Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services KC Chair-Elect
Director, Off-Campus Life
Colorado State University
It is with great enthusiasm that I submit my application materials for the OCCSS KC Co-Chair role. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time serving as the Research & Assessment Co-Chair for the KC and am excited about the possibility of continuing to serve this KC in a new role. If selected to serve as a KC Co-Chair, I have three goals and two main philosophies I will be bringing to the role, specifically serving as a megaphone for this vital work, continuing the positive growth, exploring partnership opportunities, continuing to analyze and dismantle how whiteness shows up in my leadership, and asking questions.
The work of supporting off-campus/commuter students on our campuses is vital. Although off-campus/commuter students may be the majority in numbers, they are marginalized in the consideration of their needs, unique experiences, and barriers to graduation. I hope to serve as both a support for my colleagues doing this work with me, and as a megaphone to amplify all the innovation happening around the nation. There is so much good work already happening in our communities that we look at to learn from each other.
If selected to serve as Co-Chair, I hope to continue the growth set in motion by the two founding chairs. I want to focus on continued communication about this KC, growing our membership, and growing our involvement from members. This KC has a strong foundation, and I also think it could benefit from a review of progress thus far, analyze what is working, and determine what can be improved as we move forward.
I also want to consider how this KC can partner with other KCs knowing that being an off-campus/commuter student is a significant, intersecting identity for many students. I am also interested in exploring how this KC can partner with other organizations such as the International Town Gown Association or the National Clearing Housing for Commuter Programs at Western Illinois University.
Regardless of whether I am selected, I will continue to analyze and try to dismantle how whiteness shows up in my work and my leadership. I continue to engage in learning and self-reflection about how my identities, both marginalized and privileged, show up in my leadership.
I used to rationalize some of my work as being most heavily influenced by my working-class roots, but I am learning how to better recognize how my white supremacy socialization is influencing how I work with others. If selected to serve as Co-Chair, I will continue to prioritize this self-learning, implement practices that are inclusive and co-lead and co-learn with my colleagues with care.
One leadership philosophy I practice often is asking questions. I trust the expertise of those around me and believe that my colleagues often have better ideas or solutions than I do, and I always assume I have more to learn. I am not reliant on others to do the work, I have ideas and experience to contribute, but I believe I always do my best work with others. In relation to my three goals mentioned above, I am excited about the opportunity to ask the other members of this KC about these items. How can we better communicate our good work? How can we reach new members? Who are our potential partners? What information or historical context about this KC am I missing? How can I do better in serving our members and the national association?
I would like to close this application by expressing appreciation for the two founding chairs, Allison Rodgers and Kristina Garcia. NASPA has been my professional home for many years, and the founding of this KC solidified that “home” feeling even more. I have no doubt that it was a significant undertaking to establish a new KC, and I am so appreciative of the current co-chairs’ energy, time, and commitment to this work. I have learned so much from them and feel fortunate to call them colleagues.