I enjoy telling my staff about my time working with AmeriCorps and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest from 2009 to 2012. Spending three formidable years in Oregon after undergrad allowed me to do service, learn more about social justice, and think about how it all translates to the field of Student Affairs. While I witnessed drama, experienced failure, and was saddened by stories of the people I helped, I can easily recall the triumphs and successes. Not much has changed in the work I do today. I work as an Assistant Director of Residence Life at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. We house over 1,400 students each year.
My experiences during my first year at the Mount have run the gamut. I’ve been thankful to have a supportive team when dealing with student issues of race, religion, mental health, socio-economic status and beyond. At times, we’ve had to squint to see the silver lining in a student’s situation. The same has been true for my own life at times, as I come from a working-poor family, and occasionally deal with my own issues of race. Nevertheless, I never want to forego celebrating the positive moments. So often, we equate the social justice aspect of Student Affairs with negativity. Sometimes we don’t have the privilege and opportunity to revel in the small and large wins. But, just because we don’t always verbally acknowledge it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
This year, we at the Student Affairs Collective want to provide a space for you to share positive stories in the realm of social justice as it pertains to Student Affairs. These stories will give others a chance to hear positive and uplifting stories about:
– A student or students you’ve interacted with
– Results from something you did at your institution
– A situation that improved your life or changed your perspective
Yes, we need spaces to vent and to share the devastating things we witness and experience. We must continue to shine light on the injustices our students face. But, what a joy it is when we have the freedom to talk about the unlikely, positive, inspiring, and exciting results of our hard work as well! We’re excited to hear your #SAtogether stories and join your celebrations. No win is too small.
What story have you been wanting to share?
Email email@example.com if you’re interested in contributing!