The People vs OJ Simpson vs Students Affairs
Trill or Not Trill?
If you work in student affairs, you understand the importance of your position. Your role as an educator outside of the classroom is such an essential piece to the success of every student. With all that said, the struggle is still real. In many cases expectations are high but the support is low. Apathetic students, lack of a real budget, no push for professional development are all reasons, people have expressed concerns for. In recent times, I’ve had to turn to my favorite new series, The People v OJ Simpson as a coping mechanism. In celebration of it’s season finale, here are a few ways that this show reminds me of some Student Affairs support issues and how to maintain.
Instead of begging for money, find the money. I’ve learned to co sponsor my butt off. Build bridges and develop relationships with the departments and offices with the largest budgets. I’m not adverse to switching up aspects of the program to get a few more dollars. I’ve had various people who had discounted contacts and connections or wanted student involvement to be a part of their program. My door is open and I’m willing to help. If your division won’t give it to you or if you don’t have it, someone will. No more begging.
When you just can’t crunch the numbers
Avoid being frustrated by not taking it to heart. Don’t be afraid to cut things from your programs. I know, you don’t want to but concede certain ideas. It might not be the full program but at least get something complete. Keep the idea popping by being a bit more creative. Take the L in one area but make sure everything else goes well. In addition, when your ideas don’t get backed, save them for a future endeavor or potential presentation elsewhere. If the idea is good, it will eventually prosper in another way or different venue. (Maybe submit them to Trill or Not Trill *hint* *hint*)
We’ve all made this face, that Marsha Clark is making. You hosted a program, where only 5 students showed up. There was a staff meeting that could have been an email. Your colleague in the enrollment department just called you complaining that they couldn’t afford all the balloons they wanted for their campus wide breakfast event (they already got the fancy balloons and they want more??)You can’t let that get you down and out. When you’re at this point, it’s key to have some other motivational options. Try researching and looking for opportunities to present at conferences. At those low points, remember that you’re still a skilled professional. Not getting appreciation, doesn’t make you a poor staff member.
When you succeed despite difficult circumstancesThe wins will come. Keep up the good fight and look for support in various spaces. It could be a student affairs Facebook group or someone from a different department. We all have those particular students who will hold you down as well. Look to them as inspiration. You’re a major part of people’s success and never forget it.
So the next time someone asks, if you got this?
Stay trill, folks.
MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 4 books of poetry, including his latest, Deconstructing Ratchet. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at firstname.lastname@example.org