Dear Editor,

The CSB Residential Life professional staff would like to acknowledge formally and respond to the “Beyond the Paycheck” series article discussing our department and the experience of our student staff. We view ourselves as
educators with a deep commitment to our continued learning and development, as well as that of our students. We want to acknowledge that implicit and explicit bias is a real part of life on this campus, especially for underrepresented students. We also want to validate the experiences of our hard-working student staff members and the perceptions that they have of our department.

One of our department’s major goals is to ensure students have mentors and supervisors who reflect the salient identities that they hold, and we continue to strive to diversify our professional staff. We realize that as a predominantly white staff, we cannot pretend to understand the experiences of our students of color fully. This means that we must continually and intentionally learn about those students’ experiences and use our power and privilege as staff members to enact change and build an inclusive and celebrating community for all our
residents.

Central to all we do in Residential Life is building community, and providing care and concern for all our students. We seek feedback from student staff and residents alike and incorporate that information into our work on a regular basis.

Our staff is all in different places in our social justice journey. But as a department, we understand that this is both an on going process and our
ultimate goal. We have found that sharing stories has been an impactful way to learn about the experiences of others. Specifically, on Tuesday, Nov. 21 from 8:30–10:30 a.m. we invite you to share your stories and learn more about us. We will all be in our offices at this time, and acknowledge that you may prefer to seek out a staff member who is not in your hall/area. Come and see us (at this time, or another time), bring feedback and know that we are always working toward building a better, more inclusive community.

Sincerely,
Christy Brown, Mary Beth Thompson, Alora Schoenhofen, Courtney Stuck, Elle Larsen, Michelle McNamara, Mae Yang, Alyssa Teubner, Brianna Kratz