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Read All About It: Revealing Questions






This week at Inside Higher Ed, Washington State community colleges add optional gender-identity and sexual orientation questions to their registration forms. Some ACUHO-I members have decided to include such questions on housing registration forms, or debated doing so. However, since many parents fill out the forms for their incoming freshmen, one can’t be sure that information would be accurate, since parents often complete the form with the child they think they know, or want to know, rather than the one they have. Also, gender can be a very touchy subject, even for royals. A group of ACUHO-I members recently presented on the status of gender-neutral housing, a hot issue for at least five years now, in 2013, so that may offer a benchmark for your campus.

ASK, DO TELL: Washington State’s community colleges add voluntary questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to all student registration forms.

ACCESS IF YOU’LL BORROW: U. of Virginia changes rules for its highly praised program for low-income students. Going forward, they will need loans.

GOING ON OFFENSE WITH TITLE IX: Some male students accused of rape are suing colleges, saying they are the victims of sex discrimination. Experts doubt they will succeed, but cases could focus more attention on due process issues.

COMPETENCY-BASED TRANSCRIPTS: Northern Arizona University rolls out competency-based degrees, which will come with a new form of transcripts.

GETTING OUT OF THE RUT: Longtime higher education scholar Robert Zemsky tries to get at what’s actually keeping higher education from making changes. His answer? A lot.



Read All About It: Sex And the College Woman




LET’S TALK (DIFFERENTLY) ABOUT SEX: A New York Times trend story about the sex lives of Ivy League women seemed to miss the trend entirely, according to many readers, to the point that the NYT published a response to the critics. An ABC blog even combined a variation on the women-laughing-with-salad meme and making fun of the NYT article. The Huffington Post published an eye-rolling piece pointing out that while it isn’t news that women can desire and have casual sex as men do, a recent survey of college students shows that only 1 in 10 say they have casual sex. Critics also said the article glosses over sexual assault on college campuses. Did you read the article? If so, what did you think of it?

Also in the news at Inside HigherEd:

‘COULD HAVE DONE MORE’: Six months after Aaron Swartz’s suicide, report says MIT acted appropriately but missed opportunity to be leader on key legal and technology issues. Critics call it a whitewashing.

HIGHER ED AS ENGINE OF INEQUITY: Black and Latino young people are greatly underrepresented at selective colleges and overrepresented at open-access institutions — and the trends are worsening.

TAKING A STAND FOR SCIENCE:  After investigation of professor accused of promoting religious views in a science course, Ball State U.’s president says intelligent design shouldn’t be taught in such classes.

BEYOND GRADES: Next wave of student learning assessments from testing firms could be boon for employers and competency-based education.


An Improved Online Experience

A new and improved online experience is on its way for ACUHO-I members.

We are pleased and excited to announce that in just two weeks the association will be launching new online services. This marks the culmination of more than two years of work by staff and volunteers to provide an improved online experience for all visitors to the association website and users of our other online services.

Work continues on the final details but the new site is scheduled to go live on August 13, 2013.

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Accessible For All


When ACUHO-I chose to purchase a building constructed in 1929 to be the site of its new offices, we knew there were going to be some challenges. Not only was there the question of updating the building to today’s working standards, there was the (fortunate) issue of the building being on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s not unlike challenges that many ACUHO-I members must face on their campuses. How do you prepare for the future while honoring the past?

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You Ought To Be in Pictures


ACUHO-I is excited to announce that work is underway to update our website so it can provide more information to its members in a more efficient manner. Along with providing valuable information about the association, we also want the website to showcase what makes our members special. To that end we are asking you to submit photographs of your campuses, residence halls, and residence hall programs for use on the site. Read more

Learning How to Partner with Faculty in the Residence Halls

The ACUHO-I Virtual Roundtables have become monthly treasure troves of information and great ideas. Originated by Tom Ellett (the senior associate vice president of student affairs at New York University) and now organized and moderated by Kate Baier (director of residential education at New York University), these programs bring together experts who give a brief introduction on a topic and then open the floor to questions. That’s when things really get interesting. Read more

How to Recruit Students Into the Profession

This topic, taken from the Pillars of the Profession video series, is particularly appropriate today. Not only are many campus housing department representatives on their way to Orlando, Florida, to attend The Placement Exchange, in addition there are hundreds of graduate students on their way as well, in search of that first professional position. Good luck to all of them.

It’s also worth considering that this week marks the deadline for applications to the 2013 ACUHO-I STARS College. This annual event is a three-day experience for undergraduate students interested in learning about the student affairs and campus housing professions. They learn from large group presentations, interactive activities, roleplay situations, self-evaluation, and small mentoring groups all designed to let them learn more about what a career in campus housing offers. Read more

Pillars of the Profession

Campus housing professionals like telling stories and they like sharing information. The amount of information about the profession, about how to do specific tasks, that is transmitted by word-of-mouth can be astounding. That is why when it was proposed that a number of veteran professionals be assembled during the 2012 ACUHO-I Annual Conference & Exposition and asked to share their thoughts on hot-button topics, it seemed perfectly logical.

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Finding a New Home

ACUHO-I has been searching for office space in and around The Ohio State University campus and the Columbus metropolitan area for many years. After not finding what we needed where we needed it or, in some cases, at a price we could afford, it came as a pleasant surprise when our agent, Bill Greenlee of ROI Realty, showed us 1445 Summit Street. If you have ever searched for something long and hard, then you know the feeling that happens when you find it.  It is almost unreal. I remember saying to Bill “this is it.” And so began our nearly year-long journey through due diligence, board approval, financing, space and use planning, contracting, permits, and more.  Read more

Open Doors

Editor’s Note: This post also appears as the Vision article in the March+April 2013 issue of Talking Stick.

If there is one thing campus housing professionals understand, it is the promise and potential that a new building holds. That is just one of the reasons I am so excited to announce that ACUHO-I has purchased a building in Columbus, Ohio, to serve as the headquarters for our association. ACUHO-I has found itself a home. Our home quarters, as it were.

From the time the ACUHO-I central office was established, the association has rented office space on and around The Ohio State University campus. After considering all the fiscal, strategic, and logistical factors, your executive board and the professional staff decided the time is right to put down roots and benefit from the type of stability, maturity, and permanence that a new office will provide. As the menu of resources, services, and events that ACUHO-I provides grows, so has our need for adequate space to support them all. The new office will do just that. Not only are we proud to have a new office, we are also proud of the building we will inhabit. Read more

Read All About It: Enrollment vs. Retention?

This week at Inside Higher Ed, has the No Child Left Behind legislation created students who are unable to manage post-secondary work? And when an institution tries to bump up completion rates, the enrollment rate goes down.

WARNINGS FROM THE TRENCHES: Professors rally behind a high school teacher who says No Child Left Behind has created a generation of test-takers unprepared for higher education:

THE ‘I’ IN FIU: Florida International University has embarked on an ambitious effort to internationalize the curriculum and assess students’ global learning.

COMPROMISED POSITION: Emory president praises Constitution’s three-fifths compromise as model for dealing with disagreements today. Facing outrage, he apologizes for “clumsiness and insensitivity.”

TWICE AS MANY MOOCS: Coursera and edX both double in size and look for larger international audiences.

BITING THE BULLET ON COMPLETION: A community college tries to boost its completion rate, but takes a 20 percent enrollment hit in the process.

Anticipation. Elation.

The ACUHO-I Housing Internship Program teaches students a lot of useful skills. Among them is how to navigate the emotional roller coaster of a job application process and the inevitable wait to hear if that important position has been landed. And that is not always easy. So when the #acuhoi hashtag blows up on Twitter with all the excitement and well-wishes from the job-searchers and their colleagues, we can’t help but get a little caught up in the excitement as well.

And there is plenty to get excited about. This year saw 838 candidates, 405 positions, 666 openings, and 251 host sites participating. All those numbers mark considerable jumps from last year.

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Continuing Conversations: Changing of the Guard

(Editor’s Note: The January+February 2013 issue of the Talking Stick contains the article “Changing of the Guard” where new chief housing officers discuss how they reached their current position and what the future may hold. The entire text of the conversation was too long to appear in the print version of the magazine, so we have included the full text here. Participating in this conversation are Stacy Oliver-Sikorski, associate director of student success at Lake Forest College in Illinois; Steve Harrison, director of university housing at Coastal Carolina University in Cedar City, Utah; Carolyn Golz, senior associate dean of students/director of residence life at Lake Forest College in Illinois; Shigeo Iwamiya, director of residence life at Rutgers University Newark in New Jersey; Craig W. Beebe, director of residential life at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana; and Torry Brouillard-Bruce, executive director for housing, residential and Greek life at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.)

Stacy Oliver-Sikorski: Tell me a little about your path to your current role.

Steve Harrison: My path to Coastal Carolina University included three wonderful years at the University of Arizona where I held two traditional live-in positions and learned from an amazing group of colleagues. My first CHO role came 10 months into my time at Southern Utah University. Getting that promotion was more about the faith of a supervisor than my ability or qualifications. I loved all my time out West, but coming home to the “Land of Humidity and Sweet Tea” and this role at CCU was inevitable, and I feel incredibly lucky to be home.

Carolyn Golz: I was a bachelor’s-level hall director and then left the field for a couple of years due to burnout. I had a tough time getting back into the field because I didn’t have a master’s in education, so I decided to go to grad school. I held an assistantship while completing my master’s degree and then became a hall director and eventually an area coordinator. I started at Lake Forest College as the chief conduct officer and then eventually took on residence life, too.

Shigeo Iwamiya: My path to my current role was through being a live-in staff member at three different institutions as a hall director, for a combination of seven years (two years in the middle as a graduate student), and I caught a lucky break and landed this position at Rutgers University Newark.

Craig W. Beebe: The three rules of real estate are “location, location, location,” and I think that the three rules of advancement so often are “timing, timing, timing.” I started straight out of college as a part-time office staffer and then two years as a hall director. Two more years in graduate school provided a balance of education and experience that were a perfect fit for Loyola University New Orleans, where I became an associate director. Two years later my boss was promoted, and I became the interim director for a year (ready or not) and am now in my fourth year as director. Like Shigeo, there were lucky breaks along the way that I made sure to take advantage of.

Torry Brouillard-Bruce: I began as a full-time RD right out of my undergraduate program. I wasn’t sure that housing was for me, but I was sure that I did not want to do K-12 education. That position gave me hands-on experience and allowed me to work on my M.Ed. for free. After finishing my M.Ed., I spent three years as an assistant director for the functional areas of housing operations (facilities, access, desk staff, and RA selection). It was a very broad-based position and gave me a lot of different experiences which I feel made me more marketable for a chief housing officer level position.

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