Partnering to Promote Student Voices and Campus-wide Dialogues about Culture

with Student Affairs Partnering With Academic Affairs Knowledge Community

About This Course

Whether the campus climate is tumultuous or sedate, how do we ensure effective campus dialogues to examine culture and identities while celebrating campus strengths, community and approaches to embrace diverse perspectives on issues of the day? The Knowledge Community on Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs (SAPAA) sponsors this live briefing to focus on partnership practices that have culminated into campus-wide dialogues and student narratives. Presenters focus on the messages, methods, and broader meanings culled from their partnership work to cultivate student voice and diverse perspectives contributing to campus community.

Current issues sweeping the nation’s campuses and communities emphasize needs for social justice and identity discourse to strengthen intercultural relationships and to promote learning through informal engagement. This live briefing highlights several NASPA award-winning programs with innovative focus on campus cross-cultural connections and provocative dialogues in academe.

Three diverse programs are highlighted: Rhett Talks at Boston University, Listen PLU at Pacific Lutheran University, and New Narratives: Conversations on Identities and Culture at the University of California-Irvine. Proposed presenters include Kenneth Elmore, Associate Provost and Dean of Students at Boston University, Angie Hamrick, Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability at Pacific Lutheran University, and Thomas Parham, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of California, Irvine [based on availability].  Program coordinators briefly introduce the contexts for their respective efforts and then discuss their roles with partners to foster campus-wide conversations, traverse campus issues, and innovate learning about diversity and issues on campus.

Taken together, the three programs provide an engaging backdrop to discuss how dialogue and other engaging formats build community, support activism, and engage students in active learning.  The coordinators of the Rhett Talks program were honored with a 2014 Promising Practices Award from SAPAA KC for promoting effective collaborations across academic and student affairs for student outcomes.  The TEDx-style format of Rhett Talks exposes more than 1,000 Boston University students in residential settings a range of brief topics with engaging question and answers.  The Listen initiative at Pacific Lutheran University highlights member stories as a means to showcase individuals who represent the school’s diversity and active efforts that contribute to social change.  The New Narratives series includes multiple formats to highlight historical context, individual identities and intersections of social identities that shape cultural selves and cultural interactions on campus.  New Narratives received the NASPA Region VI Innovative Award for enhancing campus life and hosted topical conversations for over 2,500 students during its inaugural year.

Learning Outcomes

Live briefing participants will:

  • gain understanding about how highlighted member institutions address practical and scholarly issues associated with campus-wide dialogues and other interactive narrative programming formats for cultural conversations; 
  • become familiar with a SAPAA KC signature program – the Promising Practices Award as a means to promote institutional efforts and partnership work across student and academic affairs to the broader NASPA community;  
  •  identify issues related to planning, executing, and gauging learning from campus-wide partnership conversations; and  
  • contribute suggestions to shape key indicators for measuring program success associated with campus-wide dialogues and interactive narrative programming.