Being the Dot: Thriving in White Spaces during “The Revolution”

Being the Dot: Thriving in White Spaces during “The Revolution”

The last few weeks have been some of the most complicated of my Black life.  In just a two-week period, we had a front-row seat to two murders and one situation that had the potential to escalate to another one (Central Park-Amy Cooper birdwatcher incident).   As I was watching these things unfold, I never imagined that a new passion project of mine “Being the Dot in White Spaces Podcast”...
What You CAN DO

What You CAN DO

As a black woman AND an empath, I’ve found myself speechless and heavy-hearted lately. The tragic killings of George Flyod, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more- has compounded a complexity of feelings toward year 2020. If you’re like me, maybe you too are a bit overwhelmed yet hungry for change. If this is in fact you, I urge you to be okay with taking a moment to...
Free, at Last?

Free, at Last?

One of my favorite lines from the classic film Apollo 13 is “Houston, we have a problem.” Well, the sad truth facing society today is like that iconic line: “America, we have a problem.” Unlike, Apollo 13, life is unscripted…but the transgressions of our past are etched in stone. Personally, while I, myself, have never been physically enslaved, I am only three generations removed from that cruel institution that...
Don’t Just Sit There: Do Something

Don’t Just Sit There: Do Something

To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious, is to be in a rage almost all the time. So that the first problem is how to control that rage so that it won’t destroy you. – James Baldwin When therapists refer to “anger,” we call it a blanket emotion, meaning, if you lift up the blanket on the 400-year history of American and its racist...
Black Lives Matter, Matters!

Black Lives Matter, Matters!

I was six, nearly seven, years old growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana when novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, activist, and social critic James Baldwin died in December of 1987. It would be nearly 30 years before I first discovered his powerful works through a film boldly entitled, “I Am Not Your Negro.” As a Black man navigating this tumultuous world; I truly wish I’d known of Baldwin’s works long...
Will You Stand?

Will You Stand?

This is my voice, my truths. Not in a complaining fashion, but in an answering the question fashion. The question that I have heard more than once is how can I support a person of color. What can I do to support you and the Black Lives Matter movement? Well here is my response: Learn more about Sara and her programs visit...
Our Reality: Young and Black in America

Our Reality: Young and Black in America

We are black. Our father is white and gay. He adopted us from foster care 20 years ago. No one else was willing to take an African-American sibling group of four. Although we were raised in a diverse neighborhood and attended equally diverse public schools, our father’s white privilege couldn’t shield us from systemic racism. One Saturday afternoon as teenagers, three white undercover police officers accused our father of...
Embracing Unnatural Things

Embracing Unnatural Things

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police has rocked our nation. The reactions of peace loving individuals all over the country have led to protests at a level not seen in at least a generation. Natural feelings abound: outrage, anger, hopelessness, and fear. However, for progress, we must work at doing things that sometimes are unnatural to many: taking chances to listen, recognize and validate differences, and striving...
What’s Your Intention? Showing Up for Black Lives

What’s Your Intention? Showing Up for Black Lives

As news about George Floyd’s death spread on Tuesday, May 26, it appeared to grip folks in the White community more than any other story—and there are too many—of its kind. There are so many who are waking up to a reality that has been known and felt by our Black brothers, sisters, and siblings for centuries. Systemic racism in the United States was planted firmly in the foundation...

Redefining Recruitment Part 3: Questions That Need Answers

By: Dan Fail There are no finite answers as it relates to the future of recruitment. I don’t have any answers, and I do this for a living. However if there’s anything we’ve realized over the last couple of months it is the resiliency of the human spirit and need for human connections. Enter fraternities and sororities. The fraternity and sorority experience is one of the few that provides...

Redefining Recruitment Part 2: The Target Market

By: Dan Fail There are no finite answers as it relates to the future of recruitment. I don’t have any answers, and I do this for a living. However if there’s anything we’ve realized over the last couple of months it is the resiliency of the human spirit and need for human connections. Enter fraternities and sororities. The fraternity and sorority experience is one of the few that provides...

Redefining Recruitment Part 1: The COVID Conundrum

By: Dan Fail There are no finite answers as it relates to the future of recruitment. I don’t have any answers, and I do this for a living. However if there’s anything we’ve realized over the last couple of months it is the resiliency of the human spirit and need for human connections. Enter fraternities and sororities. The fraternity and sorority experience is one of the few that provides...

University of Iowa PITCH 2020 Press Release

We are excited to announce the winner of the 2020 CAMPUSPEAK PITCH competition for students. PITCH is a “Shark Tank” style competition for students to win up to $15,000 of CAMPUSPEAK educational resources in the form of speakers, interactive workshops, customized programs, consulting services, assessment support, online education, and educational promotion campaign to address a specific issue in their campus community. CAMPUSPEAK would like to thank all of the...

Stumble Doesn’t Mean Stop

Edward G Young, III When my parents first got married, they had this grand dream to have four boys. After having two daughters, they were happy to simply have two vibrant, healthy children. Their dream of having at least one son; however, hadn’t been abandoned. They quickly conceived child number three, but the result of that pregnancy was not as storybook as the previous two. My mother suffered a...

Maintaining Student Mental Health During COVID-19

By: Chris Butsch Even before the pandemic, more than two-thirds of American college students reported symptoms of mental illness, such as pervasive loneliness and stress (American College Health Association). Shockingly, being separated from your friends and fiddling with Zoom all day isn’t helping. Since we’re not sure when campus life will return to normal, let’s talk about how the quarantine might be affecting your mental health and cover simple,...

Do the Right Thing-Ethically

By Joe Richardson, Esq. The definition of ethics is “a set of moral principles,” or a “theory of system of moral values.” Ethics, fundamentally, is about what is right, which surpasses what is legal. My favorite statement from a Spike Lee movie classic is when The Mayor, played to Ossie Davis, is talking to main character Mookie (played by Lee), who is in the middle of delivering pizzas. The...

On Being a Student Leader During COVID-19

By: Chris Butsch Meetings are canceled. Everyone’s taking classes online. No one’s quite sure when things will be back to normal. As a leader, how can you keep your members connected and engaged during a crazy time like this? Here are three tips for exercising strong student leadership and keeping your members engaged during COVID-19. 1) Provide a way to stay connected Your members joined your organization to, above...

You’ve Been Brainwashed!

By Dr. Brian C. Johnson I’ve been teaching film appreciation courses in colleges for nearly twenty years. No questions have posed more laughs and discussion than these four questions I begin each semester with these questions: What is the BEST movie of all time? What is your FAVORITE movie of all time? What is the WORST movie of all time? What is your GUILTY PLEASURE movie? [Guilty pleasure is...

Shame is One Hell of an Emotion

By: Dr. Adi Jaffe Shame is one hell of an emotion — the sinking feeling in your stomach, nausea, the shortness of breath. If you’ve ever felt shame, you’ve also probably felt like running to the nearest closet and locking yourself in there forever and ever. Bottom line, shame sucks. How people deal with shame varies, but some common ways include shaming others, lying about your feelings, isolating yourself,...

Education Equity Matters!

By: Samantha Ramirez-Herrera   When I was 16 years old I watched as my friends were encouraged and pushed by their parents to take the SAT’s, go to the college fairs, meet with their mentors, tour campuses, apply for FAFSA, pick their schools, get picked by schools, buy hoodies with their new campus logo, buy decorations for their dorms, drive off to fulfill their dreams, develop their skills, tap...

Disrupting Complicity

By: Tara Fuller Complicity (noun): involvement with others in a crime or in another activity that is wrong.* I often reflect on the concept of complicity as it relates to social justice and equity because I believe I can be doing more with the privilege I have and want to inspire others to do more as well. I know I am faced with my own complicity when my hope...

Assessing Your Recruitment Strategy

By: Austin Arias The spring semester is well underway. Recruitment has either just wrapped up or you are beginning to see the retention of your potential new members through new member education periods of your chapters. While a nice break and breather between recruitment cycles is well deserved, there is great opportunity now for your community to begin thinking about ways to improve for recruitments ahead. This is a...

This Thing Called Love

By: Sara Lowery Tis the season for love or so they say. We can walk in any store and all we see is red and white (and as a Delta I love that) but there is all this candy, roses, and hearts. All to celebrate this thing called love! Just recently I found myself in a line over hearing or some may say eavesdropping on a conversation of two...

The Pillars of Leadership

By: Alex Weber Hey there! First off, I’d like to start this blog off by thanking you for being here! My goal is to give you a few actionable tools for Leadership that you can inject into your life today – right now! So, let’s dive in! Let’s start here. What is Leadership? Leadership is knowing where we are, where we want to go and getting us there. That’s...

Be Willing to be Weird

By: Darryl Bellamy Jr. Over the years, I’ve begun to embrace being different and not being like the rest of the crowd. My closest friends will often call me weird, and my answer back is usually, “I know, we’ve been through this already, what are we going to do now?” I take so much pride in being me and want to encourage you to do the same, and it...

The Seven Deadly Sins of Greek Life

By: Dan Faill (Part One) For those that know me, know that I like to push buttons. One of my most requested keynotes for fraternity/sorority communities, When is Enough, Enough? discusses the ways in which we, as members of fraternal organizations, perceive ourselves versus how the general public perceive us. I joke that looking in the mirror is the hardest thing to do, but often the most revealing. Having...

Why I Didn’t Fight Back: A Survivor’s Perspective

By: Brittany Piper “Why can’t you remember? Your story doesn’t make sense. Why didn’t you fight back? Weren’t you drinking? What did you expect?” They’re words I never imagined hearing after being sexually assaulted. Police officers, family, and community members hinted the same: it was my fault. Perhaps you’ve asked others, maybe even yourself, these same questions. Sadly, it’s a familiar response for the 1-in-4 college students who experience...

Live your best college life with M.E.S.H.

By: Chris Butsch Have you ever felt like you were doing the right things to be happy, but still felt stressed out, even depressed? This could be because even though you’re chasing happiness, you’re not taking the time to take care of yourself. This is where MESH comes in. If your happiness is like a house, MESH is the foundation it stands upon. MESH creates a base layer of...

Three Non-Sexual Ways You Can Practice Communicating Consent

By: Dr. Lori Bednarchik Usually when I’m talking to students about consent, it is in the context of sexual activity. Over the past decade I’ve witnessed a lot of changes in the way that (and the frequency in which) sexual consent is discussed. The biggest and most influential being the shift from a “no means no” view of consent to a “yes means yes” or affirmative view of consent....

Overcoming Obstacles With Grit

By: Saul Flores As a first-generation college student, my parents experienced the difficulties that most migrant families endure after journeying to the United States. They juggled multiple jobs to ensure that bills were paid on time. They worked late nights to afford groceries at the end of the week, and even took long commutes to rougher parts of New York City. It wasn’t always an easy path. There were...

Discovering My Why

By: Chevara Orrin The most two important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why – Mark Twain I spent years contemplating my “why.” For many of us, understanding our life’s purpose is constant evolution. Our journeys are often complex and filled with both triumph and tragedy. In college, it’s difficult enough sometimes to coordinate a schedule and ensure that...

Hitting the Holiday Reset Button: A Season for Resilience

By: Kevin Smith The holidays are coming, and they couldn’t arrive sooner. You’re tired. I’m tired. It feels like it’s been a long, hot burn all semester. By this time, the tank is nearing empty and we are running on fumes. I don’t think people understand how hard it is to be in college; the pressure is intense. You can’t just get a degree anymore; you have to be...

Please, Friend, Don’t Waste Your Life Curating Your Life.

By: Talia Pollock I’d spent two weeks on my beach vacation in the throes of a silent battle with an inanimate object. Not with sand, though it did keep wedging itself into unwanted territories, nor with a beach chair that required you to be in Mensa to fold up. My battle was with my iPhone, specifically: with Instagram. Running a business for whom I am the product, or at...

Pulse Check: How Healthy is Your Organization?

By: Austin Arias On a daily basis, many of us check our heart rate to see how we are doing. We may have a smartwatch or step tracker or phone that does this for us and warns us when our numbers drop or get too high. We use this as our guide and when alerted, make the necessary steps to change. Sometimes, it is a small, immediate change. Other...

Three Ideas to Boost Organizational Engagement and Retention

By: Chris Butsch As a student leader, you want to run an awesome organization with happy, productive members. You want better attendance at meetings, with lots of volunteers. You want to attract and recruit the coolest people on campus, and get everyone involved in impactful events.  Problem is, not all of your members are as engaged and gung ho as you are.  Sure, you have a few regulars you...

Using Your Why to Retain Members

By: Austin Arias It is hard to believe but we are halfway into the fall semester. While we are enjoying the opportunity to take a breath and relax after jammed packed weeks filled with welcome week activities, involvement fairs, trainings and more, this is a crucial time for your student organization. You have just recruited some new members to join your group on campus and maybe held few interest...

Talking to yourself – The Art of Combatting Negative Self-Talk

By: Darryl Bellamy What people say about you can affect you, but what you say to yourself is even more critical. Listen here for a moment; you have to start (if you’re not already) becoming aware of the thoughts you have and the words you say to and about yourself. The jury is still out on this one, but some studies have noted we have almost 60,000 thoughts per...

Pay Yourself First – A Lesson in Sustaining Leaders

By: Kate Steiner I was listening to a radio show this week and they were talking about the concept in personal financial budgeting that first you pay yourself. In budgeting this means that from every paycheck you first put money away into savings. The savings is then your safety net, there when you need it, should an emergency arise. This practice of paying yourself first also relates to leadership,...

Gifts Grow In Dark Places

By: Nisan Trotter You’re a muddy miracle! Gifts grow in dark places. I think I surprised the students at Saginaw Valley State University with those comments. It’s okay though…. I’d rather it be that way than have them fall asleep. They were glued to every word. Your gift, talent, and even potential is like a seed that is planted in the ground. It is around worms, dirt, holes, and darkness. However, going further with this...

The Full Truth on Success

By: Alex Weber As you’re thinking about your goals this semester for yourself, your organization, and your community, it is so important to really get clear on what Success looks like to you. The more we hone in on what we want to achieve, the more we can progress towards making it a reality.   A great way to identify our goal of success is to begin picturing how you see...