A quick note from your Region IV Representative

As we all know, the last few weeks have been quite turbulent and challenging for our country and our communities.  The tragedies across this country continue to require us to reassess, recommit, and reaffirm how we work with students. In addition to providing spaces for students and community members of all backgrounds to be welcome, it’s time we think of ways to encourage education, discourse, and an open environment of dialogue to help our students feel supported..

Many of us are set to begin planning our fall staff training, I want to encourage us to find time to create spaces of dialogue and discussion, support and compassion, learning and love for our student employees. While we cannot change the violence and behavior of the entire country with one wave of the hand, we all have a part to play in encouraging the future generations of this country to avoid the mistakes and hatred associated with the injustices, racism, classism, and violence perpetuated by our generation. NIRSA has some resources available to help facilitate these conversations, and I’m sure many of us have already reached out to various resources within the association and our campuses.

As educators, I think our priority should lie in helping students understand that love and respect are the greatest gifts we can share. We have large numbers of students working with us, serving as leaders, and becoming future agents of change. Let’s commit to opening dialogues of difference, exploring the challenges facing our communities, and learning to love. To do anything less is failure.

-Andy Lemons

NIRSA Region V Representative