Orlando shooting prompts student affairs reflection

Stephanie Bondi, assistant professor of practice, Educational Administration.

Orlando shooting prompts student affairs reflection

04 Jul 2016     By Brad Stauffer

In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting last month, student affairs professionals are dialoguing and asking questions about how to better equip themselves and their students to respond to and confront violence and inequity. Stephanie Bondi, assistant professor of practice in Educational Administration, was a guest last week on Student Affairs Live, a weekly online learning community for student affairs educators. During the hour-long live video podcast, Bondi and four other colleagues discussed their own reactions to the Orlando violence and the social justice aspects of the incident.

Bondi suggested that student affairs educators are not equipping their students to be prepared for responding to issues like Orlando where the shooter allegedly targeted the club because of its popularity with the LGBTQ community. She says educators need to be flexible to stray from their syllabus and engage students and others in conversations about their feelings, reactions and non-reactions.

“Everybody has their own interpretation of social justice,” says Bondi. “Everyone creates their own definition and meaning. For me it’s about challenging the normalized practices, the things we do every day, to ask the question, ‘who is this serving and who is not being best served’ by these things we take for granted in higher education.”

The video podcast can be viewed at http://go.unl.edu/82t3. Bondi also wrote a reflective essay published in insidehighered.com where she challenges higher education leaders to be more proactive about confronting violence, inequity and injustice and to better support people traumatized by those issues.

She also notes that the Orlando shooting happened at Latino night at the club and many believe the shooting was racially motivated as well. The racial component of any conflict and decision-making process is something that should always be considered in a higher education environment, she suggested.

College of Education and Human Sciences
Educational Administration