We Published 114 Posts in 2019. Here are the 10 Most Popular.

2019 has been a big year for this here blog.

We’ve published 114 posts, welcomed in many new writers (with a wide variety of student affairs perspectives), and showcased approximately twenty trillion gifs*. 

*give or take a few trillion

As much as I’d love to imagine that every student affairs professional has the time to read all 114 carefully crafted posts, I know that’s not realistic.

So, for those looking to explore just some of our gems, here are the top 10 most popular posts of 2019. I hope they’ll help cure your FOMOOPSAC. (Fear Of Missing Out On Popular Student Affairs Content.)

Here we go! Starting with our 10th months popular and working towards #1…

#10: Why Institutions Are Using the Well-Being Model to Empower and Support Students

There is a popular change happening in higher education.

This movement is the one from “wellness,” often regulated as the work of one or two departments, to “well-being” as an institutional effort.

This shift may seem minor, but it is actually quite significant for anyone working in higher education.

Read more here.

#9: These 15 Rules Will Help You Start Building an Inclusive Language Guide

Words are powerful.

It shouldn’t shock you to learn that I think that. I’m a writer after all.

But it’s not just me; think about how words have affected you. At their best, they can uplift, encourage, or inspire you. At their worst, they can defame, humiliate, or isolate you.

Words affect our students — and thus, the focus of our work — in these ways, too. So, it’s critical for you to consider the messages that you’re sending, especially as they relate to students’ identities and lived experiences.

Read more here.

cartoon cake slice on a plate with a strawberry

#8: 5 Quick Tips for Being Inclusive of Asexual Students on Campus — Plus 5 Myths You Need to Forget

You hopefully strive to be inclusive of every student’s sexuality, but does that include asexuality?

If not, then you’re likely overlooking the needs of at least 1% of your students. I’d like to help you fix that.

Let’s start with a definition:

 “An asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction.”

The Asexaulity Visability and Education Network

Okay, that’s pretty brief. Let’s dive in deeper.

Before you can develop campus-wide programs and adopt personal everyday practices to intentionally support asexual students (or aces, for short), you have to understand what students mean when they use that label.

Read more here.

drawing of a bouquet of colorful flowers

#7. 28 Thoughtful Ways to Appreciate Your RAs

Where would we be without resident advisors?

They are an anchor for any university. RAs live where they work, and manage, lead, and support their peers. These student leaders become experts on fun, educational programming, and policy enforcement. Their contact with students and the environment they create is a foundation of the college experience.

How can we say thank you to these students who are on the front lines every day for our institutions?

Read more here.

drawing of a sandbox with tools inside

#6: 3 Ways to Be Unwaveringly Anti-Racist as a Student Affairs Professional

The term “not racist” is meaningless.

Calling yourself “not racist” makes you part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

To be “not racist” is to be neutral, rest on one’s laurels, and accept inaction. To be “not racist” is to fail to evolve or question one’s own thoughts, actions, and feelings. 

As student affairs professionals, we have the potential to influence our field and our respective institutions. Thus, we must reject neutrality on issues of race and transform from “not racist” neutrality to anti-racist action.

Read more here.

cartoon image of a board game board

#5: 20 Unique Activities to Mix Up Your Next Staff Retreat

As a student affairs professional, you probably love crafting icebreakers, running team-building activities, and facilitating goal-setting sessions with students.

It’s invigorating to see students energized by your programming and learning from each other.

But, do you enjoy running activities with your staff? After all, most of your coworkers have likely seen (and done) it all. Going to an escape room, playing Two Truths and a Lie, or setting SMART goals likely won’t dazzle them.

Read more here.

drawing of two alligators happily tossing a beach ball between them

#4: 100 Quick Icebreaker Questions to Keep in Your Back Pocket

Accountants know numbers. Doctors understand medicine. And student affairs professionals? We’re (unofficial) experts on icebreakers.

But, sometimes, you might not have the time or the energy to play charades, set up a human knot, or design a scavenger hunt. You might be looking for something more lowkey.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer you some quick and easy questions that can break the ice and charm any group of students. This list should save you from attempting to cram a variety of questions into your already packed brain.

Read more here.

cartoon racoon wearing a hiking backpack and taking one step forward cheerfully

#3: 7 Easy Activities that Encourage Students to Open Up About Identity and Privilege

Inclusion. Diversity. Privilege. These are major buzzwords in higher education.

You’ve probably already heard at least one today, maybe ad nauseam. But it’s for a good reason: Inclusion, diversity, and privilege have an enormous impact on how students move through the world, succeed in their classes, and form friendships.

Despite this, students may be wary or unsure of how to discuss these tough issues with one another. After all, it’s not exactly natural to ask, “So, how is everyone here privileged?” over lunch or casually share your experiences with discrimination between classes.

Fortunately, student affairs professionals can come to the rescue.

Read more here.

drawing of a standing telescope

#2: 21 Great Reflection Questions That Add Depth to Student Learning

Have you ever told someone, “don’t look back”?

Odds are you have, and that it was a much-needed reminder to someone expressing regret or frustration with their past. You encouraged them to dust themselves off and keep on keepin’ on. Why? Because they’re capable, and they’ve got this!

But is it always bad to look back? Definitely not! There’s a special kind of looking back that can be powerfully good at informing what we do in the future. And that’s called reflection.

Read more here.

drawing of a plush couch with three pillows on it

#1: 10 Vital Ways to Support Fat Students on Campus

As a fat person, I often notice that body diversity is ignored in campus inclusion discussions.

Most campuses and student affairs professionals do not do enough to support fat students and end fat oppression. But inclusion must include body size diversity, or we are failing fat students in all racial, queer, and socio-economic groups.

Fortunately, it’s easy to weave fighting for fat rights into the diversity and inclusion work you are already doing on campus.

Read more here.

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Jodi Tandet

About the author: Jodi Tandet loves writing about the magic of campus life as the Lead Storyteller at Presence. She's also passionate about baking, mental health advocacy, all the Presence office dogs, and her ever-growing podcast collection. Learn how we can help get your students involved.

Check I'm Here is now Presence. Learn more about this change in our blog post here.