In the era of the Black Lives Matter social movement and protests against racism and behaviors perceived to be racist on campuses across the nation, this case study presents a divisive tension that emerges from framing personal expression as free speech or racist hate speech. With questions about how an Office of Student Life should most effectively respond to diverging views about racism and free speech on campus, this case study explores the responsibility of administrators to foster community while respecting individual rights. The scenario presents a student who wears a blackface Halloween costume at a small liberal arts college. Subsequent reactions from members of the college community highlight underlying attitudes toward race as well as tensions about differing understandings of racism throughout the campus community. On the premise that campus race relations are too often under-addressed by college administrators, questions prompt the reader to imagine serving as Dean of Student Life tasked with addressing rifts in the student body. This case study urges the reader to consider how framing dialogues is important to maintaining a sense of community at an institution of higher education.
Daniele, Elizabeth A.
"Fostering Student Community while Respecting Diversity, Inclusion, and Individual Rights: A Case Study,"
College Student Affairs Leadership: Vol. 3
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/csal/vol3/iss1/3