As a higher education professional I have a few “favorites” – favorite dates or events in the annual cycle that serve as celebratory or aspirational in quickening my resolve for commitment, excellence, and even endurance in my work. Graduation each year is one of those experiences for me. When things are hard, or frustrating, or overwhelming, it’ a wonderful centering experience to know that at least once each year I will get to see the practical and symbolic reward for my hard work as students cross the stage to collect their diploma – the practical and symbolic award for their hard work.
Some who cross the stage cause me to swell with pride – they served as an RA – or worked in our office – or led RHA and I saw them excel and succeed in their academics and in their role as a leader on campus. And for some I smile at the tensions we experienced together in a conduct case, or in their elevated complaint regarding a roommate, room assignment, payment deadline, bed bug(s), [insert appropriate housing-related concern here…]. Yet still others I am reminded of painful struggle(s) they overcame to make it to this day.
And I cheer for them all – No matter the reason that our paths crossed during their tenue – college graduation is an undeniable accomplishment for every student. And truthfully, I entered this work so I could participate in and contribute to the value of this accomplishment– helping students move from the place they were to a place of greater knowledge, experience, and understanding. I want that to be true in my individual interactions, and built into the systems, programs, and structures that I am responsible for developing and implementing.
And to all of you – I hope you were, or are, able to enjoy the end of the year celebrations as the fruit of your labor – to see students celebrate with their peers and loved ones the accomplishment of earning their degree. Congratulations on making it, or nearly making it, to the end of the academic year! You have one more year of experience in the dynamic field of campus housing along with all the rights and responsibilities appertaining thereto. Please join me in moving your tassels to the left…
In closing, we are preparing for our own year-end transition within WACUHO – a time to celebrate the achievements of the past year and to begin the good work laid out for next year. We’ll focus on the former in the June newsletter, but to give a preview of the good work ahead, you’ll read below about our upcoming transition meeting at San Diego State June 1-2. Further, the Executive Committee received and approved a proposal to initiate a Network for Professionals of Color (WNPOC). We hope you’ll read through the introductory information and support the networking and efforts of this new network in our Association.