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Conference

A Brief Message from Your Sponsor

I wanted to spice up my professional development so I joined a regional housing organization’s committee structure. I have served on the Professional Foundations committee through GLACUHO and it all culminated in attending this year’s annual conference in East Lansing, Michigan. This was my second GLACUHO and the only conference where I was the entire delegation (big yikes). I took a chance and presented at the conference. I can confirm that I still have a deep discomfort with public speaking.

I really enjoyed my time at GLACUHO. I was able to see old colleagues and supervisors from a new context. I even was able to see several of my graduate school peers! It has been a little while since I have been to or presented at a conference. I forgot how much I missed learning from the many other professionals across the Great Lakes region. I am at a unique point of my life and career where I am not entirely sure that residence life or student affairs is for me any more. I want to and feel that I am capable of so much, but I simultaneously feel stuck in place. I like money and need (not want) more of it to live my best life. Seeing so many awesome professionals has not helped any of these feelings; in fact I feel more confused than before. Well…. onto the fun stuff!

In the sections below, I am going to tell you what session I attended, provide a brief summary of what the session was about, and then post a few takeaways. I won’t include my own presentation, because you can find that here.

Shane’s GLACUHO Summary

When Individual Rights vs.  University Values Collide

Presenters:

  • Chelsea Knarr, Kent State University
  • Richard Danals, Kent State University

Summary:

The presenters speak about a contentious rally on campus that made regional and national headlines. How do campus organizations respond when outside organizations want to come to campus and speak about divisive topics that invoke large counter rallies? Who pays for security? What were the key issues faced by the administration and what lessons did they learn?

Takeaways:

  • Even when facing a crisis there will still be plenty of time for multiple stakeholders to interpret and reinterpret existing policies in new and sometimes imaginative ways.
  • Sometimes your job is to be the bearer of bad news to multiple parties.
  • One of the key responses that I found the most interesting was that professional and student staff members were not required to be on campus during this time. The leadership asked that those who needed or wanted to not be on campus during that time simply let them know. As a professional who has been asked to “ensure that we have bodies available” I thought this was a good move. 

Unpacking Our “Profession”

Presenters:

  • Kyle Sabin, Michigan State University
  • Kim Christian, Michigan State University

Summary:

This session was a panel presentation from some Michigan State University faculty and staff to discuss professionalism within student affairs. The beginning started with identifying what the word “professional” meant in its most basic definition. I do not recall the exact definition, but I believe it was “a person who has obtained a certain level of competency within a selected field.” Professional has moved from this noun to an adjective and because now of its descriptive nature there is an expectation of what professionalism means. The panel discussed their marginalized identities and how the concept of professionalism has resulted in negative life experiences.

Takeaways:

  • It is important for our offices, departments, divisions to review dress codes and policies and make them more inclusive
  • Professionalism is rooted in whiteness; in oppression

Diversity Education Training: Where Are We, Where Do We Want to Go, and How Do We Get There?

Presenters:

  • Lloyd Graham, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Jackie Mayfield, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Elijah Zagorski, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Summary:

The Inclusion and Equity Committee completed a survey of GLACUHO institutions focusing on diversity education training. There were 67 responses; 51% of them from public institutions, 28% from  private (non faith-based), 20% from private (faith-based), and 1% from community college. The three main topics of the survey were: learning outcomes for diversity education training, type of training provided, and what assessment was conducted afterwards.

Takeaways:

  • A majority of these institutions indicated they did not have or were not sure if they had learning outcomes for diversity education training.
  • Most public and mid-size to large institutions had diversity offices complete training
  • Most smaller institutions would have their own professional staff complete training for student staff
  • 24/67 provided responses assessment that was done.
  • 10 of those 24 indicated that no assessment is done.
  • My takeaway: we have to do better. 

Not Another Training Montage: An RA Training Revamp with a One-Two Punch of Outcomes and Assessment

Presenters:

  • Joshua Maxwell, Bowling Green State University
  • Brittany Krisanda, Bowling Green State University

Summary:

After noticing that staff performance in certain areas were dropping, that staff were focusing too much on session titles, that there were so many campus partners who wanted full training sessions within training these professionals finally took the time to complete revamp their training planning. They developed a 10 step training road map and shared it at the GLACUHO conference.

Takeaways:

  • Job Description Bullets > Learning Outcomes > Training Topics > Actual Sessions is a very simple and easy to follow method for transforming training.
  • Training Presentation Outlines sent to presenters that they need to fill out/return is a fantastic method of presenter accountability.
  • A Daily Wrap Up is a great way to give opportunities for questions.
  • A Morning Report where professional staff respond to all questions based on the evening’s assessment is something I am 100% going to add to my training.

Being the Squeaky Wheel: Advocating for Yourself & the Collective

Presenters:

  • Cassie Govert, IUPUI

Summary:

The presenter recognized that “there are many ways we’re taken advantage of in our roles” and that we are not always well trained on advocating for our selves or our students. The presented used the analogy of Residence Life as a Dumpster Fire. The presenter asked us to identify a topic from our home institution and as we went through each of the steps they identified we applied that knowledge to our own issue and discussed it with another person in the room.

Takeaways:

  • One must know thyself in order to advocate for oneself or others.
  • You are in the room for a reason.
  • There are multiple ways to advocate.

Sound the Alarm: Crisis Management – Before, During, and After

Presenters:

  • John Kendall, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Summary:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially in crisis management. The Presenter for this session provided some research backed tips on crisis response by breaking down the responsibilities of crisis management into before, during, and after. Afterword, the presenter shared a compelling story about their own crisis that they handled.

Takeaways:

  • It is important to clearly identify who does what during an emergency before one takes place.
  • When a crisis begins one of the most important aspects is to begin gathering facts and identifying an effective way to communicate them between various response teams.
  • The before and after is important, but after a crisis it is important to review everything that happened and make necessary changes. Sometimes what we plan for isn’t what happens and we need a new plan for the next time.

MBAs in Residence Life: Why Get Another Master’s?

Presenters:

  • Jim Herman, Western Michigan University
  • Alex Peterson, Western Michigan University

Summary:

Both presenters are master’s level student affairs professionals from different backgrounds, but both of them are in the same MBA program. They discussed the MBA in general as well as the results of a brief survey that they conducted regarding MBAs and skills perception from Senior Student Affairs Officers. Recognizing that higher education is a business, the presenters spoke on the new context they were getting from their newfound skills and knowledge within their own work.

Takeaways:

  • According to ACUHO-i standards completion of an MBA may qualify candidates for a Director of Housing related position.
  • MBA professionals average salary is significantly higher than student affairs professionals.
  • A lot of the lessons and skills learned from an MBA is applicable to housing operations.
  • Excel is very important (I knew that, but this just reinforced it more).