I began blogging in January 2011. This process began as a platform for me to share my thought. If others benefited from my words, great, but that was not my primary concern. My feelings and thoughts are my own. Often when we share what we are going through and how we see the world, it helps to validate others who may be feeling the same. There have also been individuals that have disagreed with my thoughts-some respectfully, and others not so much. I can say that I enjoy the experience of blogging and will continue to do so as long as time permits.
As the blog developed I began to add other areas of interest: higher education, team building, Black people, and student affairs interview information. Before I knew it my blog had taken on a life of its own. Many people were visiting my blog for a breadth of information. After receiving constructive feedback, I decided to create derivatives of my original site. My plan is to have three websites, one blog, and two additional information sites. My first information site is Student Affairs 360.
For the last two years I have posted interview questions, tips, and search information for aspiring, new, and other interested student affairs professionals. For the last two years my student affairs interview questions have been #1 in search engines and have also been the top page visited on my site. I will not bore you with additional statistics. This information has been provided at no charge (it remains free on my new site). I responded to individuals on my own time and paid for the cost of the website myself. I am glad that many individuals have chosen to utilize the information that I have been sharing with students and professional staff for years. My original intent with the student affairs information was to have a place for my students and colleagues to receive information from me. As they moved across the country they found it easy, useful, and helpful to have this information in one place.
If people come across the site and do not like, it means that the site is not for them. I’ve seen racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, ethnocentric and microaggressive comments, emails, and social media call outs because of what I have written and shared. Those individuals will never confront me in public. The virtual world tends to give some a little more courage than they display in the real world. Most people think they are Neo when they are more like Thomas Anderson – Act I, Scene II. This is sad.
I’ve received some of the most heartbreaking messages from ostracized students and colleagues around the country asking for help. The unfortunate part of the student affairs world is that politics are everywhere. The bureaucracy is so stifling sometimes it is hard to breathe. You have to behave a certain way; you have to make friends with certain people; and you have to share their core beliefs. Student affairs is said to be one of the most accepting and nurturing career fields. I have seen that side of student affairs and I have also seen the opposite end of that spectrum. The rejection and neglect can be seen throughout. This is the part of the field that people will not tell you about. This is the reason why some of us still sit together in the lunchroom. I’ve experienced both sides of this coin.
There are thousands of people working in colleges and universities around the world. Many of them receive excellent mentorship and collegiality to assist them in their student affairs journey. Unfortunately there are also those who, for one reason or another, do not receive the same t.l.c. as their global colleagues. It is my hope that I can provide a small nugget of information for those individuals who need it. For those who do not, good luck on your journey.
My name is MarcQus Wright and I created Student Affairs 360.