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Making Sense of Student Affairs Practitioners' Work With Student Activism: A Narrative Inquiry

Sat, April 18, 8:15 to 9:45am, Virtual Room


This narrative study uses sensemaking (Weick, 1988) to understand how student affairs practitioners’ perceived roles and responsibilities of engaging with student activism helped frame their work with student activism. Student affairs practitioners highlighted how personal lens, environmental cues, positional power, and microprocesses shaped the perceptions of their work. Select themes highlighted in this paper include positional influences (the level of position held by the individual) and middleness (being in between students and university decision makers). Understanding the experiences of student affairs practitioners with student activists is critical in order for universities to adapt to the new cultural norm of student activism.