A couple of days ago Jeff Lail (@jefflail on Twitter) posted a great question on Twitter:
“Why does the way student orgs are handled in higher ed SO administratively regulated? Can’t we let this be a little more organic?”
I responded quickly to Jeff & shared with him my gut feeling on the topic but now that I have had some time to reflect on it, I thought I’d dive a little but deeper.
Reason #1: Fear
Fear might be a strong word but based on my experiences, some administrators worry that student organizations will get out of hand without proper regulations in place. So, implementing rules, policies, regulations, etc is a way of being proactive. Protecting them from themselves since we know best.
Reason #2: CYA
If something were to happen & public opinion is not happy, the institution can say “Well, we do have these regulations. We do workshops, trainings, etc. So, don’t blame us. We tried to educate them”.
Reason #3: Senior & Season SA Professionals are “Helicopters” themselves!
Oh yes, I just went there. If you step back & think about it, some (but not all) of our senior & seasoned student affair professionals might be helicopter parents themselves are are just treating students the way the treat their own children. Their intent is well meant but there is some negative impact.
Got any other possible reasons? I’d love to hear them.