HGED 615H: Designing
Iowa State University
September 9, 2009
What I really want to know….
- What is the impact of compassion fatigue on student affairs professionals working toward social justice on their campus?
- Why do student affairs professionals work towards social justice? (Why do they do what they do?)
- How do student affairs professionals feel while breaking down barriers for social justice? Do these feelings effect their work?
- How do student affairs professionals strive for social justice on their campuses?
- How do student affairs professionals face the barriers in higher education?
- How do student affairs professionals feel when they have accomplished social justice on their campus?
Student affairs professionals are positioned between students and the university’s power structure. Because of this hierarchy, the informal out-of-classroom interactions between students and student affairs professionals are often rich with diverse experiences. Higher education is built upon Eurocentric roots tied to the hierarchal system instituted within the colonial foundation of higher education (Altbach, 2001). The current system continues to privilege Euro-American white students, and has not yet adapted to the steadily diversifying student body. Due to these structures student affairs professionals are often stretched between policy, people, and purpose while working towards creating an equitable campus environment.
The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore what student affairs professionals experience while doing social justice work in higher education through narrative inquiry.
Altbach, P. G. (2001). The American academic in comparative perspective. In P. G. Altbach, P. J. Gumport, & D. B. Johnstone (Eds.), In defense of American higher education (pp. 11-37). Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.