Leading with compassion these days seems to be a lost art. Many students or even educators would rather be dismissive and use rudeness as their main tool of dialogue or confrontation. Sarcasm and cynicism are so often in the driver’s seat when it comes to conversations or moments of teaching and learning. When dealing with your students who are reporting any type of assault compassion should always be front and center. Accusatory responses such as “why did you take so long” or “ are you sure this really happened” are reasons why people stay quiet in the first place. Don’t ever forget that trauma can last forever.
 
Also when dealing with the accused, one must be fair and serious but always compassionate. We don’t know what happened but as educators, we must remain unbiased despite how we feel about the person or situation. Listening to these Senate hearings helped me see that we’ve got some folks who need some solid RA and Title IX training.
 
Speaking of…
If Brett Kavanaugh was applying to be an Resident Assistant, I likely wouldn’t hire him. I’d be concerned with these allegations of sexual assault, not to mention accounts from college roommates and cases of binge drinking. It doesn’t mean that he would always be unfit to be an RA, it just means at this current juncture there are too many red flags for him to be hired. I’d be certain that my candidate pool had other more qualified or incident free individuals.
 
Many of us conduct an exercise called “who would you hire” as a group activity during interviews. During the process one is given hypothetical descriptions of a fictitious candidate pool. If we saw the following description, would this person be your top candidate?
“Great grades, JV athlete, accused of sexual assault by multiple students, has been documented for drinking underage.”
 
Personally, I would not. I’m not assuming guilt nor ruling them out, but they wouldn’t be a top choice. I don’t pick Supreme Court Justices but I’ve hired many Resident Assistants and he wouldn’t get my job.

 

 

 

MrJeffDess is the Co Founder of Trill or Not Trill. He’s also a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 5 books of poetry, including his latest, Trill Motivation 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 TrillorNotTrill@gmail.com or www.mrjeffdessworks.com