yosso (2005) shared the ideas of communal bonds in the African American community and the concept of funds of knowledge within the Mexican American community. Yet the collectivist values of Asian American communities and how these influence their view of community and relationships was not addressed. The experience of Japanese Americans in internment camps was briefly discussed, but even that is a fragmented analysis. The “racial category of Asian Americans is a sociopolitical construct consisting of more than 25 ethnic groups, such as Indians, Koreans, Filipinos, Hmong, and Vietnamese, whose language and cultural customs vary widely” (Chen, LePhuoc, Guzmán, Rude, &


82 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Dodd, 2006, p. 462). Therefore, the explanation of community cultural wealth and communities of color is incomplete without analyzing the unique complexities of Asian American communities. Asian Americans and Racism Cultural capital and its relationship to Asian American communities is often left out of the literature surrounding racism, oppression, and identity development of communities of color (Chen et al., 2006; lbrahim, Ohnishi, & Sandhu, 1997; Ng et al., 2007). Yosso (2005) delved deeply into Latino and Black cultural wealth approaches because issues of race and racism are more commonly linked to these populations. When taking into account the different historical, political, cultural, and social contexts of Asian American populations in the U.S., their experiences with race and racism form a different narrative. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2012), Asians are the fastest growing raciel group in the nation, yet they continue to be cast as interlopers in a Black/White racial discourse; being neither Black nor White, Asian Americans rarely gain visibility and voice as racial minorities…An understanding of how racial meanings have been constructed about Asian Americans, or how they have been racialized, requires a departure from a Black/White racial binary. (Ng et al., 2007, p. 96) Ng et al. (2007) described two distinct forms of racial categorization for Asian Americans. The first is the notion that Asian Americans are a model minority. The second form is the view of Asian Americans as the perpetual foreigner. The Model Minority Myth The model minority myth frames Asian Americans as a racial “success story.” This term was first coined by sociologist William Peterson in 1966 in an article about Japanese Americans in New York Times Magazine (Accapadi, 2005). Peterson claimed that it was their strong values rooted in hard work and diligence that allowed the Japanese to avoid becoming a “problem minority” (Accapadi, 2005, p. 12). Today, this stereotype is still pervasive when discussing the Asian American community. The stereotype invokes a cultural expectation that all Asian Americans are smart, hardworking, and wealthy. Suzuki (2002) described several factors that contribute to the persistence of the model minority stereotype which include: 1) A large proportion of Asian Americans graduate from college 2) The socioeconomic status of Asian Americans has continued to rise since the 1970s 3) Japan and other Asian countries transformed into major economic powers in the 1980s


Murjani • 83 4) Wealthy Asians immigrated to the United States due to immigration regulations in the 1960s (Suzuki, 2002, p. 23). The combination of these factors contributes to the idea that Asian Americans have “made it.” The model minority myth suggests that there is a distinct quality in Asian Americans that promotes their success which other populations of color must not possess. Not only does the myth ignore the histories of Asian Americans and the role of American immigration policies, but it also does not account for the variances within the Asian American community. As mentioned earlier, the Asian American community consists of over 25 ethnic groups. “Creating monolithic truths based on two or three high-achieving ethnicities does a disservice to everyone” and “erases the experiences of Asian Americans who do not achieve” (Ng et al., 2007, p. 99). Additionally, high achievement cannot solely be attributed to even one group. This stereotype does not hold even within a singular Asian American identity. This effect of the model minority myth is especially visible in educational institutions. The expectation associated with the stereotype “leads to intense pressure by family, peers, and even instructors, which leads to academic, as well as psychological problems that go unrecognized by student affairs professionals and other university professionals” (Accapadi, 2005, p. 16). Furthermore, the notion that Asian Americans are the “model” that other minorities need to follow creates crosscultural tensions and gives rise to horizontal oppression (Ng et al., 2007; Prashad, 2000). This creates a divide between Asian Americans and other communities of color, which essentially perpetuates systems of oppression, racial hierarchy, and White privilege (Prashad, 2000). Ultimately, this stereotype rendered the Asian American community as problem-less and, in conjunction with other Asian American-specific stereotypes, further contributed to the missing perspective of Asian Americans in the racial discourse. Asian Americans as “Foreigners” The concept of Asian Americans as “perpetual foreigners” emerged during World War II when Japanese Americans were placed into internment camps because they were seen as threats to the nation’s safety. This stereotype solidified when Asian countries began to gain more economic power during the 1980s and were viewed as a threat to U.S. dominance (Suzuki, 2002). After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, South Asians emerged as “the other” and faced a large backlash (Prashad, 2000). These experiences taken together reiterate the stereotype that Asian Americans are “not legitimate Americans” (Accapadi, 2005, p. 32; Omi, 2008). This “[results] in the marginalization of the Asian American community in social, academic, and political realms” (Accapadi, 2005, p. 34). Viewing Asian Americans through the lens of these stereotypes ignores and disregards the cultural capital and unique values they cultivate.


84 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Community Cultural Wealth of Asian Americans The contradicting experiences of the model minority and perpetual foreigner myths reiterate the idea that Asian American communities are victims of oppression, racism, and discrimination, albeit in different ways than other communities of color. Below, I outline Yosso’s (2005) six types of non-dominant cultural capital and the ways Asian Americans come to institutions of education with their own community cultural wealth in order to demystify the model minority and perpetual foreigner stereotypes, challenge the Black/White binary, and address the invisibility of Asian Americans in literature regarding racism. Aspirational Capital Yosso (2005) defined aspirational capital as “the ability to hold onto hope in the face of structured inequality and often without the means to make such dreams a reality” (p. 77). In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, many in the South Asian community were victims of hate crimes, bias acts, and discrimination. This especially affected those in the Asian American community who practiced Sikhism. Sikh men were often attacked because their turbans served as visible targets (Prashad, 2011). Asian American communities lost family members and experienced devastation in the aftermath of the attacks. Their resiliency was exemplified in their ability to remain hopeful. South Asian Americans Leading Tomorrow (SAALT) is a non-profit organization that works towards developing South Asian leaders and bringing South Asian voices to the national discourse. In its publication, “Community Resilience” (2011), SAALT shared stories of several South Asian American families and their resilience to fight for justice after losing loved ones. Talat Hamdani, mother of Salman Hamdani, a New York Police Department cadet who lost his life, is one example of the way aspirational capital is exemplified in Asian American communities. She has become a tireless voice for healing and unity. As a steering committee member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization founded by family members of the victims killed during the attacks and who develop and advocate for nonviolent actions in the pursuit of justice, Ms. Hamdani has rallied against the PATRIOT Act and racial and religious profiling, and supported civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans. (Community Resilience, 2011, pg. 2) Hamdani is just one of many examples of the resiliency of Asian American communities in response to national and personal crises. These narratives create community among Asian Americans and cultivate hope after the serious injustices inflicted upon them.


Murjani • 85 Linguistic Capital Linguistic capital refers to communication, intellectual, and interpersonal skills gained through bilingualism and multilingualism (Yosso, 2005). Many Asian American children serve as “language brokers,” or translators for their families. The role of a language broker has many unexpected positive effects that go unrecognized, especially in educational institutions. Tse (1996) conducted a study with Chinese and Vietnamese bilingual students to explore how language brokering affected their identity development. She found that besides being translators, these students took on significant responsibilities and often become decision makers and mediators for their families. Students reported that language brokering increased their confidence, independence, and maturity. Perhaps most importantly, it also gave them an avenue to increase their cultural knowledge and improve their relationship with their parents. These results suggest that Asian American students enter the educational sphere with communication and social skills that are not always recognized. Familial Capital Familial capital is defined as “cultural knowledge nurtured among familia (kin) that carry a sense of community history, memory, and cultural intuition” (Yosso, 2005, p. 79). East Asian American values and heritage are influenced by Confucianism, which emphasizes a collectivist viewpoint. This is in contrast to the dominant culture of the U.S. which focuses on individualism. Collectivist values highlight respect for age, value of both the nuclear and extended family, and a shared responsibility among family members (Le & Stockdale, 2010). Asian American communities pass down stories and values with “respect to family relationships, respect for age, social interaction, communication style, family expectations of success, humility, school situations, decision making, and socialization barriers” (Ng et al., 2007, p. 101). Another important component of Asian American familial identity is religion. Although religion is not prevalent for all Asian American communities, it is a large component of identity for many groups. Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity, and Taoism are some examples of the religions practiced in Asian American cultures. Not only does religion serve as hope, but also as a way to build connection among families and larger communities. Many Asian American communities have built faith-based organizations and religious sites across the nation to serve as a refuge. Furthermore, “religious imperatives powerfully intersect self, family, and society and prescribe certain relationships among them” (Carnes & Yang, 2004, p. 3). Religion is used as a way to pass down family values and nurture family bonds. “The role of Asian American religions in negotiating, accepting,


86 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 redefining, changing, and creating boundaries” (p. 3) within their communities is a unique form of familial capital that is often overlooked. Social Capital Yosso (2005) defined social capital as “networks of people and community resources” (p. 79) that help provide support in navigating dominant institutions. One of these institutions is higher education. Asian American students have developed organizations on college campuses solely focused on their ethnic identities. These include Asian American student unions and organizations, fraternities and sororities, and other, more specific, identity-based organizations (Inkelas, 2004). These organizations strengthen the ability of Asian American students to navigate higher education institutions. By participating in these organizations, Asian American students gain a commitment to their identity in predominately White institutions. Moreover, they develop intercultural skills and racial understanding (Tatum, 1997). Inkelas (2004) conducted a study on Asian American ethnic identity organizations at a large, public institution and found that participation in these clubs helped develop community advocacy skills and knowledge about political activism among students. The sense of belonging Asian American students feel in organizations based on Asian American identity help them succeed and prevail in institutions where they face assumptions because of the model minority stereotype or obstacles due to systemic oppression (Inkelas, 2004). Navigational Navigational capital “refers to skills of maneuvering through social institutions… not created with Communities of Color in mind” (Yosso, 2005, p. 80). A movement towards Asian American Civil Rights can be seen through the numerous non-profit organizations that Asian Americans have developed and the coalition being built across communities (Prasad, 2000). Organizations such as Asian Professional Exchange, Asian American Alliance, Asian American Justice Center, and Asian American Institute are just a few of the hundreds of non-profit organizations fighting for Asian American representation and rights in politics, education, media, and other social realms. More specifically, in New York City, South Asian groups committed to social justice and liberation held Desi Dhamaka (Explosion)…an event that promises both to promote the vitality of South Asia in the United States and to show its vibrancy from the standpoint of its social justice traditions (Prashad, 2000, p. 118) Examples, as the one above, demonstrate the indomitable strength Asian American communities possess in finding their voice within and navigating through predominately White spaces.


Murjani • 87 Resistant Capital Resistant capital is defined as “knowledges and skills fostered through oppositional behavior that challenges inequality” (Yosso, 2005, p. 80). Yosso (2005) described the Japanese American community’s ability to “[resist] racism by…nurturing various forms of cultural wealth” (p. 80) during their imprisonment in internment camps as an example of resistant capital. Another example of resistant capital among Asian Americans is the community rebuilding that occurred during the aftermath of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek shooting on August 5, 2012. The Sikh community joined forces across the nation to honor the six individuals who died through candlelight vigils, open-forums, and prayer ceremonies (Yaccino, Schwirtz, & Santora, 2012). These experiences turn resistant capital into transformative capital in order to foster social awareness and promote social change (Yosso, 2005). Student Affairs Implications Analyzing the community cultural wealth of Asian Americans allows an understanding of this group in a racially distinct way compared to other communities of color. This is especially important to recognize in higher education because: Asian-Americans compose less than 5 percent of the U.S. population, a sizable and increasingly visible percentage of students at elite private and public universities throughout the country are Asian-American. In California, such students make up 24% of the undergraduate population at Stanford, 39% at UCLA, and 42% at Berkeley. (Omi, 2008, p. 56) These statistics foreshadow that the presence of Asian Americans on college campuses will continue to increase. The model minority and perpetual foreigner stereotypes convey a one-dimensional view of Asian American students. Their community cultural wealth is not seen as cultural capital because it is masked through the persistence of these stereotypes. Furthermore, stereotypes prescribe experiences onto Asian American students who then internalize these expectations. This leads to negative views of themselves and the Asian American community in general. It is crucial for student affairs professionals to recognize their unique experiences by understanding what cultural capital Asian American students bring in order to combat these stereotypes. Ovink and Veazey (2011) suggested that advisors play a key role in the academic and professional development of students of color. Advisors are a direct way to ensure that Asian Americans students feel supported at higher education institutions. Advisors need to understand the different obstacles that Asian American students face in comparison to other students. One way to address this issue is


88 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 by ensuring that Asian Americans are represented in student affairs staff such as in counseling services and in faculty. The examples of community cultural wealth in this paper are not all-encompassing of the entire Asian American population and require more exploration. Asian American narratives are lacking in the literature regarding racism and more research needs to be done on Asian American students. The representations that are present are “severely limited” (Ovink & Veazey, 2011, p. 99). “The educational community needs to critically assess these representations and understand the deleterious impact they have on Asian American students and faculty/teachers” (p. 99). Recognizing the unique cultural wealth of Asian American students challenges the institutionalized racism in education and provides a context to reframe the structural hierarchies within the field.


Murjani • 89 References Accapadi, M.M. (2005). Affirmations of identity: The story of a South Asian American sorority. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Texas, Austin. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgment of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Carnes, T. & Yang, F. (2004). Asian American religions: The making and remaking of borders and boundaries. New York, NY: New York University Press. Chen, G. A., LePhuoc, P., Guzmán, M. R., Rude, S. S., & Dodd, B. G. (2006). Exploring Asian American racial identity. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12(3), 461-476. Community resilience: South Asian American perspective on the ten-year anniversary of September 11th (2011, September). Retrieved from http://saalt.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Community Resilience-September-2011.pdf Ibrahim, F., Ohnishi H., & Sandhu, D.S. (1997). Asian American identity de velopment: A culture specific model for South Asian Americans. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 25, 34-50. Inkelas, K.K. (2004). Does participation in ethnic co-curricular activities facilitate a sense of ethnic awareness and understanding? A study of Asian Pacific American undergraduates. Journal of College Student Development, 45(3), 285-302. Le, T.N. & Stockdale, G.D. (2010). Individualism, collectivism, and delinquency in Asian American adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34(4), 681-691). Ng, J.C., Lee S.S., & Pak, Y.K. (2007). Contesting the model minority and per- petual foreigner stereotypes: A critical review of literature on Asian Americans in education. Review of Research in Education, 31(1), 95-130. Omi, M. (2008). Asian-Americans: The unbearable whiteness of being? The Chronicle of Higher Education, 55(5), 56-61. Ovink, S.M. & Veazey B.D. (2011). More than “getting us through:” A case study in cultural capital enrichment of underrepresented minority undergraduates. Research in Higher Education, 52(4), 370-394. Prashad, V. (2000). The karma of brown folk. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Prashad, V. (2011). Uncle Swami: South Asians in America today. New York, NY: The New Press. Prudence, C. (2003). Black cultural capital, status positioning, and schooling conflicts for low-income African American youth. Social Problems, 50(1), 136-155.


90 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Solórzano, D. & Villalpando, O. (1998). Critical race theory, marginality, and the experience of minority students in higher education. In C.A. Torres & T.R. Mitchell (Eds.), Sociology of education: Emerging perspectives (pp. 211-222). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Suzuki, B.H. (2002). Revisiting the model minority stereotype: Implications for student affairs practice and higher education. New Directions for Student Services, 97, 21-32. Tatum, B.D. (1997). Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? And other conversations about race. New York NY: Basic Books. Tse, L. (1996). Language brokering in linguistic minority communities: The case of Chinese-and-Vietnamese-American students. The Bilingual Research Journal, 20, (3-4), 485-498. United States Census Bureau (2012). The Asian Population: 2010. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-11.pdf. Winkle-Wagner, R. (2010). Cultural capital: The promises and pitfalls in educa- tion research. ASHE Higher education Report, 35(1), 1-20. Yaccino, S., Schwirtz, M., & Santora, M. (2012). Gunman kills 6 at Sikh temple near Milwaukee. New York Times. Retrieved from: http:// www.nytimes.com/2012/08/06/us/shooting-reported-at-temple-in- wisconsin.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Yosso, T.J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race and Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69-91.


Redmond • 91

Student Affairs’ Role in Helping First-Year Students Move Towards Self-Authorship Audrey Claire Redmond Baxter Magolda, King, Taylor, and Wakefield (2012) found that undergraduate students underwent developmental changes that reveal a gradual decrease in reliance on authority over the course of their first academic year. The students shared stories during their interviews that gave little insight as to how or why such developmental changes occurred. How and by what means are these students moving away from reliance on authority and towards self-definition? What role – if any – can student affairs professionals play in this movement? Simply knowing that first-year students move away from a reliance on authority and towards self-definition is a good start. Student affairs professionals must also be aware of strategies and practices that best support students in such growth. If student affairs professionals have better awareness of what first-year students might deem helpful in their development towards self-definition and selfauthorship, then they can better support their students in such growth and be stronger practitioners in the field. “Most encountered a crossroads during their twenties at which they learned reliance on external authority came into conflict with their growing internal voices. Getting through that crossroads, or bringing their internal sense of self to the foreground and moving external influence to the background, was essential for them to become authors of their own lives” –Marcia B. Baxter Magolda, 2003 ~ Undergraduate students have the potential to significantly develop their identities over the course of their first year. One such area of development is in the direction of achieving self-authorship, Baxter Magolda’s (2004) pinnacle of selfdevelopment. Self-authorship is the “developmental capacity to internally define one’s own identity, relationships, and beliefs” (Taylor, 2008, p. 215), and is rarely achieved during one’s undergraduate tenure. Steps can be made, however, through Baxter Magolda’s model of self-authorship while in college, and studies show that Audrey Redmond is the graduate assistant for New Student Orientation at the University of Vermont and a second-year student in UVM’s HESA program. She is passionate about assisting students through major life transitions, as well as facilitating student leadership development. She has learned a lot about her own dominant identities as a White, heterosexual woman during her time at UVM, and is excited to help similar students better understand both their identities as well as the roles they can play in dismantling systems of oppression.


92 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 movement does indeed occur. Baxter Magolda, King, Taylor, and Wakefield (2012) studied first year students to examine what progress was made in the direction of self-authorship and found that most students moved away from reliance on authority and toward Self-Definition. It is the first phase of self-authorship, and in its achievement, students are able to move into the second phase of self-authorship, Becoming the Author of One’s Life, followed by the third phase, Internal Foundations, until, finally, self-authorship is fully achieved. Baxter Magolda et al. (2012) revealed that first-year students moved away from reliance on authority and toward self-definition as they entered a period of crisis and uncertainty in one’s ways of knowing and came out on the other side unscathed. This piece of the developmental process is known as The Crossroads. The student narratives produced via the study “reveal[ed] the challenges students encountered but contain[ed] little detailed commentary on support they received in developing their internal voices” (Baxter Magolda, et al., 2012, p. 431). As a result of the lack of research on exactly how students enter The Crossroads, little is known about this developmental process (Pizzolato, 2005). Without knowing how students enter into and successfully navigate The Crossroads, it remains difficult for student affairs professionals to predict, observe, or assist such movement. Achieving Self-Definition as a First-Year Student Many undergraduate students enter their first year of college with a strong reliance on authority and little idea of their own, internal voice. “They often see knowledge as certain and accept authority’s knowledge claims uncritically” (Baxter Magolda & King, 2007, p. 493), which can result in an inability to know oneself and one’s beliefs in any genuine, definitive way. Should a student remain reliant on authority and fail to develop their own sense of self, there may be negative implications both academically and socially. Baxter Magolda and King (2007) noted, “self-authorship is a foundation for achieving many college learning outcomes” (p. 491), and therefore a lack of progress in the journey towards self-authorship can be academically stagnating. Socially, students must be able to communicate with their peers speaking from their own perspective and with an awareness of who they are. To author one’s process of feeling, thinking, and socially relating is to be a functioning, successful adult (Baxter Magolda & King, 2007), and is thus a pivotal social piece of the undergraduate experience. Deserting a comfortable framework of knowing in favor of self-work, questioning, and developing a new structure can feel like a daunting task. Abandoning a reliance on authority and shifting to self-definition seems like an advantageous and beneficial move for all students to work towards, but it may not come naturally or simply for all students. Reliance on authority may be the only system of knowing previously experienced by a student, and furthermore, it may feel comfortable


Redmond • 93 and easy. External pressure from family members may also inhibit students from entering The Crossroads. Pizzolato and Ozaki (2007) noted that students might feel pressure to fulfill a tradition or hope of someone important in their lives, even if they cannot envision themselves taking over or enjoying the career paths or roles of their parents. Despite potential barriers to achieving self-definition, many first-year students are naturally inclined to move away from reliance on authority and towards an entrance into The Crossroads. Pizzolato and Ozaki (2007) explained, “students at The Crossroads begin to feel uncomfortable with their ways of knowing and seek ways to alter their epistemologies in ways that will allow them to better cope with the complexity required by the situation” (p. 202). Buesseri and Rose-Krasnor (2008) noted that, while such discomfort and movement may be natural, “less well understood is the significance of subjective experiences in activities in relation to personal and interpersonal growth” (p. 425). How exactly are students entering and moving through The Crossroads and deciding what to believe and how to build identity? The pivotal question for student affairs professionals becomes: can we help facilitate this discomfort in students’ ways of knowing and play a role in their entrance into The Crossroads? If so, how? What Students Say To better understand the role of student affairs professionals in facilitating students’ entrance into The Crossroads, it is pivotal to identify student perspectives on how such growth has been achieved. Unfortunately, little research has been dedicated to exactly how students move into and through The Crossroads, and even less has specifically focused on the role that student affairs professionals may play. What is known, however, is that “students at The Crossroads begin to feel uncomfortable with their ways of knowing and seek ways to alter their epistemologies in ways that will allow them to better cope with the complexity required by the situation” (Pizzolato & Ozaki, 2007, p. 202). With this knowledge in mind, student affairs professionals can begin to infer the types of discomfort that might assist student movement into The Crossroads by listening to our students. What have students identified as moments of “intense intrapersonal tension” (Pizzolato & Ozaki, 2007, p. 202) — particularly in regards to their views of authority figures — during their first year of college, and were they able to articulate a connection between that dissonance and growth? When students begin their first year of college, “they often see knowledge as certain and accept authority’s knowledge claims uncritically” (Baxter Magolda & King, 2007, p. 493). The shift into The Crossroads begins to occur as they begin to take responsibility for selecting their own belief system and designing their identity (Pizzolato & Ozaki, 2007). There are several means by which this growth


94 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 can transpire. First, out-of-class experiences were cited as a primary source of experiencing intrapersonal tension and working towards a better understanding of the self. Considering that achieving self-authorship is a reasonable goal for many of today’s college students, Kuh (1995) noted: Many different out-of-class experiences have the potential to contribute to valued outcomes of college … Among the more powerful experiences were those that demanded sustained effort to complete various tasks as students interacted with people from different groups and peers from different backgrounds. (p. 145) A student in Kuh’s (1995) study explained the value of out-of-class experiences precisely when they noted, “‘it is funny that we are talking about things outside the classroom because I feel like that is the place that I have done most of my growing’” (p. 123). These experiences can take the form of participation in clubs, activities, leadership positions, social settings, or work scenarios. Such opportunities provide students with a chance to interact with a variety of individuals in new ways, and such experiences can create the level of engagement and discomfort necessary to promote movement away from reliance on authority. Involvement in service learning has also been identified as a means by which students potentially enter into The Crossroads during their first year of college. “Involvement in service learning may lead to the opportunities for skill development, value expression, and resource building that are required for the eventual selection of adaptive personal, academic, and career-related goals” (Buesseri & Rose-Krasnor, 2008, p. 426), and identity development is fostered through better understanding one’s own goals. Through service learning, students can realize the role that they are capable of playing in making their communities stronger, safer, and happier. They can comprehend their ability to help others, and, in doing so, may realize their own proficiency as young adults functioning in the world on their own. The experience of service learning can challenge authority by welcoming students to develop their own values and significance (Baxter Magolda & King, 2007), and can thus provide the level of intrapersonal tension necessary to possibly enter into The Crossroads. Students also cited informal contact with faculty and staff members as contributing to their movement away from authority dependence. Such interactions give students the opportunity to shift their understanding of where authority comes from, and to “challenge this authority by inviting learners to develop their own purposes and meaning through conversation” (Baxter Magolda & King, 2007, p. 493). Informal contact allows students to develop their own inner sense of authority, which is separate from but ideally equal to those in higher positions than themselves. Students said “informal faculty-student contact beyond the classroom fostered feelings of affirmation, confidence, and self-worth, particularly for women, and contributed to knowledge acquisition and the development


Redmond • 95 of academic and personal skills” (Kuh, 1995, p. 146). Such interactions, while often infrequent, can carry significant weight in the process of first year students entering The Crossroads and moving towards self-definition. Next Steps for Student Affairs Professionals Knowing that the “ability to author one’s own thinking, feeling, and social relating is inherent in successful functioning in adult life” (Baxter Magolda & King, 2007, p. 492), student affairs professionals should consider the practices identified by students as helpful in reaching a point of internal questioning, and contemplate the role that they might play in fostering self-definition in the students they work with. If one of higher education’s goals is that of transforming higher education to place the development of self as central, student affairs professionals have the chance to institute changes in their interactions with students that more successfully promote self-authorship. Baxter Magolda and King (2007) suggested “the potential for promoting self-authorship in college far exceeds the degree to which it has been prevalent among college students” (p. 493); the possibilities for supporting student development are vast and exciting. Pizzolato (2005) reminded us that “The Crossroads may be externally induced through programming, interventions, and reforms related to common collegiate experiences” (Pizzolato, 2005, p. 624), and we might therefore feel inspired by the potential influence we could have as professionals. While additional research must be conducted to fully understand the influence and specificities of student affairs professionals on first-year student development, several strategies seem to promote entrance into The Crossroads and towards selfdefinition. One strategy for student affairs professionals to employ is to avoid providing students with base formulas for success. During their first year of college, many students are provided the unique challenges of navigating living with a roommate, balancing schoolwork and social time, and residing independently from their families, all for the first time. Such transition can play a key role in developing self-definition, as “experimentation and exploration may be particularly salient during the period of ‘emerging adulthood’” (Buesseri & Rose-Krasnor, 2008, p. 426). While watching students work through such transitions, it can feel tempting to offer solutions to successfully navigating a difficult time. Student affairs professionals must try to avoid offering structured solutions, though, and should find alternative ways of supporting their students. Since “colleges and universities tend to provide so many formulas for success” (Pizzolato & Ozaki, 2007, p. 197), realizing one’s own capacity for developing solutions is difficult when answers are simply offered. While there remains value in structured and organized activities, “a range of less structured, daily activities may be venues for positive development” (Buesseri & Rose-Krasnor, 2008, p. 427). We must provide


96 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 students with a balance of challenge and support, not formulaic solutions, to assist their entrance into The Crossroads. Student affairs professionals can benefit from becoming become better listeners, particularly when advising first-year students. Genuine listening demonstrates an element of equality between professional and student. When students realize that they are being taken seriously, they come to see that a positive conception of self is vital to their knowledge construction (Baxter Magolda, 2003). Pizzolato and Ozaki (2007) highlighted an advisor who always began her sessions by simply listening to students’ stories about how they had landed in a place of academic or social difficulty. By opening each advising session with an allowance for story sharing, the advisor created opportunity for collaborative problem solving, in which “the student more actively participates in the process” (Pizzolato & Ozaki, 2007, p. 204). Such student participation in the problem-solving process encourages self-definition, and can enhance first-year students’ success “by being intentional about understanding students’ strategy patterns and helping them to devise effective strategies” (Clark, 2005, p. 310). Listening to and allowing for students to take the lead in problem solving are powerful tools for student affairs professionals to utilize in supporting self-definition. A third suggestion for student affairs professionals is to simply be more available to first-year students. When work feels all-consuming, time spent directly with students can be one of the easiest things to delegate elsewhere, cut back on, or possibly even cancel altogether. However, “maintaining ongoing contact with students during the entire first year could allow [higher education professionals] to be more effective in helping students recognize challenges” (Clark, 2005, p. 311), and ultimately assist student movement into The Crossroads. Student affairs professionals must do their best to make time to have conversations with students outside of mandatory meetings or trainings associated with their work. Showing first-year students that their stories, concerns, and questions are worthy of our time and focus helps them to realize the importance of their voice, and therefore encourages development. “Influencing and fostering student learning and development can be thought of in terms of intentionally creating an environment to draw out students’ inner sense of self and talents and providing opportunities for students to explore, develop, and change” (Braskamp, 2008, p. 51), and that environment must (at times) be intentionally created—even at the cost of temporarily postponing a project or email. A Final Word These suggested practices are just that—suggestions. There is more work to be done in terms of understanding both the precise nature of how first year students enter The Crossroads, as well as the exact role played by student affairs


Redmond • 97 professionals in facilitating student self-definition. More research must be done to consider how to best support students of differing identities; it cannot be assumed that what works for one student will work for all. So far, students have identified out-of-class experiences, service learning, and informal contact with professionals as moments of potential intrapersonal tension, when they realize that they may no longer need or want to rely solely on authority figures to make decisions and meaning. Student affairs professionals are encouraged to avoid providing students with formulas during times of tension, to genuinely listen to students, and to make themselves more available for informal time with students. Such practices encourage students to take the reigns on their own problem solving and to work through a time of intrapersonal tension, through The Crossroads, and onto self-definition.


98 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 References Baxter Magolda, M. B. (2003). Identity and learning: Student affairs’ role in transforming higher education. Journal of College Student Development, 44(2), 231-247. Baxter Magolda, M. B. (2004). Making their own way: Narratives for transforming higher education to promote self-development. Stylus Publishing, LLC.. Baxter Magolda, M. B., & King, P. M. (2007). Interview strategies for assessing self-authorship: Constructing conversations to assess meaning making. Journal of College Student Development, 48(5), 491-508. Baxter Magolda, M.B., King, P.M., Taylor, K. B., & Wakefield, K.M. (2012). Decreasing authority dependence during the first year of college. Journal of College Student Development, 53(3), 418-435. Braskamp, L. A. (2008). Organizing the Campus Environment to Foster Student Self-Authorship. A Collection of Papers on Self-Study and Institutional Improvement, 51, 3:51-3:52. Busseri, M. A., & Rose-Krasnor, L. (2008). Subjective experiences in activity involvement and perceptions of growth in a sample of first-year female university students. Journal of College Student Development, 49(5), 425-442 Clark, M. R. (2005). Negotiating the freshman year: Challenges and strategies among first-year college students. Journal of College Student Development, 46(3), 296-316. Daddona, M. F., & Cooper, D. L. (2002). Comparison of freshmen perceived needs prior to and after participation in an orientation program. NASPA journal, 39(4), 300-318. Kuh, G. D. (1995). The other curriculum: Out-of-class experiences associated with student learning and personal development. The Journal of Higher Education, 123-155. Pizzolato, J. E. (2005). Creating crossroads for self-authorship: Investigating the provocative moment. Journal of College Student Development, 46(6), 624-641. Pizzolato, J. E., & Ozaki, C. C. (2007). Moving toward self-authorship: Investi- gating outcomes of learning partnerships. Journal of College Student Development, 48(2), 196-214. Taylor, K. B. (2008). Mapping the intricacies of young adults’ developmental journey from socially prescribed to internally defined identities, relationships, and beliefs. Journal of College Student Development, 49(3), 215-234.


Ritchey • 99

Black Identity Development Keyiona Ritchey The purpose of this literature review is to discuss the stages of Black identity development among Black students in higher education attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs). I explore the different stages of Nigrescence, which is the process of becoming Black (Cross, 1991). Research on Black identity development is critical for student affairs professionals because it can serve as a foundation to help understand different developmental processes that Black students may experience in college. Ultimately, competency in Nigrescence can help influence how student affairs professionals help support Black students as they learn to navigate their racial identity in college. Additionally, student affairs professionals can help aid in persistence and retention efforts made by colleges.

Higher Education Student affairs professionals should understand the different dynamics of Black identity development and the ways it might play out on college campuses when working with students from diverse backgrounds. Identity conflict is largely responsible for a significant number of early departures from a college campus (Harper & Quaye, 2007). It is important to keep in mind that every student is at different stages in their developmental process. Support might look different for every student. Institutions of higher education have come a long way in terms of multicultural competency. Nonetheless, there is still progress to be made. I will explore Black identity development among Black students attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs) and the implications for student affairs professionals. I use Black identity development and Nigrescence interchangeably. Applying to and being accepted to college is something many American youth excitedly anticipate. Transitioning to college is a significant life change for young Keyiona Ritchey is a 2nd year HESA student. She is the graduate assistant for study abroad in the Office of International Education. She received her B.A. from California State University Dominguez Hills with a major in Human Services and a minor in Africana Studies. Her passions are in racial identity development, education abroad, and helping students with non-dominant identities navigate higher education.


100 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 adults. It is typically the first time young adults are living away from home and gaining a sense of independence. Magolda (2001) expressed that “higher education has a responsibility to help young adults make the transition from their socialization by society to their role as members and leaders in society’s future” (p. 25). College is a place where young adults learn how to positively contribute to society. Since higher education is tasked with socializing young adults to be productive members of society, this transformation looks different for each student based on their racial identity. Therefore, it is critical for student affairs professionals to understand the different dynamics of Black identity development. Racism significantly impacts racial identity development in the United States. Adams (2005) stated that Race is the sharpest and deepest division in American life, and because of the long standing divide, achieving equal access to and benefits from institutions of higher education has been an ongoing struggle for people of color in general, but particularly for African Americans. (p. 285) College is where young adults begin to question their identity and explore the question of “who am I?” (Magolda, 2001, p. 4). Black students attending PWIs can face racism, isolation, sociocultural challenges, and academic obstacles (Harper & Quaye, 2007). In addition, Black students become aware of the implications of what it means to be Black during college among their White peers. For Black students attending college, Bakari (1997) stated that “a positive racial identity helps create a positive attitude and confidence in one’s ability, therefore, a positive racial identity is critical for the academic success and personal development of African American students” (p. 1). Therefore, it is critical for student affairs professionals to be knowledgeable in Black identity development since a positive racial identity is linked to academic and personal success. This ultimately contributes to Black students graduating and being productive members of society. Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together? When Black students do not fit into the mainstream culture they tend to group with other people who look like them for support. Tatum (1997) said that joining with one’s peers for support in the face of stress is a positive coping strategy. What is problematic is that the young people are operating with very limited definitions of what it means to be Black, based largely on cultural stereotypes. (p. 62) Black students “sit at the same table” (p. 62) because it is comfortable for them. They face challenges in a setting where they stand out and “academic success is often associated with being White” (p. 62). Tatum (1997) acknowledged that students seek support from what is comfortable to them. As a result “Black students turn to each other for the much needed support they are not likely to find anywhere” (p. 60) in order to persevere and graduate.


Ritchey • 101 Bakari (1997) argued that PWIs often fail to meet the challenges of cross cultural student development for Black students. They continue to operate under the melting pot theory, where everyone is expected to fit into the mainstream White middle class value structure. This creates barriers and a climate that is not conducive for students whose identities fall outside of being White and middle class. Reflecting on her experiences as a student bell hooks (1994) recounted “I know from personal experience as a [Black woman] student in a predominantly white institution how easy it is to feel shut out or closed down” (p. 86). Negative stereotypes about Black culture are imposed upon Black students. Stereotypes from the media are one way people acquire knowledge regarding Black culture. According to Adams (2005), “Black students are seldom exposed to scholarly work related to the Black experience and must construct their young adult racial identities from the raw and flawed racial stereotypes perpetuated in the media and popular culture” (p. 285). In and outside the classroom, Black students have to combat negative stereotypes about their race and culture directly or indirectly. This can have a negative impact on their academic and personal success. Nigrescence William Cross developed Nigrescence theory in 1971, a theory considered the seminal Black racial identity development model (Vandiver, Cross, Worrell & Fhagen-Smith, 2002). When Cross wrote about Nigrescence in 1971, he referred to it as “an identity change process as a Negro-to-Black conversion experience, the kind of process that could be seen in Black behavior during the Harlem Renaissance” (Cross, 1991, p. 189). Cross (1991) re-considered the theory as a resocializing experience, one that transforms a preexisting identity (e.g., non-Afrocentric identity) to one that is Afrocentric. Benjamin, Constantine, Richardson, and Wilson (2000) interpreted Nigrescence as the developmental process of becoming Black, an explanation of the Black identity and consciousness process for Black Americans. Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton, and Renn (2010) stated, “Cross introduced a five stage Nigrescence model, but in 1991 he condensed it to four stages” (p. 256) combining stages four and five. I reviewed the original five stages. Pre-encounter (stage 1) depicts the identity to be changed; Encounter (stage 2) isolates the point at which the person feels compelled to change; ImmersionEmersion (stage 3) describes the vortex of identity change; and Internalization and Internalization-Commitment (stages 4 and 5) describe the habituation and internalization of the new identity. Pre-Encounter Stage Persons in the pre-encounter stage hold attitudes that range from low salience to race neutrality to anti-Black (Cross, 1991). Little emphasis is given to race in


102 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 this stage and people focus on other aspects of their lives including occupation, lifestyle, and religion as more salient. People do not acknowledge race as something that has affected their lives thus far. There are some Black people for whom being Black is very important, and there are some Black people who can hold an extreme attitude of anti-Blackness. Cross (1991) stated that “anti-Blacks loath other Blacks; they feel alienated from them and do not see Blacks or the Black community as potential or actual sources of personal support” (p. 191). Typically this stage occurs when someone does not realize that they have been raised with White westernized ideologies, because it is so embedded in their culture. Cross (1991) said that “persons have frequently been socialized to favor a Eurocentric cultural perspective” (p. 193). Encounter Stage People in the encounter stage must work around, slip through, or even shatter the relevance of their ideology and worldview. At the same time, others must provide some hint of direction in which to point the person to be resocialized or transformed (Cross, 1991). The encounter stage encompasses two steps, encounter and personalize. In the encounter step, an event happens that shapes how one views their race. Personalize occurs when an individual takes action as a result of the personal impact the event evoked on that person’s world view. Cross (1991) pointed out that the encounter “need not to be negative” (p. 197) for the event to have impact and steer a person towards Nigrescence. What matters is that the encounter has a personally significant impact to be the catalyst to spur change in their thinking. Immersion-Emersion Stage The immersion-emersion stage of Nigrescence addresses the most sensational aspect of Black identity development, for it represents the vortex of psychological Nigrescence (Cross, 1991). It is during this stage that Black people will begin to shed their old worldview and construct a new frame of reference with the information they now have about race. The person has not yet changed, but commits to change. Cross (1991) said that “immersion is a strong powerful dominating sensation that is constantly energized by rage [at White people and culture], guilt [at having once been tricked into thinking Black ideas], and developing a sense of pride [in one’s Black self, Black people, and Black culture]” (p. 203). A sense of rage that is part of the immersion-emersion stage can be a catalyst for Black students to seek out history, art, and music that represent a culture they never knew existed. Cross (1991) stated that “a paradox conversion is that while rebelling against the larger society, the new convert may willingly conform to the demands for Black organizations” (p. 205). It is critical for PWIs to have safe


Ritchey • 103 spaces for Black students to feel comfortable in, as they navigate aspects of their identity that may be new to them. Harper and Quaye (2007) noted that many racial and ethnic minority students find themselves either subverting their identity to become involved in the mainstream culture or assimilating as they struggle to maintain a strong cultural connection to their racial identity. Connecting with others through a student organization or safe space can help aid in the support Black students may need to be successful in and outside of the classroom. According to Vandiver et al., (2002), Black people can feel a variety of different emotions expressed in different ways. If Blacks accepted being Black then, they were assumed to be psychologically healthy and to have a high self esteem. In contrast Blacks who accepted the values of White society were believed to suffer from self hatred and, as a result, low self-esteem. (p. 71) Societal constructions disadvantage Black people through overt and covert forms of institutionalized racism. During the immersion stage, Black people decompress all the negative stereotypes associated with being Black, and view being Black through a different lens. Cross (1991) noted “emersion, an emergence from the emotionality and dead end, either/or, racist and oversimplified ideologies of the emergence experience (p. 207). During this time Black people are leveling off, which is facilitated by personal growth and the recognition that certain role models or heroes operate from a more advance state of identity development (Cross, 1991). Internalization Stage Internalization encompasses a transition period where one is working through the challenges and problems of a new identity (Cross, 1991). During this time people move away from how others view them to how they view themselves. Cross (1991) stated “the internalization marks the point of dissonance resolution and reconstruction of ones steady state personality and cognitive style” (p. 220). Black people begin to think critically about their new found racial identity and how it has shaped their life. As a result they embrace what it means to be Black and have Black self-love that they exude into the universe. Most importantly, “Black identity functions to fulfill the self protection, social anchorage, and bridging needs of the individual” (p. 220). Internalization-Commitment Stage Internalization-commitment focuses on the long-term interest of Black affairs over an extended amount of time (Cross, 1991). This stage is now combined with internalization. Cross (1991) explained that “consequently other than to repeat what has already been said about internalization a more differential look at internalization-commitment awaits the results of future research” (p. 220).


104 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 According to Benjamin et al. (1998), Black identity development model helps “Blacks begin to shed a poor self worth and move toward embracing a positive Black self definition” (p. 96). This is the ultimate transformation, taking place when someone achieves a healthy racial identity. Racism, domination, and privilege are interwoven into society. As a result, “racism and race related stress may be experienced at the cultural, individual and institutional levels” (Johnson & Arbona, 2006, p. 1). This can be experienced by Black people as well as other people with subordinate identities, which is why having a healthy racial identity is important for all students, no matter someone’s race. According to Benjamin et al. (1998): Healthy racial identity development is achieved when Blacks progress through a series of linear stages commencing with degrading thoughts and feelings about themselves and other Blacks accompanied by idealized beliefs about Whites, and ends with internalized positive feelings about themselves, other Blacks, and other racial groups. (p. 96) Conclusion Black identity development involves going through stages simultaneously. Black people begin with less awareness about their Black identity then progress to internalize positive thoughts, not only about themselves as a Black person, but about other racial groups as well. In addition, not only do people become aware of the historical ramifications about what it means to be Black, they also put thoughts and ideas into action to help educate and uplift the Black community. Utilizing Cross’s (1991) Nigrescence theory can help put into context the issues that can happen developmentally with a Black student regarding their racial identity in college. As institutions of higher education move towards attracting a more multicultural student population, student affairs professionals should be aware of the different stages of Black identity development. Competency in Nigrescence can serve as a reference for student affairs professionals and help assess the impact of Black students’ relationships with their peers, faculty, and staff. Pope-Davis, Liu, Ledesma-Jones, and Nevitt (2000) stated that “identification with one’s racial and cultural group represents a complex process” (p. 101) which does not happen overnight. It is a process that develops more as students interact with others from different backgrounds.


Ritchey • 105 References Adams, T. A. (2005). Establishing intellectual space for Black students in predominantly White universities through Black studies. The Negro Educational Review, 56, 1–16. Bakari, S. (1997). African American Racial Identity Development in Predominantly White Institutions: Challenges for Student Development Professionals. Different Perspectives on Majority Rules (1997). Paper 19. Benjamin, E., Constantine, E., Richardson, T., Wilson, J. (1998). An overview of Black racial identity theories: Limitations and considerations for future theoretical conceptualizations. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 75, 95-99. Cross, W. E. (1991). Shades of Black: Diversity in African-American identity. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass Publishers. Harper, S. R., & Quaye, S. J. (2007). Student Organizations as Venues for Black Identity Expression and Development among African American Male Student Leaders. Journal of College Student Development, 48(2), 127–144. hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge. Johnson, S. C., & Arbona, C. (2006). The Relation of Ethnic Identity, Racial Identity, and Race-Related Stress among African American College Students. Journal of College Student Development, 47(5), 495–507. Magolda, B. (2001). Making their own way: Narratives for transforming higher education to promote self-development. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pope-Davis, D. B., Liu, W. M., Ledesma-Jones, S., & Nevitt, J. (2000). African American Acculturation and Black Racial Identity: A Preliminary Investigation. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 28(2), 98–112. Tatum, B. D. (1997). Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? And other conversations about race. New York, NY: Basic Books. Vandiver, B. J., Cross, W. E., Jr., Worrell, F. C., & Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2002). Validating the Cross Racial Identity Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 49(1), 71–85. doi:10.1037//0022-0167.49.1.71


106 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35

Latino Gay Men and Their Relationship to the Gay Movement, Latino Communities and Higher Education Victor A. Sánchez  Research has been made on the experiences of gay men and the experiences of Latino men. This paper offers a review of the literature about Latino gay men in relation to gay communities and Latino communities. Suggestions will be made for student affairs practitioners to reconsider the support provided for Latino gay men and to foster a safer environment for them.

Introduction Latino gay men must learn to navigate the racism they encounter in the gay community and the heterosexism they face in Latino communities. The limited literature on Latino gay men indicates that Latino gay men and their experiences are undermined by both, United States’ gay movement and Latino communities. This paper reviews literature about Latino gay men, explores their relationship with the gay and Latino communities, as well as analyzes their role in higher education. Gay is used in this paper to refer to men attracted to other men. Queer is generally used as an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities, but this paper focuses on gay men. Latino will be used to refer to people of Latin American descent, and Chicano will be used to refer to people of Mexican-American descent; the terms will not be used interchangeably but both will be used throughout this paper. As a result of their multiple subordinate identities, Latino gay men are charged with creating communities and cultures that embrace them (Kumashiro, 2001). This task raises questions about Latino gay men and their experiences, which will be explored in this paper: Why are Latino men excluded from the gay movement? Why are Latino gay men silenced in Latino communities? What effect does their silence have on the experiences of Latino gay men in higher education and what implications does that have for student affairs practitioners?

Víctor A. Sánchez is an Assistant Residence Director at the University of Vermont and a second year in the HESA program. Through Gloria Anzaldua’s framework of borderlands, Victor explores the intersection of being Queer and Latino in the US.


Sánchez • 107 Latino gay men and the Gay Community A question that must be posed about the gay movement and community is: who do these groups represent? Kumashiro (2001) explained that terms like gay and queer ignore the oppression and discrimination that was historically associated with those words when they began to be used to describe non-heterosexual people. Hames-Garcia and Martinez (2011) summarized Sedgwick’s argument that the terms gay and queer are advantageous because they refer to a wide variety of people. The problem with umbrella terms is that they fail to represent the diverse perspectives of men that comprise this group. Often times the term “gay” is associated with those that lead and define U.S. gay culture: middle-class, white gay men (Anzaldua, 2009). The term “gay” is commonly used to refer to men who are attracted to other men yet it neglects Latino gay men and other gay men of color. The word “gay” becomes problematic when it is used as an umbrella term. In addition, “gay” and “queer” ignore the individual experiences of gay men of color that are vastly different from gay White men (Anzaldua, 2009). Anzaldua (2009) asserted that the queer movement is another way of recolonizing communities of color and disregarding their stories. Single-issue movements risk ignoring and reinforcing other oppressions (Kumashiro, 2001). As a result, the U.S. gay movement tends to focus on the single issue of oppressed gay men as if all gay men are oppressed through the same means. Grouping all gay men together limits the way we understand gay men (Anzaldua, 2009) and by doing so, we can perpetuate the oppression of people who do not fit the mold. Furthermore, Anzaldua (2009) argued that words such as lesbian, queer, gay, and homosexual exclude the “other” as well as erase the history and experiences of Chicanos, in particular, those who do not identify as heterosexuals. As a result, Anzaldua (2009) reclaimed her identity as a “jota, marimacha” to avoid being defined by labels that refer to White middle-class women. Anzaldua reclaimed “jota” and “marimacha” because they are used by her people to speak about her love for women. Anzaldua’s words call for non-heterosexual Latinos to reclaim the words that are used by their people to speak of their sexuality. Latino gay men do not define the gay movement and they are expected to assimilate to White gay culture. Peña (2004) suggested Latino gay men “do not assimilate into a static U.S. gay culture and adopt its language, symbols, and sexual systems. Rather, U.S. gay culture is itself changed by extensive contact with immigrant, non-English-speaking homosexual men and women” (p. 236). In other words, Peña claimed gay men of color have an impact on White gay culture. However, Anzaldua (2009) stated the following about Queer Theory and White queers:


108 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 It follows the tradition in which white middle-class lesbians and gay men frame the terms of the debate. It is they who have produced Queer theory and for the most part their theories make abstractions of us colored gays. They control the production of Queer knowledge in the academy and in the activist community. (p. 165) The gay movement has historically catered to the needs of White middle-class individuals (Anzaldua, 2009). Drawing from history, the movement has ignored the intersections of race and sexuality for Latinos. As a result, Latino gay men struggle to find support within gay communities and compromise their identities to seek support. For example, if Latino gay men pursue support from White gay men it directly conflicts with their cultural identity and must sacrifice traditions and customs (Lukes & Land, 1990; Garcia, 1991). Boehmer (2002) found that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) issues were addressed in 3,777 articles dedicated to public health; of these, 85% omitted information on race/ ethnicity of participants. It is critical to explore what it means for Latino gay men to compromise their gayness or their Latino identity.

Jotos and the Latino Culture(s) Like “gay,” the term “Latino” is another term used to cluster a diverse group of people under one umbrella. Garcia (1998) offered the following analysis of Latino culture(s): There is a set of shared values across nationalities and socioeconomic groups, such as the strong influence of the Catholic Church and the lifelong, intense involvement of parents, siblings, and relatives in the lives and decisions of individual family members. The shared Spanish language and the Latino culture(s) also offer important sources of commonality through sayings, songs, and shared meanings that, to a large extent, shape a common worldview and a set of values. (p. 5) The differences and similarities within the Latino culture(s) must be recognized in efforts to better serve this growing population. For the purposes of this paper, Latino gay men in the U.S. will be referred to as one group. Wieringa and Blackwood (1999), like Anzaldua (2009), state that the term “gay” is not inclusive of all non-heterosexual people. Some of the very important factors the term undermines are class differences, race differences, gender hierarchies, and women’s oppression. The mainstream gay movement is focused on issues deemed important by White middle-class gay men such as marriage equality (Kumashiro, 2001). Communities of color perceive the gay movement as a “White thing” and gayness is seen as a “white disease” (Anzaldua, 2009; Kumashiro, 2001). Subsequently, Latinos who embrace their gay identity are perceived as “race traitors” (Allman as cited in Kumashiro, 2001, p. 6). As a result, the White gay narrative


Sánchez • 109 marginalizes Latino gay men and as such they are perceived by other Latinos as abandoning their Latino root(s) and conforming to whiteness. To further complicate the intersection of being Latino and gay, Latino gay men are perceived as traitors to family values and the Catholic Church’s rules. (CarballoDieguez, 1989; Garcia, 1991). Garcia (1998) cited Morales’ identity formation model for ethnic minority gay men, which included a phase where there is a direct conflict between ethnic identity development and gay identity development. By embracing their homosexuality, Latino gay men reject the expectations that their families and society have of them. This places a direct conflict between the value they place on themselves and the value they perceive others to place on them. Gay movements within Latino communities have historically excluded the voices of men. In Borderlands, Anzaldua (2012) theorized about “mestiza consciousness” and also briefly discussed Chicano gay men. She discussed the exclusion of the Chicano gay men based on lesbian separatist politics. Although there are historical points that justify the exclusion of Chicano gay men due to machismo, Anzaldua (2012) stated that the liberation of jotos and marimachas could not be completed until both were included in the movement. Kumashiro (2001) summarized Moraga’s claim that gay Chicano literature offered little to the understanding of how to navigate different spaces with different identities. In other words, Moraga argued that gay Chicano writing did not offer insight into a “mestizo consciousness,” therefore, offering nothing to the cause. Viego (1999) argued that Moraga’s claim was problematic because it is based on the assumption that gay Chicano men and their literature weaken Chicana political effectiveness. Almaguer (as quoted by Kumashiro, 2001) summarized Moraga’s statement: Male homosexuality has always been a “tolerated” aspect of Mexican/Chicano society, as long as it remains “fringe”…But lesbianism, in any form, and male homosexuality which openly avows both the sexual and the emotional elements of the bond, challenge the very foundation of la familia. (p. 9) Moraga’s claim tied machismo with the sex between two men. According to Garcia (1998), Latino men who participate in sexual encounters with other men retain their masculinity as long as they “insert their penis in other men” and the ones “receiving” are degraded (p. 18). The labeling of gay Chicanos as weak can be linked to the gender roles that are imposed. While lesbian Chicanas are perceived as rejecting weakness and femininity, gay Chicanos are perceived as choosing to adopt those characteristics willingly.


110 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35

Jotos in Higher Education In addition to the settings and circumstances described above, Latino gay men face racism and heterosexism in post-secondary education institutions. Yosso (2005) stated that issues concerning the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the U.S. are closely tied to racism and the knowledge that is valued. Such practices also involve the heterosexist environments that gay people encounter in higher education institutions. Misawa (2010) cites Dilley, who stated that universities reproduce heterosexist norms in their learning environments in various ways. These include heterosexist practices in lectures and the creation of unwelcoming environments towards gay men. Through the universalization of knowledge, the minority perspectives are silenced (Misawa, 2010). Konik and Stewart (2004) found that involvement in college positively affects gay identity development. However, Konik and Stewart (2004) did not explore the effect that this may have on gay Latinos since a positive development of gay identity may be in direct conflict with their Latino identity development (Morales as cited in Garcia, 1998). Valades and Elsbree (2005) studied “Queer coyotes,” which referred to the unique positionality of gay Latinos in higher education and the distinctive perspective they bring to the conversations. However, much of the literature about gay students of color in higher education explores race and sexuality completely separate. Universities are spaces where harmful interactions and inactions are a part of the experiences of queer students of color. Kumashiro (2001) explored anti-oppressive education as a means to improve the experience of queer students of color. Kumashiro found that there are three main components to anti-oppressive education: education for the other, education about the other and education that is critical of privileging and othering. All of the components come with warnings such as not tokenizing the students or being mindful not to present a “dominant” narrative “that could be read by students as ‘the’ Queer-of-color experience” (Kumashiro, 2001). Kumashiro states that if inclusive learning environments are to be created, both racism and heterosexism must be dismantled in classrooms. Implications for Student Affairs Practitioners Practitioners must explore the ways that Latino gay students are supported in postsecondary education institutions. Furthermore, professionals must “re-think” and explore ways of “re”-membering the jotos that are on college campuses. Latino gay men face dichotomies imposed by Latino and American cultures, as well as by gay communities and educational institutions. The jotos are being pulled in many directions while being pushed away by the same forces. Student affairs practitioners must acknowledge the unique challenges that Latino gay men face,


Sánchez • 111 especially their exclusion from many different spaces that are created to “support” them, such as LGBT centers and multicultural centers. Misawa’s Queer Race Pedagogy (QRP) for inclusive learning environments presented activities that educators and student affairs practitioners must practice in order to create such learning environments (2010). Drawing from critical race theory and queer theory, Misawa (2010) proposed, “building a community with counter-narratives and examining stereotypes in terms of positionality” (p. 32). Misawa explained that “counter storytelling” allowed “sexual minorities of color to explore their life stories with a narrative approach that invites students to share their own stories with peers who may have similar experiences” (p. 32). Such approach can empower Latino gay men to reflect and think critically about their stories while creating connections in the classroom. The second component of QRP is to examine “stereotypes by developing and using critical thinking skills” (Misawa, 2010, p. 33). Examining stereotypes requires critical thinking in order to deconstruct the hierarchical structure associated with stereotypes. QRP is one of the strategies that student affairs professionals can incorporate into their practices to support Latino gay men and other students with underrepresented identities. Student affairs practitioners must also consider the intersection of these identities and what that means for the students in higher education institutions. Practitioners must consider what being gay and Latino means for a student that may enter into an LGBT center or a multicultural student center. Balsam, Molina, Beadnell, Simoni and Walters (2010) summarized Ward’s findings and argued that even racially diverse LGBT organizations can be perceived to be predominantly serving the White LGBT population among local LGBT people of color. Practitioners must question the safety and inclusivity of Latino gay men and other queer students of color in those spaces. Conclusion Research allows student affairs practitioners to explore the experiences of Latino people and the experiences of gay men. Latino gay men are excluded from the gay movement and Latino communities for many reasons such as the gay movement catering to White gays (Anzaldua, 2009) and being perceived as “race traitors” by Latino communities (Garcia, 1998). There is a need to further explore the experiences of Latino gay men in order to further support them in higher education and create safe and inclusive spaces for them. Misawa’s Queer Race Pedagogy and the reevaluation of the inclusivity of LGBT and multicultural centers are ways student affairs practitioners can explore different means to support Latino gay men.


112 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 References Anzaldúa, G., & Keating, A. (2009). The Gloria Anzaldúa reader. Durham: Duke University Press. Anzaldúa, G. (2012). Borderlands: The new mestiza = la frontera (4th ed.). San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books. Balsam, K. F., Molina, Y., Beadnell, B., Simoni, J., & Walters, K. (2011). Measuring multiple minority stress: The LGBT people of color microaggressions scale. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17(2), 163-174. Boehmer, U. (2002). Twenty years of public health research: Inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. American Journal of Public Health, 92(7), 1125-1130. Garcia, M. R., & Martínez, E. J. (2011). Gay Latino studies: A critical reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Garcia, B. (1998). The development of a Latino gay identity. New York: Garland Publisher. Konik, J., & Stewart, A. (2004). Sexual identity development in the context of compulsory heterosexuality. Journal of Personality, 72(4), 815-844. Kumashiro, K. K. (2001). Troubling intersections of race and sexuality: Queer students of color and anti-oppressive education. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Leap, W., & Boellstorff, T. (2004). Speaking in queer tongues: Globalization and gay language. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Lukes, C., & Land, H. (1990). Biculturality and homosexuality. National Association of Social Workers, 35(2), 155-161. Misawa, M. (2010). Queer race pedagogy for educators in higher education: Dealing with power dynamics and positionality of LGBTQ students of color. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 3(1), 26-35.


Smallwood • 113

Affirmative Action Programs: Is the “Sun Setting” on Racial Preferences? Sean R. Smallwood Affirmative Action programs originally were meant to create equal opportunities for historically marginalized students across institutions in the post-Civil Rights era (Backes, 2012; Kellough, 2006). Administrators in the United States grapple with the implementation of programs to increase the number of women and students of color into colleges and universities. The legality of these programs are under scrutiny; the Supreme Court heard two cases in 2013 involving affirmative action programs (Jaschik, 2013a). One involved the University of Texas when they denied Abigail Fisher admission in 2008. Another involved the state of Michigan barring state universities and colleges from considering issues such as race or ethnicity in admissions. This article takes a legal standpoint of the development of the Supreme Court’s stance on affirmative action and explores policy implications.

Since the end of the Civil Rights Era, institutions across the nation have grappled with how best to enhance educational opportunities for historically marginalized groups such as women and racial or ethnic minorities (Kellough, 2006). Over the years, as the courts changed leadership, the signals from these government entities shifted. Now with recent events involving both the states of Texas and Michigan, higher education professionals are at a crossroads in understanding how to best approach admissions policies. In response to challenges regarding policies many states began to ban public institutions from considering race in their admissions programs (Backes, 2012). The Supreme Court has not been able to provide a clear formula for how to approach these issues. The judges struggle to discern whether affirmative action is an appropriate measure, or a specific case is constitutional (Marlowe, 2011). Sean Smallwood is a first year Higher Education & Student Affairs graduate student at the University of Vermont. He received his B.A. in Political Science and a minor in LGBT Studies from the University of North Texas in 2013. He currently serves as an Assistant Residence Director for the Department of Residential Life at UVM. Still fresh in his student affairs journey, Sean is exploring research interests and aspirations while trying to stay present in the wonderfully cold Vermont.


114 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 There are various implications for administrators and campus communities across the nation, and the development of this policy issue will drastically change the landscape of who has access to American higher education. In a continually diversifying world it is important for student affairs professionals to create campus environments that mirror accurate representation of racial demographics in the United States. Examining the Supreme Court’s decisions over the past several decades provides some insight into how this policy issue has and will develop. Spann (2000) argues, “[i]n the early years, the Supreme Court gave qualified support to the concept of racial affirmative action, but in recent years, a majority of the Court has consistently opposed affirmative action programs” (p. 1). This article explores the different eras of affirmative action as it applies to higher education admissions criteria, how Supreme Court judges have grappled with the different issues presented, and what signals they have left for institutions to approach these situations in the future. As we begin to reach what the Court has deemed as a “critical mass” (Grutter v. Bollinger et al., 2003) we will observe the decline of race based affirmative action in exchange for a more race-neutral alternative. The Emergence of Affirmative Action Programs During the Civil Rights Era courts were faced with many questions concerning race relations. As each area of the country had its own approach, the Supreme Court felt it necessary to intervene. Prior to this time period the Supreme Court provided no clear guidance on how to approach these situations. Scholars argue that in cases concerning United States v. Carolene Products Co. (1938), Skinner v. State of Oklahoma, ex. rel. Williamson (1942), and Korematsu v. United States (1944) the Court was able to pave the way for some standard of review. However, the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education1 (1954) stands as the true turning point (Marlowe, 2011). The Court began telling states and local entities to stop using race or ethnicity as a means to racially segregate students. Racial affirmative action is more broadly defined as, “the race-conscious allocation of resources— resources such as jobs, educational opportunities, and voting strength—that is motivated by an intent to benefit racial minorities” (Spann, 2000, p. 3). Following the Brown v. Board (1954) decision, lawmakers were encouraged and supported by the Court to create racial remedies, and through a series of executive orders by John F. Kennedy institutions of learning began using race-conscious policies as a means to combat former constitutional violations (Spann, 2000). Simply put, “[a]ffirmative action developed as a means of combating such discrimination and its effects” (Kellough, 2006, p. 145). Policymakers and 1 Further referred to as Brown v. Board.


Smallwood • 115 administrators alike enacted programs that used race-based pupil assignments and cross-city busing systems to achieve a more racially balanced education system (Spann, 2000). Fifteen years later the Court heard the first challenge to affirmative action programs in higher education with DeFunis v. Odegaard (1974). The Court avoided making a judgment by claiming that the issue was moot given that DeFunis was about to graduate law school from a different institution. This case in particular was a clear indication of two things—growing contention amongst the greater society, and a Court “unable to agree upon anything other than the contentiousness of the affirmative action issue” (Spann, 2000, p. 14). The Court findings were a sign of growing discomfort and eventual backlash of affirmative action policies. Rising Contention Against Affirmative Action Regents of the University of California v. Bakke Leading up to the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke 2(1978) decision, many institutions began using quota systems as a means to increase the number of students of color in their campus communities (Kellough, 2006). In this instance Allan Bakke, a White student, was denied admission to the University of California (U.C.)—Davis, School of Medicine, “while African-American students with lower qualifications (as measured by the University) were admitted” (Kellough, 2006, p.100). This was due to a quota system backed by University officials that set aside 16 seats for students of color. The Court was split and failed to come to a majority decision. As Marlowe (2011) states: With no majority opinion in any direction, a total of five justices believed that affirmative action programs could be constitutionally acceptable under the right circumstances, five felt that the U.C. Davis program in particular was impermissible, and one advocated applying the same strict scrutiny analysis to affirmative action programs that the Court applied to classifications that disadvantaged minorities. (p. 102) This split would later create difficulties for institutions to find constitutional admissions criteria, but ultimately the decision laid the framework by which we evaluate cases concerning race-based programs today. The decision of the case was in favor of Bakke and the Court held that he should be admitted into the medical school. The Court also struck down the use of quota systems and sent a message to institutions that they must find a narrowly tailored plan to diversify their student populations (Kellough, 2006; Marlowe, 2 Further referred to as Regents v. Bakke.


116 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 2011; Perry, 2007; Spann, 2000). Justice Powell advocated for a review of “strict scrutiny” 3 he provided a prelude for the argument that these programs must prove a compelling government interest in giving preferential treatment to different classifications of persons. Also the policies must be narrowly tailored to meet those interests (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978). Following the Regents v. Bakke (1978) decision, lower courts often clarified and applied strict scrutiny. It was not until the new millennium that the Court heard another affirmative action case directly involving higher education. Gratz and Grutter v. Bollinger et al. Leading up to the landmark decisions in Gratz v. Bollinger et al. 4 (2003) and Grutter v. Bollinger et al. 5 (2003), lower courts struggled to reconcile next steps regarding affirmative action programs. State governments began proposing pieces of legislation that would invalidate affirmative action programs. As Kellough (2006) writes: [i]n the mid- to late 1990s, a number of Republican members of Congress urged passage of a “civil rights bill” that would end federal government affirmative action efforts… as many as fifteen states had the issue placed on their legislative agendas in 1997, at a time when anti-affirmative action rhetoric was reaching a high point. (p. 57) In 2003 the Court agreed to hear two cases involving the University of Michigan’s (UM) admissions process. Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher both applied for undergraduate admission to UM and both were denied admittance. Similarly, Barbara Grutter applied to UM’s Law School and was also denied admittance. In these cases the court attempted to clarify what was and what was not permissible in affirmative action policies. The undergraduate admissions policy at UM gave students of color a certain point total towards their application that would ultimately guarantee their admission to the University. Many White applicants were turned away as a result (Marlowe, 2011). When the 6-3 decision came down in favor of Gratz and Hamacher it was clear what stance the Court was taking at that time. As Perry (2007) summarizes: Justice Powell in Bakke had required individual assessment of applicants, and he demanded that no single characteristic in a candidate’s file should determine admission. UM’s review of applications was not individualized, 3 Strict scrutiny standard of review is used by the Court to review cases that involve racial discrimination. It holds that an entity must have a compelling interest for taking race into consideration and the process must be narrowly tailored to meet that interest. 4 Further referred to as Gratz v. Bollinger. 5 Further referred to as Grutter v. Bollinger.


Smallwood • 117 and admissions officers’ option of “flagging” applications for additional review could not save the policy from its illegal flaws. (pp.150-151) The difference manners in which the candidates were reviewed divided the Court (Kellough, 2006; Marlowe, 2011; Perry, 2007). Separating out candidates based on racial or ethnic status is impermissible (Gratz v. Bollinger et al., 2003; Grutter v. Bollinger et al., 2003). In Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) the Court affirmed UM’s law school admission policy. Justice O’Connor, writing for the majority, held that the plan was narrowly tailored to meet the institution’s interest of diversity, and that individuals were evaluated in a way where race or ethnicity was not the predominating factor (Grutter v. Bollinger et al, 2003). The majority upheld what Justice Powell had previously ascertained in Regents v. Bakke (1978), creating a diverse student body was still a compelling government interest. The justices also asserted that strict scrutiny applies in cases involving race-based discrimination (Kellough, 2006), but one of the more interesting pieces was the concept of “critical mass” and how it sets the stage to end race-conscious affirmative action programs. The term “critical mass” is derived from the opinion Justice Powell gave in the Regents v. Bakke (1978) decision when he was discussed the Harvard Model— achieving “meaningful numbers” of students of color in order to avoid leaving underrepresented students feeling isolated (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978). Justice O’Connor in the Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) opinion also writes: [w]e take the Law School at its word that it… will terminate its race-conscious admissions program as soon as practicable. It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further the interest in student body diversity in the context of public higher education. Since that time, the number of minority applicants with high grades and tests scores has indeed increased. We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today. (pp. 341-342) This quote essentially sets a timer, or what many people call a “sunset” period when race-conscious affirmative action will no longer be of use (White, 2013). These two decisions represent a growing divide among the justices, and a change in jurisprudence is occurring. As Marlowe (2011) surmises, “[t]his regime period follows the life cycle pattern of initially struggling to establish a governing doctrine… then showing some signs of deterioration” (p. 128). What Marlowe is highlighting is the ebb and flow of ideological difference among justices in the Court. As new presidential appointments are made, the standards will change depending upon how the justices view the legal applicability of race-conscious affirmative action programs. The University of Texas (UT) case this past year


118 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 was closely watched because it could have either reaffirmed the Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger decisions, or created a new era for evaluating affirmative action programs in higher education. Recent Issues Before the Court Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin UT and many institutions around the nation began changing their admissions process dramatically after 2003. UT adopted a plan that would allow the top 10% of Texas high school graduates automatic admission to their University. The program was expected to meet the institution’s diversity goals because many Texas high schools enroll predominantly students of color (Carey, 2012; Jaschik, 2013a; White, 2013). Along with the top 10%, each student had a calculated index (otherwise known as the “Personal Achievement Index”) that generated a score for each applicant based on a consideration of six factors. Among those six factors, in the “special circumstances” section, race could be one of the considerations (White, 2013). Leading up to the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin 6 (2013) case several other decisions came down previewing how the Court was evolving on the issue of race-conscious programs. Carey (2012) recalls, “Roberts wrote that ‘the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race’” (para. 2). This was a popular sentiment from other justices serving on the Court and represented a growing disagreement regarding affirmative action programs. Kellough (2006) argues that many people felt that discrimination was no longer an issue for women and People of Color. In the case of Fisher v. UT, the two categories were pitted against each other. Abigail Fisher, a White woman, in 2008 applied for undergraduate admission at UT’s flagship campus in Austin. After UT denied Fisher admission, she filed a lawsuit claiming that the institution’s consideration of race in their admissions policy was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause (Tilsley, 2012). While Fisher did not prevail in the lower courts in asserting her claim, the Supreme Court decided to hear the case upon her appeal. The decision by the Court in June 2013 found that the Fifth Circuit had not applied “strict scrutiny” to UT’s policies, but failed to offer a “definitive opinion on whether colleges may consider the use of race in admissions” (Jaschik, 2013b, para. 1). The Court asserted that, under certain circumstances, relying on an applicant’s racial or ethnic identity is acceptable, but could not rule on UT’s policy without sending it back to the lower federal court (Jaschik, 2013b; White, 2013). Even after a decade of the Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) and Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), decision the court has not fully come to a consensus on how to approach affirmative action in 6 Further referred to as Fisher v. UT


Smallwood • 119 American higher education. However, the ruling still conveys that diversity is a compelling government interest. Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action The newest case to be considered by the Court is one involving a measure that was passed by Michigan voters in 2006 (Proposition 2) that would not allow public universities to consider race or sex in admissions decisions (Jaschik, 2013a). This vote resembles many other bans by other states, such as California, and has exponential legal ramifications across the nation. Jaschik (2013a) writes, “the Sixth Circuit—in two rulings… found that proposition 2 was unconstitutional. But those rulings have been stayed, pending this appeal” (para.3). This case raises an entirely different question—whether or not is it lawful for legislative bodies to prohibit the use of race or ethnicity in admissions. The question is fundamentally different from the Fisher v. UT case, but both speak to the larger issue (White, 2013). Fisher v. UT (2013) asks if affirmative action violates Equal Protection, and the Michigan case asks whether a ban on affirmative action violates Equal Protection (White, 2013). In the coming months it will be interesting to see whether the Court makes a definitive statement on affirmative action or chooses to dodge the issue entirely. Conclusion Affirmative action has changed considerably since the era of Regents v. Bakke (1978). Yet in every Court ruling diversity is a compelling interest by institutions and satisfies the first test of the strict scrutiny standard (Jaschik, 2013b; White, 2013). Admissions policies change to meet the requirements set by the Court, and there is an observable shift as the Court is requiring more institutions to look at race-neutral alternatives. As Justice O’Connor mentioned in the Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) decision, the time of race-conscious affirmative action is coming to an end. Many higher education professionals and commentators have advocated for the use of socio-economic status as a new way to create diverse student populations (The Century Foundation, 2012; Kahlenberg, 2013). The Court’s decision is critical moving forward because “[i]f the Court instead requires universities to use race-neutral alternatives… the effect would be to flip the emphasis so that class counts a great deal and race counts very little” (Kahlenberg, 2013). The “sun is setting” on the post Regents v. Bakke (1978) style of affirmative action. This marks the dawning of a new era that is more focused on socio-economic status as a tool to create diverse populations on college campuses.  


120 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 References Backes, B. (2012). Do affirmative action bans lower minority college enrollment and attainment? Evidence from Statewide Bans. Journal of Human Resources, 47(2), 435-455. Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database. Carey, K. (2012, March 4). Justice and equity are on the line in ‘Fisher v. Texas’. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/ article/JusticeEquity-Are-on-the/131044/ The Century Foundation. (2012). A better affirmative action: State universities that created alternatives to racial preferences. New York, NY: Kahlenberg, R.D., & Potter, H. DeFunis v. Odegaard, 416 U.S. 312 (1974). Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database. Gratz v. Bollinger et al., 539 U.S. 244 (2003). Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database. Grutter v. Bollinger et al., 539 U.S. 306 (2003). Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database. Jaschik, S. (2013, March 26). Another affirmative action case. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/03/26/ supreme-court-takes-another-case-involving-affirmative-action-and- higher-education Jaschik, S. (2013, June 24). Another round on affirmative action. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/ news/2013/06/24/supreme-court-orders-new-appeals-court consideration-affirmative-action-case Kahlenberg, R.D. (2013, March 12). College presidents in denial. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/ views/2013/03/12/presidents-denial-use-race-based-admissions preferences-essay Kellough, J.E. (2006). Understanding affirmative action: Politics, discrimination, and the search for justice. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944). Retrieved from Lexis Nexis Academic database. Marlowe, M. (2011). Jurisprudential regimes: The Supreme Court, civil rights, and the life cycle of judicial doctrine. El Paso, Texas: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978) Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database. Perry, B.A. (2007). The Michigan affirmative action cases. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas Skinner v. State of Oklahoma, ex. rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535 (1942). Retrieved from Lexis Nexis Academic database.


Smallwood • 121 Spann, G.A. (2000). The law of affirmative action. New York, NY: New York University Press. Tilsley, A. (2012, September 28). Affirmative on affirmative action. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/ news/2012/09/28/social-scientists-defend-affirmative-action-fisher- v-university-texas United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144 (1938). Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database. White, L. (2013, October). Affirmative action in admissions after the Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. 23rd Annual Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference. Lecture conducted from University of Vermont, Burlington, VT.


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Race and Romance: Understanding Students of Color In Interracial Relationships Trina S. Tan With the rise of interracial relationships on college campuses, student affairs professionals encounter more students of color facing racial identity development issues within their intimate relationships (Wang, Kao, & Joyner, 2004). This literature review examines the Racial/ Cultural Identity Development model (R/CID) (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008) when applied to heterosexual interracial couples between People of Color and White people. I explore issues of internalized oppression and ethnocentric attitudes, as well as insights on how student affairs professionals best support these students. College campuses are a promising space for cross-cultural intimacy to develop, but “interracial relationships are also still accompanied by stigma, even for young people” (Herman & Campbell, 2012, p. 345).While there are many variations of issues that People of Color experience in interracial relationships with White partners, I synthesize two issues in relation to the R/CID model: internalized oppression and ethnocentric attitudes. Inevitably, interracial couples face very different issues in comparison to intraracial couples both within their partnership dynamics and individually. The Racial/Cultural Identity Development Model (R/CIDM) by D.W. Sue and D. Sue (1990,1999) for People of Color serves as a significant tool in supporting college students in interracial relationships. Weaving lessons from the R/CID model is valuable for students of color in their development when personal identity discoveries surface and flourish during their college years, particularly when engaging in intimate relationships. This article presents an overview of the R/CID model for People of Color, followed by a summary on the existing research on interracial dating and relationships.

Trina is from Pomona, California, and she received her BA in English Literature from California State University, Fullerton. She worked for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and is currently a first-year M.Ed student at the University of Vermont in the Higher Education Student Affairs program. Her interests and explorations include race issues, social justice, leadership, politics, and technology.


Tan • 123 Existing Literature According to D.W Sue and D. Sue (2008), the development of the R/CID model first evolved from a pattern discovered by Berry and Stonequist (as cited in D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008) in which People of Color experienced a shared sense of oppression. In their book, they attributed studies by Atkinson, Morten, and Sue (as cited in D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008) to the development of the Minority Identity Development model (MID), which was further developed and renamed as the Racial/Cultural Identity Development model by D.W. Sue and D. Sue to connect with a more expansive audience. The R/CID model is also used for White identity development understanding, and while there are several White Identity Development models, the two most noteworthy are Hardiman’s White Racial Identity Development Model and Helms White Racial Identity Development Model (as cited in D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008). While Hardiman’s model was one of the first of its kind, D.W. Sue and D. Sue noted Helms was most widely cited in research pertaining to White identity (2008). For the purposes of this article, this review will focus on the R/CID model for People of Color to emphasize a need to empower and support students of color to find their voices in their relationships with White partners. A vast number of combinations of races and ethnicities encompass the term “interracial/interethnic relationship,” alongside the countless ways those interactions vary couple-to-couple. Studies on this topic assert “attitudes toward interracial relationships differ by race” and more research is needed to look into the racial and ethnic breakdown to draw more inclusive and specific results (Field, Kimuna, & Straus, 2013, p. 30). By using the R/CID model, a study D.W. Sue and D. Sue created with the intent of “[encompassing] a broader population,” this review examines interracial romance and common conflicts with a goal of relating to a wider audience (D.W Sue & D. Sue, 2008, p. 242). While it is not encouraged to use the R/CID model as a sweeping theory for all People of Color, it is useful for helpers, such as student affairs professionals, to understand these stages to better identify issues experienced by students of color dating White students. D.W. Sue and D. Sue emphasized that People of Color experience the stages in various orders, and its linear style is not forthcoming for all People of Color (2008). While these models serve as important aids for student affairs professionals, it is significant to remember people are complex individuals and the stages only speak generally of the human experiences. This is especially true since there are many other cultural facets to identifying as a Person of Color. The various races and identities to consider, such as Asian American, Pacific Islanders, Latinos/as, Black/African Americans, and multiracial people possess their own cultural norms and nuances (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008).


124 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 On the topic of interracial relationships, existing literature shows an increase in interracial dating among college-aged adults, but fewer people interracially marry in the United States (Wang, Kao, Joyner, 2004). Despite this, there was a significantly greater amount of research on interracial marriages than on interracial dating; this is attributed to the ambiguous qualities of dating (Mok, 1999). With more people closing the social distance gap through interracial relationships, I assert it is important to better understand intercultural communication and conflicts which could either lead to marriage or, the other extreme, deter a person from an entire race altogether. The topic of supporting students who cross-culturally date in higher education is under-researched, and the greater focus on marriage than on dating demonstrates the lack of attention for this population. Additionally, much of the research on interracial relationships spoke mostly on the interactions between Black/African American and White couples. In my searches, I discovered a vast number of research on interracial relationships lacked discussion including Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latino/a, Middle Eastern, and multiracial pairings, a major gap on the research of interracial couples. Racial/Cultural Identity Development Models The Racial/Cultural Identity Development model is expressed in five stages: Stage 1 is named Conformity. Those in the Conformity stage express devaluing attitudes toward themselves, while demonstrating favoritism for White people. They express oppression and discrimination for those in their shared race and attitudes of discrimination towards other People of Color. In Stage 2, Dissonance and appreciating the person moves into questioning feelings about the self and White people. It is a stage in which a person questions former ideas of valuing White concepts over self. This conflict continues with questioning why he/she formally favored White concepts. This is the stage when one begins to notice commonalities between the self and others of the same race, while still expressing feelings of discrimination for other People of Color. Stage 3 is Resistance and Immersion, when people begin to value themselves and appreciate their racial background. A significant shift from Stage 1 includes both favoritism for those of their same race and devaluing of White concepts. Conflicted feelings toward other People of Color continue but this time on discerning potential shared experiences. Those in Stage 4, the Introspection stage, express attitudes of discernment across the board. People in this stage question the foundations as to why they express feelings of pride toward the self and negative feelings for White people/White dominated systems. Those in this stage also notice their previously unwavering


Tan • 125 loyalty for those in their same race and develop a new interest in other People of Color outside of their own race. Stage 5, Integrative Awareness, is the last stage in which a person expresses various forms of understanding and selective value-placement. A person in this stage expresses both confidence in the self and affinity for those of the same race. There is a newfound admiration and understanding for other People of Color and more trusting relationships with White individuals (D.W. Sue and D. Sue, 2008). Internalized Oppression In Stage 1, Conformity of the R/CID model, D.W. Sue and D. Sue assert that students of color experienced attitudes of internalized oppression (D.W. Sue and D. Sue, 2008). Students at this stage “bought into societal definitions about their minority status in society” (D.W. Sue and D. Sue, 2008, p. 248). The literature emphasized this stage as one of the most damaging of all for People of Color and is most telling in the presence of White supremacy in society. While People of Color transition from this stage into other stages in their lifetime, it is vital to take note of deeply rooted oppression from Stage 1 and of how it continues to show up in future interactions and decisions (D.W. Sue and D. Sue, 2008). The R/CID model can aid student affairs professionals to better understand their students developmentally and in their students’ cultural understanding of themselves and those around them. Strong favoritism for White dominance shows up in various ways in interracial relationships. Using the R/CID model when approaching college students in interracial relationships helps the student affairs professional to better understand either signs of internal conflicts of self-hatred or desires to fit in with the dominant group (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008). For example, understanding the R/ CID model and Stage 1 is relevant when interacting with a student of color who desires to only date light-skinned students. This attitude of favoring light skin presents the ways in which societal discrimination and racism become so normalized that a person favors intimate relationships with those who carry White or White-like traits. A second example is when a student of color in Stage 1 express desires to be, look, and act more like White people by dating them. The literature asserts that both instances of self-depreciating attitudes and the desire to become more like White people create a painful experience for many People of Color—an experience does not heal completely as society continues to move as a White-dominated world (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008). If or when a student begins to transition into Stage 2: Dissonance and appreciation, the student begins to notice acts of discrimination from White friends


126 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 and partners. This creates distrust and suspicion with White romantic partners. During this stage, D.W. Sue and D. Sue (2008) emphasized that people of color begin to notice stereotypes dismantled within their race and also raise questions of White dominance as a group. In the literature, People of Color commonly emerge into this stage unhurried as they begin to question the world around them, but the impact of a racist incident propels a person into Stage 2 (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008). By using the R/CID model as a guiding compass, student affairs professionals can better recognize signs of internalized oppression and support students of color in more meaningful ways. During Stage 4: Introspection, People of Color transition out of complete affinity for those in their same race and begin to question their own bias. Additionally, they question their distrust of White people as a whole and pursue “selective trust and distrust according to the dominant individual’s demonstrated behaviors and attitudes” (D.W. Sue and D. Sue, 2008, p. 251). An example of how Stage 4 acts out in an interracial relationship is if students experience pressure from fellow students of color to separate from a White partner, because the White partner is considered the “enemy” (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008, p. 250). This pressure to choose either the White partner or the friends of color creates a tension in the student’s group identity and developing understanding of whom to trust. Ethnocentric attitudes For students in the Dissonance stage or the Resistance and Immersion, their race awareness rises significantly, and it is important for student affairs professionals to take notice in how this plays a role in the students’ interracial relationships. According to D.W. Sue and D. Sue (2008), with the increasing interest and pride in self and desire to learn more about one’s cultural background, the student inevitably learns more about the existence of racism and the discrimination of People of Color. The literature suggested that feelings vary from exploration, anger, sadness, and fear. The literature also presents that an ethnocentric attitude develops as students begin to increasingly value their cultural upbringing (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008). For people in interracial relationships, these emotions show up during conflicts and general intercultural communication issues (Killian, 2013). For a couple with one White person and one Person of Color, conflicts arise from ethnocentric attitudes and prevents an understanding of what kind of a role race plays in the daily lives of each partner, particularly for People of Color. In Killian’s (2013) research, noted that with the help of therapists or mediators, interracial couples were able to address conflict, race, and differences for the first time in their relationship. A White partner may not notice microaggressions and other forms of discrimination because of their dominant identity and societal


Tan • 127 privileges (Killian, 2013). The literature asserted White partners who only see commonalities and fail to understand their partner’s difference in perspective minimized the experiences of People of Color (2013). D.W. Sue and D. Sue (2008) state that when students of color experience dissonance, resistance, and immersion, it causes them to exert their energy and newfound awareness toward three entities: their own identity, People of Color from their own race, and an understanding of White dominance. The literature stressed little attention paid to the issues of other People of Color outside of their race. According to D. W. Sue and D. Sue, students of color experience Stage 2 and/or Stage 3 of the R/ CID model transition through mixed emotions of pride, shame, and increased confidence in their cultural background (2008). There is much energy put into honoring the self during this transition. For students discovering this new sense of pride and awareness in their race and culture causes them to see primarily through their own new perspective and deeply question their former bias for White dominance (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008). Further conflicts arise for students in interracial relationships in both their attempts to defend a cultural norm and to value when it is met with resistance from a White partner. During the resistance and immersion stage, the R/CID model suggested students experience feelings of aggression towards White dominance; “guilt, shame, and anger” are key emotions during this stage (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008, p. 248). In addition, a negative experience caused students of color to doubt how much they trust White individuals, including White intimate partner (D.W. Sue & D. Sue, 2008). Beyond Dating Advice: Implications for Student Affairs Findings in this literature review revealed that the R/CID presents valuable aid to notice and understand the experiences of students of color in interracial relationships with White partners. Because the experiences of those in interracial relationships greatly differ from those in intraracial relationships, it is vital to consider a student’s personal identity development through their intimate partnerships. By looking into various stages from the R/CID model and by understanding how it shows up in internalized oppression and ethnocentric attitudes, this literature review demonstrates the fluidity of awareness and how these transitions play out in a student’s intimate relationships. These experiences are important for student affairs professional to understand in order to know how to best approach and support these students of color going through internal tensions and external pressures from peers. By better understanding their developmental stages and discovering how they show up in student’s dating lives, student affairs professionals can better target the issues and provide a space for students to feel supported in their journey.


128 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Whether it is recognizing internalized oppression or a newfound awareness of racism in society, it is beneficial for a student affairs professional to understand the perspectives presented in the R/CID model to guide programs on interracial dialogue; not simply to give dating advice. Literature on interracial relationship interventions asserts for helpers to possess a firm grasp on their own racial and ethnic identity before supporting couples (Killian, 2013). Killian warned that helpers’ bias can play a role in how the power dynamics reveal themselves when assisting an interracial couple. Studies also recommended for interracial couples to go back to basic communication skills, such as utilizing “I-statements” to allow people to express how they feel to their partners (Killian, 2013, p. 159). This aids in creating a space where students own their experiences. Another suggestion from the literature is for helpers to facilitate dialogue using a “both/and” approach to allow both people an opportunity to share their truths without fear of one being correct and the other wrong (Killian, 2013, p.157). Accordingly, “timing of such a dialogue is crucial; how and when social locations and issues of differences are discussed is directly related to issues of power,” thus the beginning moments of a program are not the ideal time to start the conversation on race dynamics in the relationship (2013, p. 157). I recommend that student affairs professionals choose creative avenues for programming in order to support students in interracial relationships, such as art and theatrical expression. With the endless combinations of partnerships for interracial couples, the experiences are vast and near impossible to label or constrict. By allowing an open and creative space for students to freely express their frustrations, joys, differences, and commonalities, it allows for more open communication across these intimate relationships can develop. Creating an open dialogue for students to express their experiences allows them to practice how to approach difficult conversations and face intercultural conflict in their dating lives and beyond.


Tan • 129 References Field, J.C., Kimuna, S.R., & Straus, M.A. (2013). Attitudes toward interracial relationships among college students: Race, class, gender, and perceptions of parental views. Journal of Black Studies, 44, 1-36. http:// dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uvm.edu/10.1177/0021934713507580 Herman, M. R., & Campbell, M. E. (2012). I wouldn’t, but you can: Attitudes toward interracial relationships. Social Science Research, 41, 343-358. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uvm.edu/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2011.11.007 Joyner, K., & Kao, G. (2005). Interracial Relationships and the Transition to Adulthood. American Sociological Review, 70, 563-581. http://asr.sage pub.com.ezproxy.uvm.edu/content/70/4/563 Killian, K. D. (2013). Interracial couples, intimacy, and therapy crossing racial borders. NY: Columbia University Press. Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2003). Counseling the culturally diverse: theory and practice (4th ed.). New York: J. Wiley. Tok, T. A. (1999). Asian american dating: Important factors in partner choice. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 5, 103-117. http:// dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uvm.edu/10.1037/1099-9809.5.2.103 Wang, H., Grace, K., & Joyner, K. (2004). Stability of interracial and intracial romantic relationships among adolescents. Social Science Research, 35, 435-453. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uvm.edu/10.1016/ j.ssresearch.2004.10.001 Wijeyesinghe, C., & Jackson III, B. W. (2012). New perspectives on racial/cultural identity development: integrating emerging frameworks (2nd ed.). New York: New York University Press.


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V REFLECTIONS

V

As members of the UVM HESA community, past and present, we acknowledge the value in listening to one another’s stories. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of The Vermont Connection, authors were invited to reflect on meaning-making and lessons learned from higher education and student affairs, the HESA program, and the community that unites us. We hope that you will enjoy these reflections as they chronicle the continuing journeys through HESA’s past, present, and future.


Davis • 131

The Future of Higher Education!: Reflections on My First Year in Academia Shametrice Davis The future of higher education! There are several ways in which one could punctuate this statement, as current discussions regarding higher education can be plagued with concerns regarding decreased state fiscal support, increased privatization and corporatization, and issues of access and (in)equity for several underrepresented student groups. Such concerns may compel some to end this statement, the future of higher education, with a question mark. Others may choose to end it with an ellipsis; a series of three periods indicating a pause in thought or flow. In today’s highly digital world, current students may select to end this statement with an emoticon, one that expresses sadness or perhaps apprehension in consideration of the rising costs of higher education and subsequent fiscal debt under which they are burdened. Yet, when I reflect on my year at University of Vermont (UVM), my wonderful experiences with both the 2013 and 2014 cohorts and other fantastic administrators and faculty, I can only choose to punctuate the statement with an exclamation mark. The passion, persistence, and devotion I observed amongst UVM students, faculty, and administrators restore and affirm my confidence in the future of our field. The theme for this year’s journal is thus strikingly appropriate and relevant, given the motivated, resilient spirit that embodies the UVM community. Those powerful attributes of resilience and motivation are integral to forging the (re) creation of domains in our field to effectively address some of the aforementioned difficulties in higher education at this time. Although I am filled with glowing memories of intense discussions in class, conversations during Sisterhood Circle at the ALANA Student Center, and informal student meetings at Penny Cluse and El Gato, I would be remiss not to at least mention some of the hardship we all experience when in transition. Vermont is quite possibly the coldest place I have ever lived in my entire life. I was extremely green, fresh out of my doctoral program, looking at 16 eager, highly motivated students anxiously wanting to rigorously attack their comprehensive projects. We all know that being a person of color in Vermont is not easy. There was a three-hour Shametrice joined the University of Hawaii at Manoa faculty in Fall of 2013 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Vermont. Through her research, Shametrice hopes to expose underlying systemic injustice leading to inequity or oppression. Also integral to her research is a strengths-based approach to empowering underrepresented communities and leaders.


132 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 drive separating me from the immense sense of comfort I find in an urban area. Co-teaching a course regarding social justice, oppression, and change to another 15 enthusiastic, motivated students was highly enjoyable, but also marked with painful disagreements that may have permanently changed some relationships. While I recognize and remember the discomfort of some of those challenges, they are tempered with incredible bright spots of growth and development. I am so grateful for the students’ willingness to make that enormous leap of faith with me as I cautiously navigated my first year in the academy. The immediate embracement I felt from administrators and faculty across campus overwhelmed me with feelings of support and advocacy. I hold back tears when I think of how both cohorts came together in times of difficulty, how extensive parties in celebration of birthdays were thrown, how people reached out to each other despite possible differences in personality, and the numerous efforts, programs, and events for people of color on campus to connect and build friendship and community. Never have I witnessed the strength residing in a community to the extent in which it exists at UVM. But it is only in hindsight that I can truly understand and appreciate it. I reflect on these memories because when we are in the difficult moments, we can decide to give up our aspirations, to release our seat at the table. When our faith and understanding of goodness in the world is shaken or when our suspicions of deception are confirmed, our first thought might be to run and never look back. But the UVM community speaks a different language. Unwavering inspiration, resilience, and loyalty allow UVM students, faculty, and administrators to rise through such difficulties to persevere and create new domains in higher education that will continue to positively shape our field. That is one of the ways this small, yet powerful community has endeared thousands of loyal alumni to remain connected to the institution, to the production of this journal, and to the continued development of the program and its fantastic students. The students. I do not know if I will ever experience the same deep connection and sense of community with students as I did during my year at UVM. I will never forget the huge support shown for the cohort DJ; how everyone came together to support him at community events. Never did I think I would groove line dances, namely the wobble and cupid shuffle with all of you. The song, “Get me Bodied” by Beyoncé is now turned up whenever I hear it on the radio. The intense discussions regarding race, gender, and sexuality in Research Methods and Cultural Pluralism will forever remain etched in my mind. The advising/conversational meetings in the Davis Center (I miss those maple-syrup lattes!). Allowing me to briefly become emotional when I learned sad information at the NASPA conference. Supporting me throughout the remaining time after I announced I would not return the following year. Allowing me to make mistakes in class without rescinding your


Davis • 133 belief in my credibility as an instructor. These memories flow from my brain to my fingertips typing the keyboard in a stream of consciousness fashion, and I am fortunate to feel the emotions that come with such memories, a conglomerate of happiness, sadness, and warmth. The intensity of such memories reminds me again of times of difficulty and transition. The incredible, supportive moments are often accompanied by trying situations, during which we can feel like giving up, not playing politics, essentially removing ourselves from the table. But we cannot do that! We will not do that. We need all of you too much. We need you! We need you to illuminate issues of mass incarceration for African American and Latino college-aged males. We need you to shine a light on the experiences of queer students of color and nonmonosexual students. We need you to highlight more literature that centralizes the voices of South Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander students. We need you to pioneer deep explorations of Whiteness, White guilt, and White anti-racist advocacy. We need you to conduct work through a Chicana feminist lens, to continue to explore and develop African American identity, issues for students who have varying socioeconomic status, are first generation, or have learning disabilities. We need your work to provide more knowledge regarding students who experience profound grief in the event of a death in the family and those who are transracially adopted. These are just a few of the topics on which you all write articulate papers and speak so eloquently. You cannot give up your seat at the table at the risk of not creating these new domains in higher education that will undoubtedly contribute to our field in an indelible way. You must find the right context in which you can continue creating these all-important, new domains. I truly cannot think of a better way to have entered academia last year. Sometimes I worry that all subsequent years will pale in comparison to the relationships I have developed with so many UVM constituents. You all make me want to shout from the rooftops, “The future of higher education!” Because it is not a question, nor a moment to take pause, it is rather a path being paved by all of you and your important pursuits from practice and research standpoints. You, my dear UVM friends and community, are the future of higher education! And I am invaluably lucky to witness the effective new domains you are continuously (re)creating.


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Self-Work is Self-Liberation: Professional Development that is Beyond the Classroom Kristine A. Din I find myself writing and re-writing, scribbling notes when moments of inspiration overcome me, and repetitively hitting writer’s block while searching the fibers of my soul to write this piece. I remind myself to believe that my knowledge and narrative are worthy. I hope for my unapologetic self to pour freely onto the pages of my notebook to not only lead to my own self-liberation, but to also encourage my peers and colleagues to be their uninhibited and authentic selves. I ask myself, what does the future of higher education look like? Or rather, what should it look like? The future of higher education that I hope for lies in the discovery and liberation of self and others. I envision and encourage the creation of deliberate courageous spaces for students, scholars, and practitioners to peel back the covers and pages of history that have been shut from our curricula. Imagine if students came into and emerged from their academic programs knowing and understanding their own history and the histories of others? Or even learned about multiple (intersecting) histories in their classes? Perhaps the cycle of socialization, the system that invades and influences many aspects of our lives, would reverse. Maybe I would experience less horizontal oppression and hostility from many people of color who have told me I have White privilege – when my brown skin could never be mistaken as white. Maybe oppression would not be as pervasive, marginalizing and toxic. Maybe we would be better able to connect to each other’s humanity and remember that we are all beings of emotion who are capable of experiencing a spectrum of feelings. Because is that not what we all truly share in common? Human emotion stretches across difference and connects histories and narratives. Every person has their unique truth, and I will never know every single story, but I will always know what exclusion feels like. Asian Pacific Islander American history is American history. The same way African American and Black history is American history. Latin@ American history is American history. And the history of Native Americans and First People’s that Kristine A. Din is a 2012 graduate of the University of Vermont’s Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration program. After graduation, she transitioned back to her alma mater, the University of Connecticut, where she currently serves as a Residence Hall Director. Kristine identifies as Filipina American and as a social justice warrior who believes in the power of knowing history and liberating self. She dedicates this TVC reflection to Dr. Kathy Cook who continues to inspire Kristine and her work.


Din • 135 colonizers so desperately tried to demolish is American history. The story of immigration and the pieces of legislation that prevent and allow certain groups into the United States is a part of American history. Every oppressed voice is a part of American history. I have an obligation as an educator to dig deep and uncover and share what is not being taught in classrooms and graduate programs to challenge and re-write this so-called Truth. I realized in order to truly understand myself and the power behind my voice is by learning my complex, rich and dynamic history as a Filipina and Asian Pacific Islander American living in the United States. More specifically, my focus has been on investigating the counter-stories told from the perspective of my people – not from the impossibly skewed point-of-view of the colonizers. By devoting hours to reading texts, watching documentaries, and surrounding myself with other various forms of literature that have never surfaced in any class, I have created a strong and formidable sense of self that is impenetrable by the demands of oppression and colonialism. I have built a fortress with bricks of courage and it is grounded by my ethnic and cultural roots; roots that stretch so deep that these walls cannot be shaken. My liberation has come from my own self-work and from the support of many, but imagine if students had intentional spaces and opportunities to find their own liberation? Perhaps one would argue that colleges and universities have Ethnic Studies programs and (multi)cultural centers/offices and other forms of diversity requirements – but is that enough? I would argue that though these programs and centers exist at many institutions, they are under-funded, understaffed, and undervalued. I would also argue that it is not the sole responsibility of these programs, centers and offices to educate faculty, staff, and students around history, diversity and social justice. It must be a shared effort. I pose these thoughts and questions, because I wonder, how are practitioners and educators (especially those outside of multicultural affairs) supposed to effectively work with and relate to a perpetually diversifying population of students? Without knowing, learning and understanding our own as well as different (and not limited to) racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious histories, can we fully serve the students we deeply care for? These histories are beyond the scope of student development and identity theories learned in the classroom. They are beyond analyzing case studies and writing memos. The opportunities to reflect and learn about oneself are few and far between especially if they are not deemed a priority by staff and faculty at all institutional levels. Becoming a successful practitioner is beyond having a tangible skill-set. It is more than knowing how to respond to crisis, being an experienced conduct officer, or providing academic and career advice. Becoming a talented practitioner must include personal reflection to examine biases, challenge history, and learn how personal narratives can influence one’s philosophy as an educator.


136 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 I believe that self-reflection, coupled with listening to the voices that have been silenced throughout history, positively contributes to the creation of a grounded sense of self to better serve students and colleagues in my overlapping spheres of influence. With a better understanding of who I am, I can then encourage and support students and colleagues from all backgrounds to learn their history, find their centeredness, erect their own fortresses of courage, and to ultimately produce their best selves. The ideas of doing self-work, pursuing self-liberation, and challenging history are not adequately integrated into graduate programs and professional development opportunities. This reflection is not only a form of unapologetic self-expression, but also a proclamation. It is a call to challenge practitioners and educators to be courageous. Learn the ugly history that is twisted with hurt and hate. Only then can we find freedom. There is beauty in struggle and we must be willing to embrace it. Turn inward while looking at the many mirrors that reflect the many facets of self. Enriching self will enrich others. Liberating self will liberate others. Our voices are one choir. The more voices we add, the louder the song we sing.


Moon Johnson • 137

Back to the Basics: Meeting the Needs of Marginalized Populations on Campus Joshua Moon Johnson, Ed.D. In the last decade higher education and diversity centered organizations have become focused on inclusive language, microaggressions, and cultural appropriation. Although these previously stated are all real issues and have direct effects on the lives of those marginalized, the lack of attention and efforts directed towards addressing macroaggressions is alarming. Many college campuses assume that hate crimes, sexual violence, and extreme poverty are non-existent. As institutions aim to create welcoming and celebratory spaces for diverse communities, they must remember some basic needs of students; safety, food, shelter, and resources to survive. The future of higher education not only depends on using inclusive language, but also on an ongoing commitment to ensuring all students have the resources to succeed in an environment that keeps them physically and emotionally safe. Current Trends in Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Organizations and offices committed to diversity and inclusion have become highly focused on addressing microagresssions, discussing cultural appropriation, and educating on inclusive language. Microaggressions can cause anger and frustration, sadness, shame, and embarrassment (Nadal, 2013). Current debates on cultural appropriation revolve around who has the right to control culture and why cultural depictions matter to current populations who have been historically marginalized; throughout the last century White-America has repeatedly confiscated marginalized people’s cultures and identities (Tsosie, 2002). Utilizing Joshua Moon Johnson is currently the Director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Services and the Non-traditional Student Resource Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Joshua has numerous publications on topics such as multiracial student support, queer Asian Pacific Islanders, as well as marginalized leaders in higher education. He has published two books; his first book, Beyond Surviving was a #1 Best-seller on Amazon.com for Gay & Lesbian Activism. Joshua’s newest book is a co-edited volume about LGBTQ leaders in higher education, Authentic Leadership. Joshua is an instructor of Popular Culture and Identity and Communications at Brooks Institute of Art in Santa Barbara. Joshua received a doctorate in higher education and a certificate in LGBT studies from Northern Illinois University, and a master’s degree in social sciences, student affairs, and diversity from Binghamton University, State University of New York. Joshua also has a master’s degree in marketing from The University of Alabama as well as a bachelor’s in business from the University of South Alabama.


138 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 inclusive language directly impacts how a campus climate can feel welcoming or marginalizing. According to Schlossberg (1989) when students know they matter and are included they are more likely to succeed. However, in a study examining microaggressions and macroaggressions, it was found that macroaggressions have more negative impacts (Donavan, Galban, Grace, Bennett, & Felicie, 2013). It is relevant for diversity organizations to discuss microaggressions and inclusive language; however, the neglect of tragic experiences of many students has been pushed aside to discuss topics that might feel more current, visible, and/or safe. Intense aggressions and hate still exist on campuses; hate crimes, sexual violence, and poverty are issues affecting the lives of students across the nation. Instead of discussing policies, procedures, and efforts to end hate crimes and sexual violence, efforts have been spent discussing Halloween costumes and alternatives to phrases such as “That’s so gay.” Prior to discussing aspects of language, mircroaggressions, and cultural appropriation the conversation should focus on levels of institutionalized oppression happening on campus. The focus has been moved to address the symptoms, but rarely addresses the root causes making these micro events relevant. Safety In current diversity discussions addressing safety, the conversation has revolved around making students feel emotionally safe by using words that include all people and words that do not offend—all of which are relevant and necessary. However, the conversations on physical safety have drawn quiet. Before organizations discuss how to make people feel safe to challenge each other and the latest episode of Glee, campuses should discuss students’ physical safety on campus. Although there is much progress in the United States for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, there are alarming numbers of hate crimes occurring, and campuses are not exempt. In the latest national campus climate survey for LGBT people on campuses, 21% of LGBT people stated they experienced harassment within the past year on their college campus (Rankin, Weber, Blumenfeld, & Frazer, 2010). These crimes and incidents were more severe for transgender people and people of color (Rankin, Weber, Blumenfeld, & Frazer, 2010). LGBT hate crimes sadly occur often, however, 52% of all hate crimes that occur are race based, with a majority of those being anti-black (AntiDefamation League, 2012). In addition to the direct physical impact of hate crimes on the survivor, there are lasting mental health issues that affect not only the individual attacked, but also others in their community. In the LGBT campus climate survey, 43% of trans-spectrum and 13% of queer spectrum respondents feared for their physical safety (Rankin, Weber, Blumenfeld, & Frazer, 2010). News of a hate crime can


Moon Johnson • 139 spread quickly and instill fear in anyone else who has a similar identity. There are other mental health challenges associated with hate crimes including high levels of psychological distress, sleep disturbances, increased drug use, deterioration in personal relationships, shame, and internalized self-hate (Bard & Sangrey, 1979). In addition to hate crimes towards people of color, religious minorities, and LGBTQ people, there are still rampant amounts of sexual violence, mostly targeted towards women and females. Many campuses have left the conversations of sexual violence and assault to the police, women’s centers, and Take Back the Night organizations. If diversity circles make it a point to talk about sexism the conversation often lands on equal pay, sexist language, and balancing family and careers—all of which are real issues. However, the impact of sexual violence on college students is catastrophic and still continues to happen at alarming rates. A study by Fisher, Cullen, and Turner (2000) was published by the National Institute of Justice stating that between 20-25% of women on campuses had been raped or were victims of attempted rape. This sad fact has become normalized to the point were people do not react to the reality of what is happening on college campuses. As campuses aim to make students emotionally safe, the discussion on direct violence towards populations should not be dismissed and should be made a top priority. Shelter & Financial Resources In order for students to be fully able to achieve success academically they need a safe, secure, and stable place to live. There are populations on campus who still do not have spaces to live in that allows them to fully focus on long-term goals; two specific populations are low income students without permanent living spaces and LGBTQ students. As we consider low-income college students we often assume that financial aid will cover the basic needs such as tuition, books, room, and board. However, a growing number of college students are ending up in situations without steady housing (Gross, 2013). According to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (2013), last year there were over 58,000 homeless students on campuses nationwide. However, this number is likely much higher due to the stigma associated with being without a home and research typically does not include those who are temporarily displaced. Another population which struggles to find adequate housing is the LGBTQ community. Many students who are still residing at home can face extreme levels of violence from parents and be forced to leave because of their gender or sexual identity. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless (2009), 20% of homeless youth are LGBT identified. Once these students are homeless they are at higher risks of victimization, mental health problems, suicide, and unsafe


140 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 sexual practices (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009). There are some social service agencies to support LGBTQ homeless youth; however many of them have age limits that exclude most college students. If a transgender or gender queer person does have the financial means to live in a residence hall there are still complications with finding safe housing. Most residence halls have rooms, floors, or buildings that are segregated by sex. This forces transgender and gender queer students to live in spaces that do not meet their gender identities. In addition to places to sleep in the residence halls, restrooms and showers cause additional complications. Numerous institutions have created plans to meet some of the needs of transgender and gender queer students, but those institutions are still in the minority. A related issue is the need for financial resources; many do not have enough to survive at an institution. With the lack of financial support for low-income students, many basic needs such as food, dental care, and health care—specifically for dependents of students and transgender students- are not met. Food needs of college students are often neglected as many people still have this idea of new students putting on the “freshmen 15.” Not all students have adequate food, and although many people make light of student diets consisting of ramen noodles—which is still nutritionally lacking—some students do not even have those college staples as options. A study by the City University of New York found that 39% of their students reported going hungry because a lack of money (Freudenberg et al., 2011). A lack of food or nutritious food does affect the ways in which students are able to perform academically. As institutions aim for students to not only excel academically but also gain a better sense of identity, develop as leaders, and become global citizens, institutions need to ensure basic needs of students are being met. Recommendations In order to meet the needs of marginalized students action needs to happen. Many spaces focused on diversity perform tasks that lead to immeasurable goals. Responding and aiming to prevent hate crimes, sexual violence, and a lack of food and shelter should be made a priority. As institutions aim to support students facing violence and poverty there are numerous actions that can be taken, some of which include: • Engage in intentional and regular conversations about the safety and needs of marginalized populations. • Create assessment plans to understand campus climates of community members. • Develop a task force addressing economically distressed students, which could address emergency housing, emergency loans, and a food


Moon Johnson • 141 bank. • Create housing and adequate restrooms to meet the needs of trans gender students. • Ensure there are hate crime and incident policies in place that protect identities most commonly attacked—gender identity, race, sexual identity, and religion. Ensure policies and reporting systems are properly communicated. • Provide training to faculty and staff on responding to hate crimes and sexual violence. • Ensure diversity programming is focused on social justice, roots of oppression, immediate needs, and the symptoms of injustice—micro aggressions, cultural appropriation, and inclusive language. The action items listed to support marginalized students are the basics to begin to ensure all community members have the basic needs of food, shelter, and safety. The conversations on hate and poverty in higher education have been ongoing for decades, and it is naïve of educators to assume that the issue has been resolved and the focus should now only be put on micro level issues. Truly serving marginalized students includes keeping them safe, providing adequate resources, and creating environments that value their cultures and identities


142 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 References Anti-Defamation League. (2012). Hate Crime Laws - The ADL Approach. Retrieved from http://www.adl.org/assets/pdf/combating-hate/ Hate-Crimes-Law-The-ADL-Approach.pdf Bard, M. & Sangrey, D. (1979). The crime victim’s book. New York: Basic Books. Donavan, R.A., Galban, D.J., Grace, R.K., Bennett, J.K., & Felicie, S.Z. (2013). Impact of racial macro- and microagressions in Black women’s lives: A preliminary analysis. Journal of Black Psychology, 39 (2), 185-196. Dukes, C. (2013). College access and success for students experiencing home- lessness. National Association for the Education of Homeless Chil- dren and Youth: Greensboro, NC. Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., & Turner, M.G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics: Washington, D.C. Freudenberg, N., Manzo, L., Jones, H., Kwan, A., Tsui, E., & Gagnon, M. (2011). Food insecurity at CUNY: Results from a survey of under graduate students. The Campaign for Healthy CUNY. New York. Retrieved from http://web.gc.cuny.edu/che/cunyfoodinsecurity.pdf Gross, L. (2013, October 21). College campuses see rise in homeless students. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/ story/news/nation/2013/10/21/homeless-students-american colleges/3144383/ Nadal, K.L. (2013). That’s so gay: Microaggressions in the LGBT community. Washington D.C.: APA National Coalition for the Homeless. (2009). LGBT Homeless. Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/ lgbtq.html Rankin, S, Weber, G, Blumenfeld, W, & Frazer, S. (2010). 2010 State of higher education: For lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people. Charlotte, NC: Campus Pride. Schlossberg, N.K. (1989). Marginality and mattering: Key issues in building community. New Directions for Student Services, 48, 5-15. Tsosie, R.A. (2002). Reclaiming native stories: An essay on cultural appropria- tion and cultural rights. Arizona State Law Journal, 23, 299-358.


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THE KENNETH P. SAURMAN AWARD This award honors Kenneth P. Saurman, who will long be remembered for his dedication to the field of student affairs and to the graduate program at The University of Vermont. After his death in 1980, a memorial fund was established for a prize recognizing the outstanding graduate in the program. This award is a reminder of the professional excellence and commitment Kenneth P. Saurman inspired in his students and colleagues. Each spring, a committee of faculty members in the College of Education and Social Services selects a student, or students, who best display(s) the established award criteria. Those recognized: (a) show a record of outstanding achievement; (b) demonstrate ability to make outstanding future professional contributions at both local and national levels; (c) demonstrate future ability to make outstanding intellectual contribution to the field in the areas of research and scholarship; (d) show evidence of having fostered a sense of community and cooperation among peers, staff, and faculty; and (e) show evidence of outstanding contribution to the University through internship and practical experience. In April 2013, the Kenneth P. Saurman Award was proudly presented to: Dirk J. Rodricks


144 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35

[Re]Centering Voice: The First and Last Domain of [m/y/our] Story1 Dirk J. Rodricks 2013 Saurman Award Recipient Who am I? Who are you? I am because you are? What is this mirror of life I look into and whose life do I see? Man. Friend. Foodie. First-generation. Christian, not enough. Queer, too much. Other. Foreigner. Able. Runner. Lifelong learner. Lover. Musician. Actor. Human. Yet I am because I choose to be. And because I can choose. Here, this place…held by the memories of places past and places yet to be. Existing in this moment, learning from time; the kind before this now and the kind waiting around that corner. I am when time, place, and circumstance converge and collide with you and with humanity. Straddling worlds yet strangled by reality, I am a reflection of you, and yet an original of me – a cultural mélange; a melodramatic contradiction longing to break free. I look beyond the mirror to no mirages, only reflections. I am where I need to be. I am because you are. I begin to think, hear, speak, and act. Again. And again. And all over again. There is hope. This is my voice. 1 [m/y/our] is used here to underscore the complexity of struggle between identification by self and perception by others for both voice and story. It also attempts to reflect the politics of recognition (Taylor, 1994) and issues of (mis)representation (Gallagher, 2008).

Dirk Jonathan Rodricks is a UVM double graduate (BA’11, M.Ed.’13) and a first-year doctoral student in Critical Pedagogy and Curriculum Studies and an Ontario Trillium Scholar at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. His academic interests include critical race theory and drama/theatre education specifically critical pedagogy in the urban school/student context. His current research focuses on the performance of the relations of schooling to facilitate access and agency for the historically marginalized at and between the interstices of race, gender, sexuality, and national origin.


Rodricks • 145 It took me better part of a quarter century to find my voice and it still seems like I never seem to stop losing it and having to find it again. Yet learning to navigate and negotiate this process consistently has been one of the biggest lessons learned through my seven years at the University of Vermont and now beyond. As higher education and student affairs professionals, we are conditioned to project our efforts outward towards the wellbeing of all others, specifically our students and their experiences. Often, this outward projection comes at a cost to self. Even when there is a focus on self – we often nurture the physical and Band-Aid the mental and emotional dimensions. To be comfortable with not having all the right answers is an on-going challenge. I have painstakingly discovered that leaning into the not knowing has helped me [re]create and [re]center my voice. In a world of complex and often intersecting social constructions, Lather (2008) explained the alternative as no longer viable: “To not-want to not-know is a violence to the Other [italics added], a violence that obliterates how categories and norms both constrain and enable” (p. 228). This is a veritable struggle of balance and in that struggle, each of us goes through our respective journey of erasing, marginalizing, and silencing the very instrument of our narrative and story: The Voice. “How is it that we [can] become available to a transformation of who we are, a contestation which compels us to rethink ourselves, a reconfiguration of our ‘place’ and our ‘ground’?” (Butler, 1995, p. 131). This very question necessitates vulnerability. How can I embrace the vulnerability that comes with voice? I believe more than ever my voice is not only the instrument from which my practice emerges but also the very fruit that my practice must influence, impact, and yield. The voice becomes the center of this vicious cycle. It is thus primary and both the beginning and end of my practice. As a proud Brown, “Third Culture,” 2 queer doctoral student immersed in postcolonial and critical pedagogies, I may appear to be one-step removed from student affairs practice. Yet, student development theory and skills test both my teaching (e.g., interactions with students) as well as my research (e.g., impact on research design and delivery). So while this reflection is rooted in the many parallels that mark academe and student affairs practice, I also ground it in the concept of change. I believe that in order for there to be something new, an adjustment must occur. There must be a shift, a change, a departure, and/or movement from the status quo. Moving from the safety of the HESA bubble to the sprawling urban cosmopolitan metropolis of Toronto and specifically the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto necessitated an adjustment. I no longer had the safety of a community that spoke the same social justice language or 2 David Pollock defines this phenomenon of Third Culture as person(s) who have spent a significant part of their developmental years in a passport culture distinct from their home (or host) culture and move back and forth between the two. When placed in a third culture, these Third Culture Kids (TCKs) or Adult TCKs (ATCKs) “frequently build relationships to all the cultures, while not having full ownership in any…a ‘neither/nor world’” (Pollock & Van Reken, 2009, p. 13).


146 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 at the very least understood it. As is typical of many HESA graduates, my desire to change the world was quickly injected with a much-needed dose of pragmatic realism. This piece reflects some of those lessons learned. Finally, change often follows loss. This year has been a difficult one for The Vermont Connection and specifically for the two current cohorts. Individually and collectively, we/they have struggled to put words and make meaning of loss. What might this mean for voice? Whether one transitions countries (as is my case), starts a new job (as is the case of my cohort-mates), or grieves loss (The Vermont Connection as a whole), there is a need to recalibrate and (re)center who we are at both an individual and collective level. Here is where most stumble. The stumble occurs in the belief that such recalibration and (re)centeredness must adhere to a certain standard that renders voice as most authentic – a one size fits all case, if you will. I need to seek authenticity of voice rooted in my experience and one that works for me. Johnson (1987) wrote, “the sign of an authentic voice is thus not self-identity but self-difference” (p. 164). Understanding the self in relation to the other renders the highest form of self-authenticity. Through this personal, professional, and environmental context, I present five lessons learned – all serving to give primacy to voice and what I believe to be the first and last domain of student affairs practice. Cultivate Criticality The moral imperative for student affairs professionals is to critically know the self. Criticality here goes beyond simple social identity memberships, cultural demographics, and personal and group histories. It is all of that and more. I am often easily guilty of unconsciously speaking from my marginalized identities rather than owning my privilege (of which there are so many). Doing so allows me to stay blissfully unaware of the complex intersectionality defining identities for those around me. In previous writing, I have called this “intersectionality blindness” (Rodricks, 2013). Being critical encompasses a deeper understanding of “identity symbiosis” defined as a critical consciousness of the simultaneity of marginalized and privileged social identities (Rodricks, 2013) that exists not only for me but how I may encounter and engage with others. This lesson is rooted in regret. I let an incident early in my program control much of my experience for that first year. I lacked criticality or “conscientizaçao” (Freire, 1970, p. 81), which starts with self. My anger took away any ability to see past my marginalized identities thus (unbeknownst to me) giving away any agency I might have had. I became a victim rather than a survivor. Criticality preserves agency despite the marginalization marking voice and story. While agency looks different for different people, I write with confidence of solidarity of those closest to me at the time. When criticality did hit (and it does often when you least expect it), besides getting my agency back, its greatest gift was my ability to discern which battles were worth fighting and where my energies were best preserved by


Rodricks • 147 disengagement. As a Brown, queer aspiring academic, this has allowed me to not merely survive but rather thrive. Engage Resistance The secret to thriving in Vermont, Burlington, UVM, and HESA is not simply to realize that resistance is endemic to the experience. One of the biggest lessons learned quickly into my HESA experience was that everybody is on their respective journey. “This is not the first nor will it be the last time I am the lone voice in the room” is now a constant mantra but I cannot (nor should I need or want to) control another individual’s course. This again became paramount when I arrived at OISE. Not everyone speaks my language nor could I expect them to. As a doctoral student, choosing to disengage was no longer an option, I had to jump into the deep waters and swim against the rising tide. Criticality helped steer my discernment to engaging resistance. It became a matter of whether I felt battle fatigue (Cuyjet, Howard-Hamilton, & Cooper, 2011) was too great a risk that day and if it was, I better adjust my engagement with resistance. Disengagement is not retreat; it is an act of self-preservation. Be prepared for resistance to your narrative, depth of identity symbiosis, and voice. Acknowledge the resistance and embrace it. There is much to be learned from how and why another resists you. That knowledge will deepen your identity symbiosis and further embolden your voice. Embrace Vulnerable; Nurture Solitude Each person processes differently. I talk to myself perhaps now more than ever. For a long time, I denied myself the pleasure of sitting in the stillness and embracing the pleasure of having a much needed aloud conversation with myself. For example, in the frenzy of “learning to mentor” others, I had forgotten how to turn to and trust my instincts, story, and voice when it came to issues about me. Now, as a student affairs professional turned aspiring scholar/academic, I have extensive conversations (with myself) often asking, “What would a student affairs professional do?” quickly followed by, “How can I do this differently?” Much has been written about self-care for student affairs professionals. Yoga, playing sports, crafting, etc. have been mentioned as worthy ways to engage in some much needed TLC and I would agree; but, with one caveat. These must be in addition to and not at the expense of taking us further away from engaging the torturous vulnerability from being alone, sitting still, and letting thought converge with word against the framework of story. Indulging in some solitude (even for the extroverts) as a way to empower voice may grow your confidence and sense of self-worth.


148 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Hear Others; Hear Yourself While identity symbiosis allows me to better learn from others, I also believe that in hearing others I deepen my identity symbiosis as well. In listening to others, I am better positioned to hear myself. Such a reciprocity reassures and energizes my voice. During my brief time at OISE, I have been exposed to many new (to me) writings on critical thought. Rawlins (2003) powerfully laid out the case for hearing others: Hearing others is not a passive enactment of being-in-conversation. Hearing voices, it says something about you that is critical. It identifies you as someone who has postponed speaking, someone who is reserving and respecting the space of talk for (an)other. It announces you as someone potentially open to the other’s voice, at least in this moment when he/she (sic) is speaking. Listening in this way is a committed, active passivity. It is an opening in practice, conscientious listening…Even so, this speaking constituted by your listening matters only if you actually do hear, only if you allow the other person’s voice and stories to reach you, to change you. For if you really hear what the other is saying, you cannot remain the same. You are not the same. Something of value has been shared with you. Hearing the other’s words, stories, concerns, and particulars tells you this. (p. 122) Cook-Sather (2007) eloquently captured the inherent challenge of cultivating voice through that of others: “How hard it is to learn from voices we do not want to hear and to learn to hear the voices we do not know how to hear” (p. 394). How easy it is then to get distracted and thrown off course; our vision and focus obscured by the privilege of position and its charge? How strongly might this ring true for the work of student affairs and higher education professionals? I continue to realize every day, in new ways, how I am not immune from the failure of silence as a means to collude, conform, and support a status quo. It often comes back to checking my airtime and choosing to take a step back and listen twice as much as I speak. This (re)centers both my modus operandi and modus vivendi. “Forward Action” Five years ago, I would never have imagined that my research agenda would be focused on teaching and learning situated at the interstices of race, gender, sexuality, and national origin with my Brown, third culture, queer voice being its impassioned motivator. These research interests expose my belief that action (social justice or otherwise) falls on a passive-active spectrum. Rooted in my dominant and marginalized social identities and their symbiosis, any empowerment of my voice is best witnessed in action – word or deed. I now aspire towards “forward action” – an action with systemic impact that can move a community forward. As social media continues its stranglehold on the way information is shared, I realize I am often


Rodricks • 149 guilty of shortchanging my voice in favor of “social media armchair activism.” I refer to this as when (from behind the comfort and self-perceived safety of a virtual avatar) I share a hot-button issue and ask for comment from interested friends and colleagues. While such armchair activists are surely needed, I believe it neither systemically alters the status quo nor is it sustainable. Now, I will never be one to protest out in the streets. I have chosen instead to position my professional life’s work to hopefully be emancipatory. I adopt theoretical frameworks to integrate criticality in not only my literature reviews and subsequent analysis of findings, but also in my methodology. This is my “forward action.” It has challenged me to educate myself on identities I know little about. It has afforded me a powerful vehicle to constantly make meaning of my voice as I seek to give voice to others while being mindful of issues like (mis)representation. Wherever you may be and whatever you do, I encourage you to not only grow your social media armchair activism but also find your own “forward action.” Conclusion: Making Space for Both Voice and Story Change will always be a part of the higher education and student affairs world – each year brings a fresh student class rooted in a new point in history with different characteristics, achievements, challenges, hopes, and dreams. Is our success then contingent on the ability to adapt and to change? According to Allen (2013), space is “a perpetual state of becoming” and something that can be “made and remade” (p.61). Change affects all dimensions of being and becoming – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc. Whatever the dimension, our respective space must hold (and grow) both voice and story and not to mitigate change rather despite it. I believe more than ever that the propensity to be even remotely effective here lies in the willingness to get vulnerable and question everything (especially self). A critical presence before Grammy Award-winning recording artist Beyoncé decided to sample her on a latest self-titled visual album, Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story” raised some provocative questions for me: 3 Whose story is being told? Who is telling that story? And to whom is it being told? Where is it being told? And how? And finally perhaps most importantly...

Who is listening?

3 On December 13, 2013, recording artist Beyoncé released her self-titled visual album with a track entitled “***Flawless.” The track samples Adichie’s (2013) “We should all be feminists” speech at TEDxEuston 2012. See also Adichie (2009).


150 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 These are critical questions the value of which cannot be overstated. Life, replete with the “master narrative” 4 (Stanley, 2007, p. 14), will have conditioned (read as duped) most into believing the aforementioned series of questions as a perfectly linear process [voice and story as interchangeable, right?]. Yet as social media (re) defines the way news is accessed, exchanged, and discussed albeit au milieu de increasingly entangled web of social identity markers, it would be foolish to believe that this perceived perfection is anything but a kerfuffle. There is no single truth and there are no answers, only provocations. I believe a deep provocation to all of the aforementioned questions therefore lies in the power of voice and the ability to find my own through change. But that is only half my battle. How and where do I learn to nurture, comfort, strengthen, and (perhaps if I am lucky) empower it to make the grand difference I was commissioned (and am committed) to make as higher education and student affairs professional? Simply put, to whom is my voice responsible? #endrant The story and the voice are symbiotically entwined in space at any given time. While the voice may be the product and the story the root, there is a process to be understood. Perry (2012) explained: We are primed to use stories. Part of our survival as a species depended upon listening to the stories of our tribal elders as they shared parables and passed down their experience and the wisdom of those who went before. As we get older it is our short-term memory that fades rather than our long-term memory. Perhaps we have evolved like this so that we are able to tell the younger generation about the stories and experiences that have formed us which may be important to subsequent generations if they are to thrive. (p. 75) This is not new for student affairs and higher education professionals consumed with issues of tradition, legacy, ritual, teachable moments, and life lessons. We are encouraged to search for patterns and “repetitions in the stories we tell ourselves [and] at the process of the stories rather than merely their surface content” (Perry, 2012, p. 84). When I do so, I find I am better able to explore the different lenses through which I may interpret the world. I recalibrate, I (re)center. I become vulnerable. Brown (2010), an expert on vulnerability, exhorted, “maybe stories are just data with a soul!” Well, if that is true, then voice becomes the necessary catalyst to breed solidarity in the process that Perry presents. In the awareness of interconnectedness and through change, my (re)centeredness seeks solidarity, yearning for a shared humanity amidst the myriad of voices reflecting a plethora of story. #rinseandrepeat So…what is your story? Where is your voice? And to whom are you responsible? 4 The term “master narrative” here references a White, heterosexual, Christian, Able-bodied, and Upper/Upper-middle class male standard that has been universalized as ideal at the exclusion of others and seek to support the maintenance of dominant group power. Also see Stanley (2007).


Rodricks • 151 References Adichie, C. N. (2012, June). We should all be feminists [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc Adichie, C. N. (2009, July). The danger of a single story [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_ of_a_single_story.html Allen, L. (2013). Behind the bike sheds: Sexual geographies of schooling. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34(1), 56-75 Brown, B. (2010, June). The power of vulnerability [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html Butler, J. (1995). For a careful reading. In S. Benhabib, J. Butler, D. Cornell, & N. Fraser (Eds.), Feminist Contentions, (pp. 127-144). New York, NY: Routledge. Cook-Sather, A. (2007). Resisting the impositional potential of student voice work: Lessons for liberatory educational research from poststructural- ist eminist critiques of critical pedagogy. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 28(3), 389-403. Cuyjet, M. J., Howard-Hamilton, M., & Cooper, D. L. (2011). Multiculturalism on campus: Theory, models, and practices for understanding diversity and creating inclusion. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum. Gallagher, K. M. (2008). The methodological dilemma: Creative, critical, and collaborative approaches to qualitative research. New York, NY: Routledge. Johnson, B. (1987). A world of difference. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Lather, P. (2008). Getting lost: Critiquing across difference as a methodological practice. In K. Gallagher (Ed.), The methodological dilemma: Creative, critical, and collaborative approaches to qualitative research (pp. 219-231). New York, NY: Routledge. Perry, P. (2012). How to stay sane. London: Picador. Pollock, D. C., & Van Reken, R. E. (2009). Third culture kids: Growing up among worlds. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. Rawlins, W. K. (2003). Hearing voices/learning questions. In R. P. Clair (Ed.), Expressions of ethnography: Novel approaches to qualitative methods. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Rodricks, D. J. (2013, November). Whose classroom is it anyway? Performing the pedagogical relationship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer students of color and white heterosexual faculty. Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO.


152 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Stanley, C. A. (2007). When counter narratives meet master narratives in the journal editorial-review process. Educational Researcher, 36(1), 14-24. Taylor, C. (1994). The politics of recognition. In A. Gutman (Ed.), Multicultural- ism: Examining the politics of recognition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


Final Word • 153

THE FINAL WORD

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Each year, we invite a member of our community to write The Final Word. This contributor is the consummate student affairs educator and serves as a role model to us all through dedication, wisdom, and compassion. This year, we are fortunate to conclude with Diana Dubuque. Program Assistant Higher Education and Student Affairs University of Vermont


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The Final Word Diana Dubuque It’s a scary feeling to be asked to write The Final Word for The Vermont Connection (TVC) Journal. I certainly can’t compete with the previous authors on any level. I am not a writer nor an educator, although I am honored to even be considered as an author in my final shining moments as a member of the HESA team. My history After graduating from a small women’s business college in New Hampshire (yup, no co-ed for this girl), with a major in the Airline and Travel Secretarial program, I began my career at UVM in 1972 working in the office of Sponsored Programs processing grant applications to outside funding sources until 1974. Then an opportunity came along with United Airlines to work as a reservationist, and I moved to Boston to take that job. In doing so, I would fulfill my desire to be able to travel inexpensively and be able to ‘pay back’ my parents in traveling benefits for paying for my college education. Within a year, a merger occurred for the Boston and NY reservations offices and a move to New Jersey was planned. I decided that my move would not be to NJ, but back to Vermont and to UVM. I got a job with the Forestry Department working with undergraduate students and five faculty members. I stayed in Forestry until 1978 when my first child was born, always intending to return. Three children later, I came back to UVM in 1982 when the youngest child turned two. The department was called Organizational, Counseling and Foundational Studies (OCFS), which was a mouthful to say when answering the phone. That department housed HESA, Counseling, Foundations, and the Administration & Planning program, now Educational Leadership. It was during the early years in that office that I was given a choice of staying with the program I then worked for or moving into the HESA staff role. Deb Hunter was there, David Holmes was leaving, and Kathy Manning had recently been hired. I chose to work with HESA faculty and students, and have been happily doing so ever since.

Diana Dubuque has worked with The University of Vermont HESA program for over 25 years and at UVM for 37 years in total. Prior to coming to the HESA program, she worked with the Administration and Planning program, the Forestry Department, and the Office of Sponsored Programs. She also has worked for United Airlines in Boston. She will retire in June of 2014.


Dubuque • 155 The HESA Experience Some 25+ years later, I am still working with the HESA program and have been extremely happy in this position. The evidence of my being part of the team, rather than just the staff person, is what has committed me to stay. I have seen many cohorts enter the program. Some of you pondered your decision in the first semester as to whether you made the right decision, some of you had family separation anxieties, others had assistantship positions that were either overwhelming or not enough to do in your opinion and were looking for more structure or more project assignments to work on. Over the years, I had countless students in my office that just needed to talk through an issue or vent to someone when the faculty were not in. I am happy that students felt that I was trustworthy enough to bear their burdens, and that perhaps I was able to comfort them in some way. I watched you grow with each passing semester, learning to navigate the institution and its intricacies and complexities, sometimes you wondered if it would ever end. And yet, nearly all of you in your final semester could not believe that you were graduating and how two years had flown by so quickly! Yes, you graduated as mature young adults, and have gone on to do marvelous work in the field. Throughout the years I enjoyed seeing the growth in our students, and continue to be proud of the positions our grads are offered all over the country as they exit the UVM HESA program and begin their careers. Each year I have put out a call for volunteers to attend career fairs around the country and represent the HESA program. And always, the call is answered. We are fortunate to have a highly qualified pool of candidates every year in numbers that exceed 185 applications. We have YOU to thank for that as you continue to send us prospective candidates that are eager to follow in the HESA experience. For many years, I kept a United States map with pins and strings to all of the locations our grads were located. It was a fabulous tribute to our graduates and for me to look at every day. The map became outdated as grads took on new positions throughout the country and Canada, and was discarded when we moved to Trinity campus. I keep tabs on many of you through social media (Facebook), your successes, changing jobs, going back to school, participating in Semester at Sea, families, and the trials and tribulations of a spouse off to war. Several of you stopped by the office when attending the Legal Issues conference, or were in town for other reasons. Some of you have returned to UVM for employment! It was always nice to see you, and for you to remember us. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your UVM life and beyond. It has been my pleasure to watch you continue


156 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 to grow, in both career and family and of course, I always enjoy pictures of you and your families on Facebook. Recently, we received some wonderful letters from our alumni, many of whom talked about the experiences here and how they benefitted from our teachings. You seem to revisit the conversations, class discussions, and experiences in your assistantships and practica when you are trying to facilitate the happenings in your current jobs. You have written the following comments: “I am feeling so prepared,” “grateful for my training,” “I am proud to call UVM and HESA my home,” “I have utilized the tools I accessed and practiced during graduate school daily,” and “Throughout my career I have utilized the lessons learned from my time in UVM HESA in order to think critically.” There are so many more of you using the skills that you learned with us. It makes me smile to see the recognition you honor UVM HESA with, and it has made me realize that as students move through the program, you are growing every day without realizing it. But when issues arise at your jobs, you are fully prepared to handle them with confidence and grace. And, if you need a little help, The Vermont Connection is vast and wide, and alumni are extremely supportive and helpful. Just ask. Change is Forever The UVM Administration continues to change as well. We have a new president as of 2012, the 7th president in my tenure at UVM. Edward Andrews, Lattie Coor, George Davis, Thomas Salmon, Judith Ramaley, Daniel Fogel, and now Thomas Sullivan. And, there have been about the same number of interim presidents, provosts, and deans as well. And through it all, we remain strong and vibrant. The HESA program has undergone changes as well. Since our move to Trinity Campus five years ago, many things have changed. Bridget Turner Kelly left UVM, Jackie Gribbons retired, Dorian McCoy left UVM, and Robert Nash returned to teaching full time in the Foundations area. I worked with Shametrice Davis for a few short months. Deb Hunter became the chair of the department, Kathy Manning became the HESA coordinator, and we recruited faculty from other programs and some campus administrators to teach courses in the HESA program while we try to align ourselves with our top-notch standards. I have been asked to change offices four times, and it seemed that every year I would move one office to the left. I recently realized that with my upcoming retirement, I will be two doors short of getting the ‘corner office.’ So, I leave that to Deb.


Dubuque • 157 The Wrap Up It has always been my thought and my intention to retire from a job that I love deeply, with a sense of fulfillment and contribution, maybe even with significance to the program, the faculty, and the students with whom I worked. The reflection of one’s life should be rewarding and fulfilling. Life is short and you do not really think about it until you are nearing retirement. Contributions to my ‘retirement fund’ for years, even when I did not think I could afford it became very important all of a sudden. Somehow those years just seem so far away when you are younger, but they have a way of sneaking up on us. Most recently some of our HESA alumni visited the campus to pay tribute to Kathy Cook and stopped by the office to visit. One of our alums joked about getting emails from me while she was a student, and she knew she had better pay attention! So, I guess I made an impact on folks to get things done. Another remarked that things would fall apart if I retired, so I should not. But, I know that is not true. Things may change. I have learned recently that my position will not be replaced, but the program will remain strong and the faculty will do everything they can to ensure its’ strength and longevity, including the hiring of an additional faculty member. I am confident that The Vermont Connection will forever continue and we will enjoy many more years of educating young people to become wonderful professionals. I worked for a faculty member many years ago who kept saying ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. There may be circles in life where this might be true, but in the world of higher education, I find this to be anything BUT true. My Final Word Therefore, my Final Word to you is that life is a challenge and it is forever changing. Every day is an adventure at work. There is always something happening, whether it be a student sobbing in your office, changes in staffing, crisis on campus, or a co-worker facing severe illness. Lend a hand whenever possible. Be accommodating and flexible. Work hard. Be proud of who you are, where you are, and never stop listening and learning. Embrace your surroundings and know that you are there for a reason. Be true to yourself. Move, go back to school, or change jobs as you seek another level in your career and in your life. Make solid decisions and do not look back. Allow yourself the freedom to expand. Be a mentor. Never settle for less. I urge you to live your life to the fullest every day. I have no doubt that you are re-creating new domains and that the future of higher education is in excellent hands!


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When I retire in June, I will miss this position, the faculty and students, and all that it has taught me. I will be forever grateful. Bless all of you, Diana


Acknowledgements • 159

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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Dear TVC Friends and Colleagues,

For over the past three decades your unwavering support, enthusiasm, and encouragement has continued to allow us to produce a quality journal and consistently contribute numerous talents to the field of Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration. We are deeply grateful for your willingness to go the distance with us, and we look forward continuing this journey with you. Unfortunately, over this past year we have endured tragedies and losses that have deeply impacted us individually, and has had a rippling effect on the field of student affairs as a whole. The losses of Kathy Cook (‘95) and Jackie Gribbons created a void in many of our personal and professional lives; one that has forever changed us. However, your love and support as friends, colleagues, and alum of the HESA program were felt all the way in the Green Mountains. While these important losses may have created a multitude of deep feelings and emotions, your strength and love have allowed our communities to heal in meaningful ways. We cannot express enough how grateful we are to have you all as amazing friends and colleagues. While we may have experienced impactful losses, our community has demonstrated great resilience while honoring the lives of both Kathy and Jackie. Both of our HESA cohorts have done an amazing job working hard at producing the 35th volume of the The Vermont Connection (TVC) Student Affairs Journal. This year’s Executive Board worked tirelessly to build greater connections with our alums while elevating the HESA experience for all cohort members with intentional programming, both social and educational. Our annual holiday party with the Executive Board left us laughing and celebrating a great fall semester. Kim Monteaux De Freitas is the Assistant Director of Student Life for Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Vermont. Nick Negrete is Assistant Dean of Students for the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Vermont.


160 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Acknowledgements As we prepare for HESA candidate interview days we are reminded by all those that have come before and have made TVC that special community we all have experienced it to be. Oftentimes, we get busy and our lives continue to move very quickly. Despite the many activities that each of us have going on within our own lives, we want to remind and encourage you to take a moment and reach out to that HESA cohort member, faculty, and/or friend and share a memory or two as we realize that we have something special within our community. What is even more amazing is that the “HESA magic” will undoubtedly continue with each new first year cohort, as they add their special experience to the rich community we love and cherish. TVC continues to be celebrated not just here locally, but by student affairs across the country, and we are reminded of this very clearly at each conference reception where legacies are remembered, and humble new beginnings flourish . Thank you for your continued commitment to TVC during this 35th year. Your support, through writing recommendations and donating financially to the journal do not go unnoticed. Collegially, Nick (HESA ’06) and Kim


Donors • 161 This year’s Executive and Full Boards would like to thank the following individuals who contributed to our successful fundraising over the past calendar year. Our alumni/ae and friends are responsible for the continued vitality and success of our efforts. Every gift, no matter the size, keeps our connection strong.

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Joyce Wagoner Ames Scott Richard Anderson Carl R. Andreas Rosalind E. Andreas Christine Ellen Anthony Adam Jon Aparicio Lynne D. Ballard William P. Ballard Michelle L. Bartley-Taylor Krista McCallum Beatty Patrick James Beatty Joslyn DiRamio Bedell Laura Anne Birdsall Caitlin Ann Bjellquist Allan Patrick Blattner Carolyn Maxwell Blattner Leah Charpentier Bouramia Kailee Ann BricknerMcDonald Michelle Luff Brisson Patrick MacGregor Brown Christina Bruen Susan Strawbridge Bryant Patrick Joseph Buckley Tom R. Burke Eric Burton-Krieger Meagan Crishon BurtonKrieger Renee Bardell Camerlengo Kathleen L. Campbell Brian Edward Canavan Gretchen Junk Casey Pamela Anne Chisholm Paul Bernard De Freitas Dennis P. DePaul Jeffrey Cate Desjarlais Jennifer Coulter Desjarlais Douglas Alexander Dickey, Jr.

Kristine Angelica Din Jude Paul Matias Dizon Laurel E. Dreher Stephen John Druschel Michael Addison Dunn Patricia Kendig Eldred Wesley J. Eldred Ann Campati Emmanuel Narbeth R. Emmanuel Aaron Michael Ferguson Jerry E. Flanagan Lacretia J. Flash Christopher Ryan Foley Anne Trask Forcier Lawrence K. Forcier Kirsten Freeman Fox Pamela Kay Gardner Deanna M. Garrett-Ostermiller Richard John Gatteau Mary Kim Cannon Gerdes Amy Joan Gillard Sharon C. Goodman Jennifer L. Granger Jackie M. Gribbons V. Hilton Hallock Jennifer Lynn Hart Bryan G. Hartman Betty M. Hibler Jill Marie Hoppenjans Kimberly Anne Howard Brett Phillip Hulst Deborah Ellen Hunter Amy Huntington Jacqueline Elizabeth Hyman Marcia Craig Jacobs Dottie Ann Johnson Foley Laura Blake Jones Tamia Rashima Jordan


162 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 Edward John Keagle Martha Burroughs Keagle Bridget Turner Kelly Robert Dwayne Kelly Lorraine Betz Kelm Robert John Kelm Robert John Kelm Khristian L. Kemp-DeLisser Stephanie Nelle Kurtzman Ann Laubenheimer Larget Mary Beth Lepkowsky Jennifer Poreda Lian Jason Carroll Locke Heather Christine Lou Karen Franta Love Hannah Roberts Lozon Peggy Ann Mahaffy-Dunn Kathleen Manning Lester John Manzano Patricia Marin Sarah Conant Martin Raymond Carl Mattila Merin Eglington Maxwell Laura Elizabeth Megivern Jeffrey Frank Milem Lisa Gradone Miles Stacey Aileen Miller Kimberlee R. Monteaux Paul F. Montinieri Katie Ann Morgan Judy A. Nagai Garrett J. Naiman Nicholas Efren Negrete Erik N. Nelson Sarah Downing Nelson Jeffrey James Nolan Jennifer Anne Ostermiller Rosemary Jane Perez Barbara L. Perlman Anne Conaway Peters James Anthony Pietrovito Janet Early Pietrovito Heather Parkin Poppy

Salomon A. Rodezno Dirk Jonathan Rodricks Domonic Antonio Rollins Steven M. Rose Michael Daniel Russel Kennith Hans Sartorelli Marybeth Bacon Sartorelli Mathew J. Shepard M. Marie-Claire Smith Sherwood E. Smith Macki C. Snyder Kimberly Mae Stephenson Annie Stevens Katherine J. Stevenson Samuel Christopher Stevenson Ian Thomas Stroud Alvin Arbre Sturdivant Stephen Michael Sweet Valerie Bowker Szymkowicz John deCani Taylor Beth E. Taylor-Nolan Kim Anne Thomas Mary Martha Tuttle-Faucher Elizabeth C. Uddin Vay Cong Van Matthew J. Vanjura Barbara Howland Verrier David Arthur Verrier Greg Palmer Voorheis Danet Edgar Walbert Kathleen Wall Margo Wallace-Druschel Jennifer Grace Wegner Andrew Mcmahan Wells Daphne R. Wells Thomas Edward Whitcher Amy Marie White Harriet Iris Williams Cornell F. Woodson Kim Barbra Zygadlo


Guidelines • 163

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS

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The Vermont Connection publishes articles dealing with student development, professional development, administrative concerns, and creative programs to improve student services. Manuscripts should focus on: original research; replication of research; reviews of research/literature; essays on theoretical, organizational, or professional issues; reviews of current literature relevant to the field; or practical reports of experiences from the field. Style Guidelines Manuscripts must be clear, concise, and interesting with a well-organized development of ideas. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (2009) should be followed for reference style and general guidelines. • •

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Double space all material, including references, quotations, tables, and figures. Leave extra space above and below subheadings and allow generous margins (at least one-inch margins). Because manuscripts are processed through an anonymous review system, they should contain no clues to the author’s identity or institutional affiliation (with the exception of a separate title page as outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition). Where appropriate, institutional identification will be inserted after acceptance of the manuscript. Research manuscripts should total no more than fifteen (15) double-spaced, typewritten pages (approximately 3,000 words) including references, figures, and tables. Shorter articles are accepted and encouraged. Original research (literary, qualitative, quantitative, or scholarly personal narrative) is encouraged. All such work should be applicable to the higher education and student affairs professions.


164 • The Vermont Connection • 2014 • Volume 35 • Field reports should not exceed three (3) pages (approximately 600 words in length). They should briefly report on or describe new practices, programs, or techniques. Authors should supply additional background information for interested parties who may request it. • Dialogues/Interviews should follow the manuscript guidelines outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. They should take the form of verbatim exchange, oral or written, between two or more people. • Book reviews should not exceed five (5) pages in length (approximately 1,000 words). Proposed titles to be reviewed should be approved by the Full Board. Authors are fully responsible for obtaining such texts. Additionally, it is the author’s responsibility to secure permission to quote or adapt text content. A copy of the publisher’s written permission must be provided to the Full Board before any manuscript can be published. • Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all references, quotations, tables, and figures. Authors should make every effort to ensure that such items are complete and correct. Submission Instructions •

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Form and content of manuscripts should comply with the above style guidelines and the general guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. Manuscripts that do not conform to these guidelines cannot be considered. Never submit manuscripts that have been previously published or are currently under consideration for publication. Material should be submitted electronically only; visit The Vermont Connection website for more information. It is imperative for authors to adhere to all dates outlined in the Call for Articles.

The Vermont Connection Executive Board will be responsible for all publication and editorial decisions. Visit http://uvm.edu/tvc for additional information.


The Vermont Connection: 35th Volume