Showing Up for Racial Justice in Student Affairs

Inaction is action in affirmation of oppression and we need to continue that work or start it now. I’ve said it isn’t easy and I know that I don’t have all the answers. But as Paulo Freire and Myles Horton’s book said, “we make the road by walking.” Let’s get started.

chatThere is a lot going on in the US right now about race and racism that is rooted in white supremacist notions. This action is both the overt actions of the KKK, Oath Keepers, the III%ers and covert actions that systemically exist around us such racist microaggressions. If you’re an educator of some kind I hope you’ve heard of that cover white supremacist issues such as microaggressions, white privilege. I hope you’ve heard of the decisive actions of #ConcernedStudent1950 at the University of Missouri. I hope you’ve heard of the students at Yale (and also questioned the thought pieces that spark resistance to student activism). I hope you’ve heard of the students arguing that #BlackBruinsMatter at UCLA. And the actions that many other students are taking across the country.

It’s important that we know these stories and we support the students who are seeking change. It’s important that we reflect on what we’re co-conspiring with. We can choose to conspire with the status quo and say nothing. We can choose to ignore the threats that are posed against our students and say you can make a choice not to come to class if you don’t feel safe. We can choose to tell people that they’re being too sensitive. Or we can choose to acknowledge the patterns of systemic white supremacy and provide space for students to take care of themselves.

All of these movements are steeped in resistance to white supremacy. They’re tied to #BlackLivesMatter and fights for civil rights and justice that have occurred throughout our history. They reflect the courageous activists who came before them and their co-conspirators.

As educators in student affairs we have to realize that there is no neutrality. We cannot make a decision that does not declare allegiance to something. Inaction in the face of oppression is action in favor of oppression. Suggesting that we “wait it out” or hoping that climates get better are direct inaction that affirm the status quo.

Last night I sat in on a conference call with white activists who are all affiliated withA hand painted blue banner reads "Make no Peace with Oppression" Showing Up for Racial Justice (an organization that I would call myself a member of and the origin of the title of this post). We heard from an activist near the border in Arizona who is organizing against militia activity who have taken it upon themselves to guard the border. We heard from another activist in Arkansas who is organizing community discussions (and helped start The Other Arkansas) that offer alternate narratives about history of southerners such as the Southern Tennant Farmer Union. We heard from another activist who is working with the Rural Organizing Project in Oregon who has faced pressure and resistance from white supremacist groups including being followed and death threats.

I mention both the actions of students of color across the US as well as the work of white activists across the US because they are intrinsically interwoven. The work and leadership of the students of color are how we as educators (particularly white educators) demonstrate support for striking out against racist practices to change the nature of our institutions. The work of the white activists I mentioned are examples of white people directly addressing white supremacy in their communities. They are building the critical consciousness of their neighbors and create changes in their communities whether that’s addressing the racist violence of self-proclaimed border militias or leading teach-ins about Natasha McKenna.

As educators I believe that we’re responsible for creating a climate in which all of our students can be engaged in a learning environment because we create that learning environment. This means that we need to address issues if not all of our students feel that they can be involved in their learning community. This means that weneed to address white supremacy which isn’t easy. It’s uncomfortable and I don’t have all the answers but speaking out is one of the first steps. We should ally ourselves with organizations who are working against racism whether that’s a local SURJ affiliate or another 51Ee7sb9NNL._SX293_BO1,204,203,200_racial justice organization. We need to ask ourselves difficult questions about our practices and find ways to incorporate social justice into our work as educators. We need to ask more from our professional associations. We need leadership and demonstrated action from ACPA, NASPA, ACUHO-I, ACUI, etc. on addressing these issues within our profession as it’s written into the values of most of our associations. We need to start having conversations in places that we already have conversations like #SAchat and Facebook groups. We need to organize these thoughts collectively and I would argue that we need to start sharing ways that we’re addressing white supremacy and oppression on our campuses through social media. I suggest using #SURJinSA to share these stories.

As I’ve said before slightly differently, inaction is action in affirmation of oppression. We need to continue that work of standing against oppression or start it now. I’ve said it isn’t easy and I know that I don’t have all the answers. But as Paulo Freire and Myles Horton’s book said, “we make the road by walking.” Let’s get started.

Social Justice in Student Affairs

What happens when we consider that we are all responsible for creating an inclusive community on our campus for all of our students? This inclusive campus needs to be mindful of the ways in which different dimensions of identities are impacted by our work.

We know that Social Justice is a process and a goal as established in Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. “The goal of social justice education is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social Justice includes a vision of society that is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure” (Adams, Bell, and Griffin; 2007). As student affairs educators our main focus is to create a campus community for our students and I posit that using this definition of Social Justice should be a foundation for establishing that community. This means a lot about how foundation of our communities need to start, but I’m focusing on how we as professional educators need to interact with this definition and the shaping of our community.

Many of us in Student Affairs think of social justice education (SJE) in a limited way. We think of SJE as specific trainings or workshops. We think of programs where we invite speakers to campus who talk about privilege, power, and oppression. We think about our colleagues who do this work daily in multicultural affairs offices (and we often put the brunt of the work of creating inclusive campuses on our multicultural affairs colleagues). We do a disservice to SJE (and our students, colleagues, and selves) when we think of it in such limiting terms because it’s much much more than one time workshops. It needs to be an integrative part of how we operate in all of student affairs.

In addition to the limited scope of Social Justice Education, when we do engage we generally focus on interpersonal dynamics such as microaggressions but we don’t talk about the systems of oppression that create the culture in which we all internalize and perpetuate microaggressions without even noticing. We talk with students about being “inclusive” (which has really just become addressing language, which is not bad but limited) but we don’t talk about how to avoid recreating the oppressive systems of power and privilege on our campuses whether that be through roommate mediations, program planning, orientation sessions, or relationship development.

While I do not disagree that SJE exists within specific trainings about privilege and oppression we can’t let that be the only time when we discuss privilege and oppression. We frequently think that SJE is going to happen for us and don’t take the time to engage in the difficult work of challenging discrimination and oppression on our campuses. We don’t think about the procedures we have in place and how they impact marginalized students in our communities. We usually tell our students to attend programs about black history month or women’s history month or pride week on our campuses but we don’t go ourselves. We promote programs during heritage months but we don’t talk about real life issues as they happen. We frequently miss opportunities to have difficult conversations with our students, colleagues, and selves based on the events that are occurring around us such as the #BlackLivesMatters movement, the Chapel Hill Shooting, the huge number of Trans* women of color who have been killed in 2015, and the movement for undocumented student support.

In addition to missing more obvious opportunities to learn, I have always mentally compartmentalized the different parts of my job. Until recently, student conduct meetings operated in a mental silo separate from planning programs. I think this reflects how we go through training as professionals. We don’t talk about how the coaching skills that we use in a conduct meeting should (and do!) directly relate to how we develop the learning outcomes for programs. We just have a session on the schedule that shows us how to use the conduct software and what we legally have to cover in that conduct meeting to make sure that due process is met (this is not to dismiss the importance of due process). We don’t always talk as much about what the developmental conversation should look like and how that thought process should mirror what we do when planning for programs or how we supervise staff. How does the intersection of my identities influence my interactions with my students? Am I aware of my internalized biases? How do I continue to learn about those internalized biases and notice when they occur? And this is just on the individual level, there is more work to be done across our divisions and departments.

I would like to challenge all of my colleagues working in student affairs across the world to consider how we can integrate social justice education values into our day to day work. This means a wide range of concepts from interrupting microaggressions that we witness and perpetuate (especially when they’re environmental microaggressions) to recognizing and changing systemic issues that create disadvantages for our students. One activity in particular that I was recently introduced to through Vernon Wall and Kathy Obear was to think about a particular service or program and consider how it does or does not serve particular identities. For example, consider an orientation session. How does that session serve all of the students who attend? Does the skit speak to a wide variety of the experiences of students on campus or just those in dominant identities? How does the registration cost impact students from a lower socio-economic background? How are undocumented students supported? What about Trans* students and their assignments in overnight housing? Without asking important questions about our services and programs we recreate systems of oppression on our campuses.

What happens when we consider that we are all responsible for creating an inclusive community on our campus for all of our students? This inclusive campus needs to be mindful of the ways in which different dimensions of identities are impacted by our work. We cannot continue to plan our programs and services in a “colorblind” manner in which we don’t consider all of the dimensions of identities. Without this important change we continue to recreate oppressive systems that exist throughout our society on campus.

How can we collaborate across departments and divisions to create campus communities that are inclusive for all of our students, faculty and staff? How do we ensure that we honor the individual experiences of everyone while also understanding the systemic issues that influence those experiences? I don’t have all of the answers, but I believe it starts with having these conversations. It starts with asking critical questions about our services and programs. It starts with staff and faculty analyzing their own identities and internalized biases. It continues with cross-functional teams that assist in training colleagues in cultural competence. This is important work that is relevant to everyone on our campuses.

How else do you think we can build inclusive communities on our campuses?

The paths to burnout

I’ve had a relatively short career in student affairs but over the course of my 3+ years post masters degree, I have seen (including myself) a couple dozen new professionals accept positions directly out of graduate school and the results haven’t always been awesome. With that in mind, I’ve thought of a few examples of things that I’ve seen or felt take a toll on myself and my peers.

I’ve had a relatively short career in student affairs but over the course of my 3+ years post masters degree, I have seen (including myself) a couple dozen new professionals accept positions directly out of graduate school and the results haven’t always been awesome. With that in mind, I’ve thought of a few examples of things that I’ve seen or felt take a toll on myself and my peers.

Taking everything too seriously

In student affairs, we sometimes get stuck dwelling on the very A grumpy looking catserious situations that we work with. These incidents or interventions can stick with us for a long time. We tend to focus on these draining experiences rather than the inspiring or uplifting interactions with have with students who are engaging with their community in a positive manner or advocating for a change in policy or creating a new program/initiative that is going to make a difference. With that in mind, we have to know when to have fun. We play an important role at the university but that doesn’t mean that we have to be stuffy all the time. If you’re stuck in the serious and negative all the time you’re going to reach your limit more quickly and then you won’t be able to assist students and do the important stuff when it’s called for.

Not taking time away

Vacation days are time when your job is paying you not to work. Use them. Sick days are also for us to actually be sick and recuperate. Limiting your life to your job can be seriously detrimental to your health and prevents you from being the holistic person that we help our students strive to be. I’m not even asking you to take a week-long vacation but find some hobbies, make friends, and get away from campus to recharge. Explore your town, I’m willing to bet that there is something there for you to engage with.

Making unilateral decisions

People don’t like change. That includes our A heterosexual white couple sit on a couch. The man says to the woman, students and peers when we move into new positions. Little changes to routines for our students can be difficult to grasp. We need to make sure the decisions we make take into account the audience that the decision will impact. This usually results from not learning the culture around you and how to exist within that. Learn the students and what they need from you. Make decisions that are going to help you all succeed and accomplish your shared goals (that should also be developed within the context of your university and department values and vision)

Ignoring your successes

We all make mistakes and one of them is ignoring when we do something well and staying stuck in the mistakes. Supervisors are going to define success how they want to but you also need to establish your own vision for success so that you can meet your own goals. Be realistic but also find ways to push yourself. Also think outside of your position (check with your supervisor first though!)… One of my goals one year was to get trained to facilitate a diversity and inclusion workshop that is hosted in our Multicultural Education office and use that as a platform to connect with students outside of my residence hall. One way to continue this work is to write down three things that you’re grateful for or that you did well each day. This simple gratitude practice can help you focus on what success is at hand.

Ignoring your passions

You may find your position limiting in terms of working with your passions outside of your day-to-day work. Ignoring them and not connecting with them are going to wear you down and demotivate you. One of my passions is social justice education and college access and I’ve been very fortunate in working at a university in which these ideas can come together in a summer bridge program for 1st generation college students. I’ve also created programs focused on social justice education that give space for us to learn from each other. I’ve made space for the things that I care about to be present in my daily work even though it’s not in my title. Find ways to make that work for you.

Avoiding reflection

A huge part of our lives is making meaning of A moleskine journal and penwhat’s happening in front of and around us. If we don’t take time to reflect on what we’ve been doing then we aren’t able to adjust to do things better in the future. Reflection should be a huge part of any professional’s work flow, but I think it’s especially critical to entry-level professionals because you’re establishing your career. Learning from what’s happening around you (both positive and negative) can be better professional development than  attending conferences. Set a reminder to reflect regularly whether it’s daily or weekly or monthly. Think about what you’ve done and what was great and what you can do better for next time.

Not having a mentor

Mentors are so critical! They hold us accountable to what we want to accomplish and the professional (or even person) that we want to become. Find someone you look up to who you trust and talk to them about being their mentee. Talk to them about what your goals are in your position and where you want to go in your career. They can also talk through how their career started out


There a lots of ways to make these things happen and this is obviously not an exhaustive list. Consider what’s going to work for you. Think about setting up regular practices such as journal writing in reflection. Meditation can also be a day changer (it has been for me) and there are lots of apps available for smart phones that help guide you through meditations (my favorite is Stop, Breathe, Think). Another app that I’ve used recently is Lift. It’s a coaching app that helps establish new habits. Whatever you do reflect on how you’re feeling at work and what you can do to take care of yourself.

Positive Power Dynamics

“Time and again, despite differences in the context of the relationships, students characterized their worst relationships as unequal and unfair. These types of relationships made people feel diminished, inferior, weak, and violated.” (Goodman, 2000, p. 197)

It’s not at all surprising to me that people describe the worst relationships that they’ve had as being one-sided or feeling inferior to another person. This makes total sense to me. Being taken advantage of in a relationship (whether romantic, work, friendship, etc.) would sour that entire experience. Feeling that one person is more invested in extracting some kind of advantage from you kills any kind of trust. All of this seems obvious, but how does it influence relationships with students. How do student affairs educators reinforce these dynamics with ourselves and with our students? Leadership can sometimes be thought of as “taking control” and that could reflect these issues:

“a) use intimidation, domination, and manipulation to maintain an unequal, unjust relationship and to resolve conflicts; b) concert differences into right and wong, good and bad, better and worse; c) make one person feel more competence and complete and the other feel more incompetent and incomplete; d) generate what Abraham Maslow (1968) calls “deficit motivations” for the subordinate parties (such as fear, insecurity, shame, distrust of self, and mistrust of others) and the dominant parties (such as selfishness, intolerance, anger, arrogance); e) draw on the widespread cultural belief that supports dominance.” (Kogel, 1998, p. 29)

These can negatively influence any one. It can pop up between peers within student affairs and make someone feel that they want to leave the institution or even the field. It can happen between students and student affairs educators to make students feel that they aren’t valued. It can happen between students within the context of a leadership position or organization. The opportunities for this negative dynamic to be repeated on a college campus is innumerable (as it is in the world outside of higher education). But what do we do to interrupt it? How can we facilitate positive power dynamics? How can we value “power-with” relationships and disrupt “power-over” relationships? Kogel describes these “power-with” with the following characteristics:

“a) work to promote relational mutuality and to reduce inequality within the relationship; b) value the process of meeting the needs and enhancing the growth of each other; c) strive to maximize productive conflict, to minimize destructive conflict, and to honor differences within the relationship; d) engage in mutual caring, responsibility, and respect; e) cultivate empathy, compassion, understanding; and f) reflect and established cultural belief that support partnership.” (Kogel, 1998, p. 30)

This is clearly the preferred dynamic for ourselves and our students, but how do we encourage this instead of the philosophy around domination? I think it’s in the same way that you create a culture in your department. It begins with the statement of your philosophy (this frequently comes through in mission/vision/goals) and is backed up by the initiatives and actions that you take and your department takes. For example, as an individual educator, I would encourage this partnership culture through working with my students and asking what they need from me. This doesn’t mean that I’m complacent and sitting back to wait for them to come to me, but it means that I do not need to establish any authority over them. This means that when I’m working with my peers I strive to address conflict in a positive manner that is an actual discussion. This means that when I’m in a “power-over” situation, I change my approach to demonstrate that I’m here to develop a caring and supportive partnership with students rather than telling them what to do. This shift means thinking less paternalistically about what I “know” to be good for them and accept their wisdom as well. This means that I engage in “power-with” relationships with those around me which emphasizes “interdependence and developing the capacity to act and do together.” (Goodman, 2000, p. 193) I think this is a much better model for the stated values of community for which most universities strive.

Obviously this isn’t perfect and I’m not either. The first dynamic I mentioned is the preferred method of business in the US and it takes work to change approaches to interacting with people. But first you have to acknowledge what’s wrong before you can fix it and I think changing my understanding and approach slowly is going to make me a more effective educator and support for my students.

Celebrating Little Victories

A couple of weeks ago I received an award for focusing on diversity and inclusion work at George Mason University. While I’m deeply honored that I was nominated by students, peers, and friends, (and honored that my alma mater wrote a story about it) the real win for me on that night was Jorge receiving the award. The work he’s doing on this campus is astounding and I’m looking forward to calling him a colleague as he pursues work in Student Affairs. Jorge is doing great work and has been since he got here.

I’m also looking forward to learning more from him and the MasonDREAMers at the UndocuAlly training today and I’m ecstatic that this training will soon be available for all of our students, faculty, and staff as the MasonDREAMers look to create a more inclusive campus for undocumented students by increasing awareness of legislation will positively impact the experience of undocumented students. MasonDREAMers are planning a week of programming in March that will feature Jose Antonio Vargas and intersectional programming around undocumented and LGBT programs. They’re doing great work and I’m happy that I get to work alongside them.

Averse to Needs

I was recently reading a chapter from Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach called The Trance of Unworthiness. Within the chapter Dr. Brach writes about the inherent value in our culture to be autonomous, self-reliant, and independent (very patriarchal). She includes a story about these values and how we internalize them. This internalization can mean that if we do have needs we immediately feel “unappealing, undesirable, even bad.” This small quote caused me to think about how much we talk about “needs” in student affairs without acknowledging this culturally implanted aversion to being perceived as needy.

As my department refreshed our community development model, we embracing the concept of needs based programming and investigated how to help our resident advisers understand how to assess the needs of their residents so they can effectively program based on our learning outcomes. A chunk of that conversation was about helping RAs learn to interpret and respond to a wide variety of data points that they may not consider data (vandalism issues, increased documentation for behavioral issues, lack of attendance at programs, visible signs of stress with their residents at mid-terms, etc.) Another part was talking about this cultural aversion to being needy.

We didn’t spend much time on that conversation but we did consider the language that we used to frame the needs-based programming concept for our RAs. We settled on purposeful programming as that is specifically what our RAs are doing. They are finding their purpose for their programming through assessing what is happening in their community. The community/resident needs drive the purpose of the program and we really want our RAs to focus on the purpose of the program and how it addresses. We thought this would help prevent RAs from getting stuck on what may be considered problems and focus on programming interventions (solutions).

We “re-launched” our community development model about two weeks ago during RA training and it seems as though our RAs are grasping the concept of purposeful programming and thinking outside of the chart that we used to program within that had 3 different types of programs they had to facilitate each month. Overall, I think the refreshed model is a good place for the new year despite my hesitation to the language around “needs”

Social Media and Activism

Social media has had a huge impact on how we communicate with one another. This impact has affected traditional news media in several ways from a decline in the sales of newspapers to how the cable news networks report on breaking stories. This has caused several newspapers to make the decision to close down. This has caused formerly reliable news networks such as CNN to report “breaking” news based on tweets that appear to be from the scene of whatever breaking news but when these tweets turn out to be inaccurate the public is misled. The biggest issue that happened recently is related to the Boston Marathon bombing.

Social media has also influenced how we define our relationships, share our memories or what we’re doing, how we take pictures, and many other aspects that have just become part of our daily lives and routines. With such wide ranging influence social media would obviously influence how we protest policies and make our voices heard when they need to be heard. Online activism has popped up recently with many different forms.

One of the forms is the traditional petition with a crowd-sourced twist. has been a major leader in providing people with opportunities to voice their concerns to governments, corporations, and individuals. Some successful campaigns include making sure that the Florida State Attorney’s office filed murder charges against George Zimmerman and having Bank of America reverse their decision to charge their customers a monthly fee for having debit cards. has increased my knowledge of several issues that have been going on around the world and helped me, in small ways, contribute to making a difference.

Another method has just been asking people to tweet on a hashtag, change their profile picture, or donate money to a crowdfunding site (i.e. GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and indiegogo). These methods have also been useful in helping me learn more about what is happening in regards to issues around the world. Social media has also provided an outlet for some news to reach a larger audience when the traditional news media isn’t reporting it. The latest example of this is the protest in Gezi Park in Turkey.

And despite all of these larger examples, people question whether social media makes a difference. My thought that it does. Regardless of how small your contribution appears, making a contribution is making a difference. When the Supreme Court of the United States was hearing arguments for Proposition 8 the Human Rights Campaign released a modified version of their logo for people to use as their Facebook profile pictures and suddenly my Facebook feed was seemingly stuffed full of people who agree with marriage equality.

Now this may seem very trivial, but if my feed was awash in symbols of marriage Human Rights Campaign Marriage Equality Symbolequality, I’m willing to bet that many other people had the same experience as I did. Some of those people probably did not (or still do not) believe that marriage should be open to everyone. Now, they may not have changed their mind just by seeing a ton of red equal signs, but they certainly became aware of the prevalence of the support for marriage equality. And sometimes this little awareness can push someone to change. That little change can open up a larger door and challenge thinking more than we know especially when this online activism is tied to more meaningful and educational  conversations or campaigns.

I’m clearly not saying that all we need to do to create change is tweet, change our Facebook profile picture, blog, pay $25 to a crowd funded cause, or sign a petition but these little things help. These little things help contribute to a larger push for change. We need to keep the momentum going and remember that we can always be doing more. We can always be looking for ways to engage our community in service and education. We can be looking for ways to make change to the institutionalized systems of oppression that run throughout our societies. Working for change from our keyboards is still working for change. But we can always find ways to do more.

Massive, open, online student affairs

On 2/6/2013 our University Life division had the NASPA president about to talk to us about the future of higher education which he believes includes MOOCs, technology, the economics of educational support, changing demographics, and shifting they was that we support our students. One of the questions that he posed to us is how MOOCs can apply to the work that we do. How does this concept of the massive, open, and online classroom apply to student affairs services? I think there are obvious applications in the areas of staff training for our technological systems (imagine going through an online class for how to use conduct software that goes at your own pace rather than learning the ins and outs with everyone in your department). I think there are other, less obvious applications that could be very successful. One of which is taking student handbooks and turning them into some kind of online class for students. Before they can accept admission to the institution or before they can register for classes, they have to demonstrate knowledge of the policies that they agree to uphold as a new student at their university. And what is the potential application for orientation? If we can shift some of the presentations that students sit through to being an online course that student engage in how can we use our time with incoming students effectively during orientation?

I think Leadership training programs are a great example, this concept has been around for years that students can take courses (for credit or co-curricular workshops) in leadership studies and earn a certificate. What happens if that is paired with an online course session and the focus becomes the student’s application of the knowledge that they’ve acquired and their reflection of that application?

Another example is developing content for Housing Selection. We’ve got information sessions on housing selection to ensure that residents are aware of the processes and know what deadlines are coming up so that they feel they have the information to be successful in selecting a room for next year. Shifting that to being online content with knowledge assessments throughout the process would potentially free up time in the moment to help handle out of the ordinary requests and questions that pop up instead of focusing time on delivering a message multiple, we can deliver the message once in the form of an online course and then provide student support along the way.

A lot of times when we hear about new advances in technology that make our old models/methods of delivery seem out of date, we reel back in defense of these outdated models/methods instead of embracing the new technology that could structurally enhance our day to day lives and our work for students. These aren’t actually models for replacing human interaction because that need will never go away. But we can use these models to engage our students differently around many of the services and activities with which we provide them.


Violence is prevalent through the entire english language. We’ve got words and phrases that are embedded in our culture that can prevent us from seeing extreme examples of embedded violence in language as a problem. As Student Affairs Educators, we have a responsibility to help our students learn how to communicate within their organizations, to their peers, and to university officials. Understanding how violence influences our communication can be an excellent first step to understanding how civil conversations can devolve into monstrous arguments.

In addition to violent rhetoric, there have been examples of public figures using unacceptable language while addressing the public. The activists and educators who respond to those inappropriate uses of language are often confronted with a response that challenges their right to make a response. The challengers seem to present evidence that by responding to inappropriate language we are encroach on peoples’ right to free speech. This kind of response is astonishing to me because it seems contradictory at it’s very nature. It is also surprising because it seems to completely miss the point that when we mis-speak or say something damaging, we should be made aware of that so that we can learn how to better communicate. This should be a high priority for public figures just as much as it is for me.

I also want to point out the following:

  • Xenophobia and racism are not free speech, they’re patently ignorant and hateful.
  • Being outraged at someone’s violent rhetoric is not suppressing free speech, it’s explaining how someone has been irresponsible with their right.

We all have a right to believe what we do. However, that right ends when we start to encroach upon another person. Spreading a message of violence is not appropriate for our public figures, and I hope we, as Student Affairs Educators, are teaching our students the differences between what they have a right to say and the responsibility they have to participate in our society civilly. There is a difference.