Monday, September 3, 2012

A View From the Heights

Last week I did something that I never thought I would do.

I testified against a student organization at a university hearing where the question of their official recognition was at stake.  The fraternity in question had been on probation for almost two years before this point.  While on probation their behavior represented a flagrant disregard for previous decision and for the care of those in their organization.

I sat there and answered questions from the hearing board defending my office’s decision to remove recognition.  I talked about the inability of the students to rehabilitate themselves and their organization.  I spoke of our university’s attempts to help the fraternity through organizational and membership reviews.

Most of all, I was arguing to get rid of an involvement opportunity for our students and how that is counter-intuitive to everything that we do in student affairs. 

But is it?

When I began my career as a Hall Director I was all about connecting with students, providing them with opportunities to engage with the university and each other, and to find leadership opportunities. 

Fifteen years later as the Dean of Students on that same campus, I still am.  But my perch requires me to see more.

It’s about health and safety.  And getting students to graduation.  And then sending them off into society to make life better for those that come behind them.  And, if we can’t keep students healthy and safe, they can’t be leaders, can’t succeed in their classes, and can’t make it to that fantastic moment of tossing their caps in the air at graduation.

I feel good about what I did.  And I am sure I will have to do it again.  It’s the responsibility I have accepted as a leader on my campus.

Dr. Keith Humphrey
ACPA President, 2012-2013

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