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Future of Student Affairs: Collective Student Response

The Collective Student Response Working Group assessed how the division responds to individual students as well as groups of students and developed a framework for responding to crises and for ensuring that responders get appropriate and sufficient support. The co-chairs of the working group were Alejandro Martinez, Associate Dean of Students, and Dereca Blackmon, Interim Associate Dean and Director of the Diversity and First-Gen Office and Special Adviser to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs for Diversity Initiatives. The group is examined the following issues: 
  • Examine how we organize as a division to appropriately respond to students and groups of students.  Look at current infrastructure for individual students for inspiration.
  • Determine mechanisms to put in place (infrastructure and positions) to build the capacity to respond to groups of students (changes in student culture, activism, world events that have an impact on broad groups of students, etc.).  Make recommendations for organizational structure and pilot two recommendations.


  • Examine best practices for responding to crises that involve groups (10 or more) of students.  How do we manage crises for the collective?
  • Map process, including: Who do I tell? How do we come together? Who should be involved in the conversations?  What communications mechanisms are needed? 
  •  Present process to multiple groups to gather feedback.  Pilot process.


  • Examine the impact on staff members who are doing individual and collective student response.  Examine best practices for care for response staff.  Examine our current resources for support for response staff.
  • Create a response protocol for crisis responders for emotional rest, recuperation and self-care.  Create recommendations for practical resources that would help facilitate physical and emotional health for responders, including a place to stay on campus, additional time off, etc.

The members of the Collective Student Response Working Group were:

Dereca Blackmon, Interim Associate Dean and Director of the Diversity and First-Gen Office and Special Adviser to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs for Diversity Initiatives (Co-Chair) 

Colin Campbell, Peer Health Education Coordinator, Vaden Health Center

Lisa De La Cruz-Caldera, Lead Residence Dean, Residential Education 
Angela Esquivel, Assistant Dean of Students, Graduate Life Office 
Tifany Ferguson, Assistant Registrar and Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Raven Jackson-Stone, Program Associate, Residential Education (2016-17 academic year)
Carleigh Kude, Disability Adviser, Office of Accessible Education
Kathy Lee-Anderson, Vaden Health Center
Alejandro Martinez, Associate Dean of Students (Co-Chair)
Ankita Rakhe, Associate Director and Assistant Dean, Student Activities and Leadership
Amanda Rodriguez, Assistant Dean, Residential Education
Leigh Thiedeman, Assistant Dean, Residential Education
Lara Walker, Assistant Dean of Student Life, Office of Community Standards (2016-17 academic year)

The group completed its work in Fall 2017 by transitioning the communications strategies for students that it developed to the VPSA Central communications director for further conversations with University Communications. In addition, the group shared plans of care for first responders with the Leadership Cabinet and relevant offices in Student Affairs.