6 Strategies for Uniting Student Activists and Campus Administrators

6 Strategies for Uniting Student Activists and Campus Administrators

September 23 - 24, 2020 | Eastern Time

Student activists are more passionate than ever. Learn how to empower yourself and your student activists to come together.


Supporting student activism, regardless of the cause, has several important benefits: it can unite the campus community, increase students’ sense of belonging while improving their collegiate experience, and instill a sense of pride in the community. The recent upsurge of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and its ensuing elevation into the national spotlight further cement that student causes must be adequately addressed and handled on campus. Students can’t undo the racist history of higher education; however, they can fight injustices and discrimination occurring in their communities. As campus leaders and administrators, we have a duty to examine these issues ourselves and do right by our current and future students.

Join us for this virtual conference to learn how to apply six meaningful strategies designed to unite student activists with college leaders and administrators. Our expert speakers—who both have vast experience in directly assisting and managing student activists—will show you how to apply these strategies to present-day scenarios.

In this new era in history, we must all unite and fight the injustices that have long stripped certain populations from experiencing an inclusive, just, and holistic collegiate experience. Come to this conference to learn practical ways you can manage and support critical issues that have been long overlooked on higher education campuses.

Get $100 off when you register for our upcoming webcast,
Respond to Divisive Current Events in an Inclusive Way,
in addition to this program. Simply add both trainings to your cart and check out.

Who Should Attend

The content of this virtual training will benefit:

  • Administrators such as leaders of multicultural centers, senior diversity officers, and other trusted student advisors
  • Campus leaders who are often called out by student activists to enact change, such as Presidents, Vice Presidents, Academic Deans, and Chief Police Officers
  • Other campus professionals wanting to help define how their institution should support student activism and break the historical chains that have limited how universities have responded to student activism

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds nationally, it is so important to keep connecting and networking with your peers - at a “social distance” - and to keep learning and developing as higher-ed leaders and professionals. Don’t let social distancing and quarantines prevent you from setting aside time for professional development. Everything is changing so fast; more than ever, we need to be pooling our resources and knowledge and finding the best ways to develop our capacity, connect and share with each other, and move forward during a challenging time.

The Academic Impressions Virtual Conference Experience

Our virtual conferences go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these new programs are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. As higher education strives to adapt rapidly to the shifting crisis, connecting with your peers who are experiencing similar challenges can be the best use of your professional development time.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions
  • Access to an online conference hub — one-stop shop for presentation materials, attendee introductions, worksheets, supplemental reading, videos, and other resources

See What Our Attendees are Saying

"At first, I was skeptical that a virtual conference was capable of being both engaging and informational - but Academic Impressions has mastered it! The 3-day online event was structured in a creative way that all participants had multiple opportunities to interact with each other and the presenters. No one's questions went unheard or unanswered. Thank you for this great experience, it has changed my view of virtual conferences and I look forward to attending more in the future."

- Desiree Ford, Digital Communications Manager, Binghamton University

“The virtual conference has been amazing. The presenters have all been great and the information they’ve provided is going to help us better use our social media. Even though this conference had to be virtualized due to COVID-19, the online format has been set up in a way that we can all collaborate and share ideas. I’m very eager to take what I’ve learned back to campus and start implementing new ideas.”

- Chris Forde, Coordinator of Marketing & Public Information, Lincoln Trail College


Day One: September 23, 2020

All times are Eastern.
On day one, you will learn how to assess student activism on your campus and your role within it. You will be introduced to the first three strategies, which will help you position yourself as someone who strives to empower students while also balancing your role as an Administrator/Educator on your college campus.


Attendee Tech Check
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.



Welcome & Faculty Introductions
12:00 – 12:15 p.m.



National News and Your Campus
12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
In this opening session, you will briefly review stories of recent events that have unfolded in national news and how these stories ignited student activism on various campuses. You will share ways your students have organized in the past and what their needs were. You’ll identify the readiness of your campus to respond to student activists and discuss what worked well and what did not.



15-minute Break
12:45 – 1:00 p.m.



Strategy #1: Challenging Your Biases and Assumptions
1:00 – 1:45 p.m.
A critical skill in earning students’ trust is an increased understanding of your own biases and knowing how to effectively respond and react to opposing views. In this session, you will practice working through your own biases and assumptions and develop a strategy to earn the trust of your students.



30-minute Meal Break
1:45 – 2:15 p.m.



Strategy #2: Influencing Positive Change
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Situations brought about by student activism do not often fall squarely in your formal role, so how can you better define your role in supporting them? Our faculty will help you understand what role you can and should serve to help influence a culture of support for student activism, including what information you should obtain to help your student activists.



15-minute Break
3:15 – 3:30 p.m.



Strategy #3: Combatting Resistance
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
One of the most difficult and emotionally draining roles is combatting resistance from opposing student groups or individuals, including administrators. Resistance comes in many forms including staying silent, minimizing the cause, or acting in ways that demonstrate tangible or vocal opposition. You will discuss how to teach your students to be prepared and proactive when responding to opposition.



Networking Reception
4:30 – 5:00 p.m.
This informal reception will be an opportunity for you to discuss in small groups how you’re doing. Are you exhausted from this work? Are you an aspiring ally who wants to support students and BIPOC colleagues in meaningful ways? This space will allow you to decompress and have honest conversations about your personal experiences and strategies for how you cope and push through these types of situations.


Day Two: September 24, 2020

On day two, you will begin to use your power of influence to narrow the gaps between your student activists and administration. The last three strategies focus on creating healthy dialogue, establishing open communication channels, and implementing best practices – all of which empower your student activists while sustaining their trust in you.


Attendee Tech Check
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.



Refresh and Reset
12:00 – 12:15 p.m.
In this opening session, you will be able to share out what information from day one resonated the most with you.



Strategy #4: Facilitating Open Dialogue Between Student Activists and Campus Administrators
12:15 – 1:00 p.m.
As an administrator, you have a powerful and often supportive role in facilitating open and honest dialogue between student activists and your campus leaders. You will learn effective communication techniques that create space for authentic dialogue between students and administrators, including critical stakeholders.



15-minute Break
1:00 – 1:15 p.m.



Strategy #5: Inspiring Transparent & Ongoing Communication Channels
1:15 – 2:00 p.m.
Now that both you and your student activists understand your role in supporting their efforts, how do you encourage and inspire ongoing and transparent communication with this critical group? What can you do to help funnel student concerns on an ongoing basis? In this session, you will explore creative communication outlets that provide students and administrators with timely updates and opportunities for feedback, while also inspiring a culture of transparency.



30-Minute Meal Break
2:00 – 2:30 p.m.



Strategy #6: Do’s and Don'ts of Supporting Student Activism
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
The credibility and trust of administrators will be regularly analyzed by your student activists, including yours as their designated or chosen advisor. This session is designed to provide you with tangible advice and promising practices from our expert faculty regarding the do’s and don’ts of supporting your student activists while serving in your administrative capacity. We will explore common pitfalls to avoid and learn how to sustain trustworthy, professional relationships with your students.



Final Q&A and Conference Wrap-Up
3:30 - 4:00 p.m.


Portrait of Paige Gardner

Paige Gardner

Assistant Dean of Students and CARE Case Manager, Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Paige J. Gardner (she/her/hers) has a depth of experience in crisis management, facilitating diversity & equity trainings, identity development workshops, and professional development retreats for college students, staff, and faculty. Her research agenda focuses on gender-equity in the workplace as well as scholar-practitioner identity development.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Naomi SIgg

Naomi Sigg

Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

Naomi plays a major role in the development of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on campus. She serves as the Co-Chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Board, Think Forum Advisory Board, and is a member of several university committees including the Diversity Leadership Council, the President’s Advisory Council on Minorities, and Alianza Latina/Latino Alliance, the Latinx employee resource group. Naomi is a certified Green Dot Facilitator and Sustained Dialogue Moderator.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


Can't attend the conference? Buy the binder.

Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Rabia Khan Harvey

Rabia Khan Harvey
Senior Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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