Friday Letter, 10-30-15

This was a powerful week for us. Thank you to everyone who attended the DIA.  As the facilitators told us, it was going to push us into an area of discomfort.  Thank you for allowing us to go there and supporting each other as we discussed these very important topics.  I recognize that the afternoon sessions caused us all to become fatigued.  We have taken that into account for the Winter DIA and are processing all of your other feedback as well.  Our next step is to spend an hour with our Cavoline discussing the themes of the DIA.

One of the interesting dynamics that came into play is how leadership (e.g., the President) and others may affect the dynamic of conversation. Thanks to Mari for bringing this up at the DIA.  The executive team is trying to be very sensitive to that role as we participate in the Cavolines.  We want to engage and also learn, yet we don’t want to inhibit honest conversation.  I encourage you to treat these Cavolines as safe places.  Supervisory or leadership power dynamics are to be left at the door during this hour.  Hopefully you will find a comfortable position to negotiate these dynamics and you are encouraged to talk to the facilitators or the executive team if you think this might be a hurdle for you.

To lighten up our week, I will be coming around at noon with our Top Pot donuts. Yes, I have heard that some are disappointed that we only get ¼ of a donut.  They are only giving me 3 dozen…so I’m trying to be fair.  BUT…you are highly encouraged to buy a whole one when they go on sale in the stores.  I’ll let you know when that happens.

We received the following information from our colleagues at North Seattle College and I wanted to pass it on given that we have such close connections with North.  In the aftermath of the tragic bus accident, the Seattle College District has received an outpouring of support and questions from people about how they can help.  The district has established a fund to provide direct assistance to students, staff and families affected by the accident.  It is available here:

Yesterday I spent some time in another heavy conversation. The YMCA brought together almost 300 people to talk about issues affecting youth.  Half of these participants were in the 9th through 12th grades.  We sat at tables with four students and four adults from various walks of life and discussed the issues affecting high schoolers.  It was a great discussion and the Y did a fantastic job of facilitating the conversation.

The take-aways from this conversation included:

  • We need to help teenagers form strong mentoring relationships with all kinds of adult role models;
  • Bullying and safety is on the minds of teens;
  • Stresses about life, including college choices, are significant.

As we work with our Running Start population as well as our first year (graduated from HS) students, I encourage you to think about these themes and how important it is that we remain a “high touch” college that can be mindful of a student’s experience.

Have a great weekend.

One thought on “Friday Letter, 10-30-15

  1. Thank you for sharing the link for donations to support the North Seattle students injured in the bus accident. From speaking with my colleagues who work there, it is heart-breaking to realize the ongoing struggles for those recovering physically and psychologically from the accident.

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