Thursday, March 8, 2018

Looking In, Looking Out, Reaching Out

Looking In

Let’s Talk About Judging….

Have you ever personally judged people just by looking at them?  It is something that you may not try to do intentionally, or may never want to do.  It is also something that you won’t do in a person’s face unless they push you to the limit by invading your personal space.  Judging happens across many lines.    

In today’s world of social media, we all may notice the consciousness that organizations take to make us aware of how diverse we are as people.  I take the time after a day of work to relax.  I log onto my Facebook page just to see and read what is posted.   I scrolled my feed and happened across a post by CUT that talks about judging. It was very interesting.   

Do you ever label people?
Would you participate in guessing the sexual orientation of strangers?

It is interesting to see that the participants were nervous about their specific choice for each of the strangers that came before them.  In the video, participants asked each person certain questions to determine a label from a set of cards provided by the video makers.  The questions varied, but were about dress, haircut, personality, what they liked, how the person danced, or just the fact that one had a cell phone clipped to the belt.  It is interesting to see how each guessing participant labeled a person.
At the end of the video, true orientations are revealed and participants see if they guessed correctly.  The participants were surprised that they guessed some wrong.  One participant states that his friend/co-worker dresses like one of the volunteers, but he did not want to assume based on clothing.  Another participant states that she stereotyped when making her choices.  One states that she has a lot to learn about different communities.

In our campuses today, we deal with –isms, xenophobia and cultural differences daily.  We all must realize that awareness is important, so that we don’t judge wrong. 

Have a great semester everyone! 

Lloyd E. Dixon

Global Issues Committee 

Looking Out

Service  Beyond Our Walls

Greetings SASFAA Family,

AASFAA has been quite busy the last few months but we have finally made it over the Fall hump. I am incredibly honored to serve as the 2017-2018 AASFAA president during the celebration of its 50th anniversary! The theme for our 50th Anniversary is “The Golden Age of AASFAA”, celebrating 50 years of serving Alabama’s students. The AASFAA executive committee and its various committee chairs are excitingly working to provide a memorable and enjoyable conference for the AASFAA family.

As we prepare for the 50th Anniversary, I am reminded of the service and commitment that our association provides to our students beyond our profession and the importance of servant leadership. We serve our students daily with a dedication to making their lives better through education. Our positions are linked to service for others. I want everyone to reflect on how you serve students and promote excellence in the financial aid office by building a positive culture that encourages professionalism within the office, integrity among all, and diversity of ideas and people. If we stay true to the positive work that we are called to do while promoting an inclusive and respectful environment, we will not lose sight of the invaluable job we are called to do.

I implore all of you to reflect on how you serve your students, organizations, and communities. While reflecting, think of ways that you can improve your service to our students and our colleagues because we have a great impact on the lives we encounter far beyond our office walls.

Theresa Mays

2017-18 AASFAA President  

Reaching Out

Advocacy During SASFAA
Alexandria, VA 2018

One of the great opportunities afforded the SASAFAA membership during the 2018 conference in Alexandria, VA was the opportunity for members to visit Capitol Hill and make legislative visits.  By being in close proximity to Washington, D.C. we were able to provide transportation (thanks to President Oliver) to and from the Capitol, making it easier for people to advocate for student financial aid.

During the conference we had representatives from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee make visits to legislators promoting the importance of student financial aid and providing information on reauthorization.  To assist with the visits the Legislative Affairs Committee compiled a white paper on reauthorization issues.  The issues were assembled based on the responses of our SASFAA membership to the Legislative Affairs Committee Survey.  The use of the survey ensured what was important to you was being communicated during our visits.

Over 16 members participated and visited more than 14 legislators.  While it is too soon to determine if our visits had an impact on legislation, what we do know is failure to share our thoughts on student aid leaves the student aid programs vulnerable to changes which could have a negative impact on the students we serve. By advocating we at a minimum made our view known.  After all, we are the experts on student aid and while we cannot guarantee legislators will listen, we need to make sure our voices are heard.

Advocacy is simply a form of education.  It is a process of providing information on the student aid programs that will hopefully help legislators see the consequences, both positive and negative, legislation will have on students.  It is also an opportunity for legislators to get to know those with whom they are visiting, and hopefully develop a relationship so  they feel comfortable contacting us in the future with questions about financial aid.  On a personal note I can tell you that I did indeed make one of those contacts while in Washington.

As this year progresses we do not know how reauthorization will develop.  Many think it will come to a grinding halt as it is now too close to the mid-term elections.  Others feel there is a remote possibility it will move forward.  Regardless, be prepared to advocate for positive change in the programs we administer.  

We are the experts!  Let’s make sure our voices are heard!!

P.S.  Here is the link to the white paper prepared for legislative visits. 

Bill Spiers

Legislative Relations Chair

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