May 5, 2017
Dear NASPA Region V and VI Colleagues:
With program proposals in and registration open, we want to strongly reemphasize our support for and encourage your attendance at the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Western Regional Conference (WRC) 2017 in Honolulu, Hawai'i.
Given the current political climate in the United States and its impact on higher education, we as Student Affairs leaders need to be cognizant of our role in mitigating, shaping and guiding our institutions and profession in remaining inclusive, equitable, and committed to social justice. Although budget cuts, tuition increases, and the defunding of higher education is a current reality for all of us, we need to remain dedicated to professional development and opportunities for growth.
NASPA Western Regional Conference 2017 will be grounded in cultural understanding, appreciation, and practice. In an effort to better serve and understand indigenous populations and traditionally underrepresented and underserved students, staff, and faculty, this year’s conference will not only challenge the way in which we think, but also the way we serve.
More than ever, the profession, our colleagues, and our students need us to engage. This is not a time to detach, but one in which to gather as a challenge to #boycotthawaii and similarly malicious rhetoric. Perhaps, as a show of solidarity, this is the most ideal time to be in Hawai'i. Together, let’s embrace the opportunity to educate, inform, and collaborate. Allow WRC 2017 to debunk the myth that brands Hawai'i as just a vacation destination.?Foster change, cause CURRENTS – bring your students, staff, and fellow administrators and join us in interrogating stereotypes, transforming our communities, creating waves, and taking an active approach in challenging and being a part of the demystification of Hawai'i.
We challenge you to be a part of this renewal, to cultivate an open mind, and immerse yourself in NASPA WRC 2017.
Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes
Region VI Director
Dr. Scott McAward
Region V Director
Dr. Lori M. Ideta
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