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STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

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  1. STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY Grant Walters Regional Advisor Central Atlantic Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (CAACURH)

  2. LEARNING OUTCOMES STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  3. MYTHS, DISPELLED “The Silent Advisor” STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  4. MYTHS, DISPELLED Where did that come from? • Publications and research have long identified the advisor role as somewhat passive with a primary focus on guidance and encouragement • Advisor roles are often perceived as voluntary and that there may often be a choice involved in the assignment of the advisor-student leader relationship • Many advisors tend to advise student leadership groups in the early years of their career in the profession, so a smaller disparity in the perception of age, power, etc. can prevail STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  5. MYTHS, DISPELLED Is it really true? • In reality, many student leadership advisors have their responsibilities tied to their official paid positions. Advisors need to be vocal in order to preserve safety, security and integrity as they can be liable for what student leaders do. • Advisors are often the first identified or asked when student leader actions are executed poorly or unethically • Advisors often present a level of history and consistency within student organizations because they often outlast their advisees. Their participation and investment can be critical to an organization’s success. STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  6. MYTHS, DISPELLED “The Blameless Student Leader” STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  7. MYTHS, DISPELLED Where did that come from? • Because student leaders are not normally official employees of their institutions (with the exception of some), there may be less defined or very ambiguous ways in which remedies can be implemented to address unethical or damaging behaviors • Historically, leadership groups have often escaped scrutiny of institutional processes or policies because of their voluntary nature rooted in student rights/responsibility codes STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  8. MYTHS, DISPELLED Is it really true? • Many institutions (including Miami) are implementing more rigid policies and sanctions for student leadership groups who violate campus codes • While we may not be able to “fire” a student leader in the traditional sense, there are avenues to hold them accountable financially, behaviorally and sometimes academically • Students can be held responsible and/or liable if their behavior harms someone else or is legally objectionable STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  9. MYTHS, DISPELLED “Student voice is always > logic, integrity and common sense” STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  10. MYTHS, DISPELLED Where did that come from? • Student advocacy and voice on college and university campuses has a long history in our country (and many others) as a major recognizable force of change which, as history shows, has often urged institutional progress to move forward on various issues • Many students (and some faculty and staff) believe that constitutional rights of free speech and expression outweigh the need for leaders to act with discretion, sensitivity, balanced thought and perspective. STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  11. MYTHS, DISPELLED Is it really true? • Protecting individuals’ constitutional rights or the desire for students to have a loud voice on our campuses does not equate to an ability to operate carelessly or thoughtlessly • Student leadership advisors often act as a sounding board for students’ passionate issues and their desire to enact change. It’s important for advisors to help them understand effective ways for them to achieve results. • Sometimes, this means simply saying “no.” STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  12. MYTHS, DISPELLED Think about how you may have embraced or dismissed those myths as an advisor. STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  13. COMPLEXITIES What makes advisor-leader relationships so unique and/or complex? • Priority(both for student and advisor) • Advocacy vs. administration (“us” vs. “them”) • Lack of understanding of scope, impact • Differing motivations for volunteers (the “labor of love”) • Distance can play a factor • Selection and recruitment can look different for leaders STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  14. PARALLELS BETWEEN ADVISING AND SUPERVISING STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  15. DISSIMILARITIES BETWEEN ADVISING AND SUPERVISING STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  16. Defining ACCOUNTABILITY What does the word “accountability” mean to you as advisors? STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  17. APPROACHING ACCOUNTABILITY Working individually, select three of the qualities on the next slide that you believe are important to helping student leaders understand and connect to the term “accountability”. Write two to three strategies by which you feel you as the advisor can help them to achieve or demonstrate that quality. STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  18. APPROACHING ACCOUNTABILITY • Support • Challenge • Availability • Visibility • Investment • Development • Confrontation • Difficult conversations • Flexibility • Autonomy • Sharing • Resource • Care • Understanding • Networking • Evaluation • Knowledge • Integrity • Honesty • Compromise • Agreement • Advocacy • Training • Vision • Learning STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  19. CASE STUDY 1 (IN GROUPS of 4-5) It’s April, and an enthusiastic student leader on your community council requests to take on a hall/community t-shirt project where they will design and solicit orders from their fellow residents and collect money to reimburse the hall’s budget. The student speaks with their advisor, who denies their request because of its lateness in the academic year, and encourages the student to rekindle the project when they return in the fall. The student agrees and no more discussion takes place. A few weeks later, the advisor receives a call from the t-shirt company informing them that their order is ready and that a large sum of money is due to them immediately. When asked who placed the order, the company names the student leader you had a recent discussion with. What are the issues/problems at play here? What is your course of action? How can you hold this student accountable? What does that conversation look like? Do you say anything to your other community council leaders? STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  20. CASE STUDY 2 You receive a phone call from your RA on duty that they have come across an intoxicated student that has returned to the hall from an off-campus party. They are allegedly being belligerent, uncooperative, and they are using profanity with your staff member. You quickly respond and move to a corridor where this incident is taking place. You discover that the individual is one of your hall council members. They are clearly slurring their words, stumbling and refusing to follow the instructions of your staff. Many residents are in the hallway whispering about the fact that the student is a leader in the community and how out of control they are. Fearing the student may be dangerously intoxicated, you call for en emergency transport. The student returns to the building very early the next morning. What are the issues/problems at play here? What is your course of action? How can you hold this student accountable? What does that conversation look like? Do you say anything to your other student leaders? Your residents? STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  21. HOW DO YOU PROMOTE ACCOUNTABILITY? STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  22. LET ME TELL YOU… STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  23. LET ME TELL YOU… STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  24. LET THEM TELL YOU… • “My RHA board has an accountability contract…they go over it during their transition to help people understand that they need to be responsible.  It was a written by a graduate student a couple of years ago and will be revised in the next little while.I find that 1:1's work best for holding people accountable.  When I have 30 minutes with each of them every two weeks it gives me time to talk to them about their projects and how they are motivated.” Regina Donato RHA Advisor Lehigh University STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  25. LET THEM TELL YOU… • “The first time a student doesn't complete a task or follow up on something, I write (or type) out the task(s) they didn't do, with the date, and exactly what is expected of them to complete.  I state the clear expectation that not completing tasks is grounds for removal (or requested resignation).  Then if they don't complete the task for the following week I use the documentation to put them on probation (with just myself), and if it continues then I write a letter (or email) to the E-Board recommending their removal.  • I give the letter to the individual first and give them a chance to resign or last chance to change their behavior.  Also, if the student continuously doesn't complete tasks on time but does immediately after our first warning (when I type up the task they failed to complete), I compile all the times I had to have that meeting and write a similar letter recommending removal.  It is usually a 3 week process, at the longest, before the student resigns or gets their stuff together.” Chris Weiss RHA Advisor Indiana University of Pennsylvania STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  26. LET THEM TELL YOU… • “When students are in conflict with someone on their Exec Board, it is very important to confront the issue head on, either 1:1 or in a large group setting. It usually depends on the nature of the issue. The most common one I have seen is a group feeling like a certain Exec person is not pulling his/her weight. The advisor could approach the individual about the issue, but it is more powerful for the students to confront each other. When students learn to hold each other accountable, therein lies student success.” Matthew Perry RHA Advisor University of Toledo STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY