Facilitators of Community: Our Work Post Orlando, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas

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To: Members of the ACPA Commission for Housing and Residential Life – #HRL4LIFE

From:    Troy L. Seppelt, Chair and Laura Arroyo, Chair Elect

Dear colleagues and fellow educators:

As colleges and universities prepare to welcome students back to campus, and housing and residential life professionals train staff and prepare buildings, it is important to remember that we play a very important role in the lives of our students. As facilitators in the creation of community, our work is even more important this year in light of ongoing violence in our nation. Shootings in Orlando, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas to name only a few, have left students and professionals alike to manage feelings of grief, sadness, fear, anger and a myriad of other emotions.

As educators, we have the opportunity to care for and support our students, and our colleagues. And we must remember to take care of ourselves and be dedicated to our own growth. In the upcoming days and weeks, we call on you to not ignore the opportunities ahead that are available to each of us to make a profound difference for our students, our colleagues, and our ourselves.

  • Be ready to create space for students and colleagues to vent and process how they are feeling. Be present in the sharing of their stories and emotions.
    • How will you create inclusive, welcoming, safe spaces for all students and colleagues?
  • Continue to examine your individual story and privilege. Step into the discomfort that comes with recognizing our own privilege.
    • How can you come to recognize and address privilege?
  • Consider how you will integrate intercultural learning and growth in communities, work spaces, and your professional development. Embrace that you likely have things to learn as you plan to support others.
    • How you can utilize your privilege and opportunity to effect change?

We must be in this together and to that end, CHRL will be supporting you in this work through increased conversation, sharing of resources, opportunities for growth and professional development. Do not hesitate to call on us or your fellow colleagues.

Take care,

Troy & Laura

Resources:

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