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Call for Session Proposals

Student Affairs: Challenging Biases & Eliminating the Echo

Call for Proposals 

The call for proposals has been closed. Please register for the conference by Oct. 27!

About the Conference:

In the wake of a contentious election season and as more and more Americans turn to the internet — and specifically social media — as a primary source for news, concerns about "fake news" abound. But are there other issues with how we choose to interact with (or avoid) certain streams of information, groups of people or schools of thought? How much of this informational echo chamber effect is created by algorithms and technology, and how much is self-imposed? Are there specific groups that we, as Student Affairs professionals, are guilty of overlooking? These concerns are amplified as we consider our responsibility of navigating the fine line between supporting students and challenging them to pursue sometimes difficult and painful intellectual and personal growth during their time in higher education.

Join us on Friday, November 10, 2017, as we commit to identifying and challenging our biases — both personal and those associated with working in student affairs — while coming up with ways to eliminate the echo in our lives, both online and in our interpersonal interactions. We are seeking session proposals that explore the recent intensification of echo chambers in how we receive information, and particularly how that translates in student affairs and our role in supporting and educating students. We especially welcome proposals that encourage collaboration (cross-departmental, cross-divisional, etc.).

Call for Presentations and Posters: 

The Session Development Committee will select proposals based on how well they showcase innovative ways student affairs professionals approach the difficult task of breaking down echo chambers and confronting biases. Successful proposals will directly address or facilitate the development of curriculum, programming and/or services engaging students in communication with divergent points of view from their own to reach deeper understanding.

Sessions and posters can focus on established practices or those that may still be in development, pilot programs, and new programs you have already benchmarked, which are informed by theory, research and practice. Presenting is a great opportunity for new, mid-career and seasoned practitioners to share knowledge by bringing their concepts to an audience of their peers, crowd source for ideas and implementation strategies, and workshop national conference presentations.

Highlighted topics may include:

  • Media/social media and the perpetuation of echo chambers through algorithms and other technology
  • The preponderance of "fake news" on social media
  • Coping with discomfort around differences in perspective/upbringing/background and maintaining respectful relationships with those who hold conflicting viewpoints
  • Conscious conversations: developing skills needed to keep difficult conversations moving
  • Identifying the charge of higher education in an era of many divergent points of view
  • Finding the line between uncomfortable vs. unsafe and safe spaces vs. brave spaces
  • How to educate students about discourse
  • Intersectionality--addressing the whole person
  • Intent vs. impact
  • Sustainability - working towards change and sustaining that work
  • Strategic planning for the future: Are our efforts making an impact? Are the voices of different perspectives having a say in how we plan?
  • Ways to enlist more champions in the conversation
  • How to make this work more embedded in all that we do in higher education — in the classroom, outside the classroom, in student affairs and other areas
  • Examples of campus responses to controversial issues
  • Best practices in eliminating the echo in higher education

The committee invites session proposals that:

  • Encourage collaboration (across institutions, divisions, departments, etc.)
  • Reflect innovation and cutting edge content
  • Stimulate and provoke discussion and audience engagement
  • Use multimedia approaches, including video, audio, etc.
  • Are 50 minutes in length for audiences of 30-50
  • feature formats such as research or program poster, roundtable discussion or interactive workshop

The call for proposals has been closed. Be sure to register for the conference by Oct. 27!

Last Updated: 10/17/17