Flashes Taking Care of Flashes
Students success depends on more than just providing good teachers and outstanding courses, it relies on having a supportive and welcoming environment. Which is why Kent State is building a Culture of Care on campus.
Dean of University College, Eboni J. Pringle, said that the culture of care lays a foundation for students to feel valued and welcomed as a member of a community.
“You need to be in an environment where you feel cared about because as you're growing and as you're developing.” Pringle said, “There are lots of things that are happening for you that may lead you to a place where you need to be able to be in an environment where you can just be who you are.”
At Kent State, the culture of care allows open dialogue and trusting when conversations are challenging, or in general to help individuals feel like they can grow and develop.
“Flashes take care of flashes represents our culture of care. It's just a way to put a title to it so people can understand that It exists if we don't put a name to it, it's hard to help people understand that that's who we are and that's what we want to practice.”
International students usually make a huge transition into a new space and are expected to also transition in their way of thinking. Pringle said when students go through this shift, they may experience stress because they are unfamiliar with the community and they need someone to support them.
“Sometimes when you're intellectually challenged or there were things presented to you that you don't necessarily agree with or that you haven't heard before, sometimes that can create some dissonance and some concern,” Pringle said. “And the need for culture of care is to think about how do we then respond, when individuals are experiencing stress, how do we respond when individuals are trying to learn new things.”
As a student myself, I sometimes feel like teachers and advisors think of us as just students and we have to write papers and have deadlines or need to go to class. I feel like it’s a good feeling when the people around me care about me personally.
“There are parts of you that we don't necessarily always think about that you bring with you into any environment,” Pringle said. “You also have dreams and goals that are unique and different from what you're studying. And if we don't take those types of things into consideration, then we're not truly caring for who you are.”
The idea behind the term Flashes Taking Care of Flashes is to tell students that they’re a part of a community of people with different views, different backgrounds and experiences. But everyone is putting value to the community.
“One of the ways in which we practice flashes take care of flashes is really individualizing that path and not assuming that everyone is going to find themselves in the same way. And it really is about having a conversation,” Pringle said, “It's about listening to the individual and making sure that we hear what they say their interests are and their ways of finding who they are.”
To maintain and continue to keep a healthy environment, students should return that to faculty and staff, their peers, and new students who will come after them.
“We believe in them and we care about them and we are so excited that they're becoming members of the community and as members of the community.” Pringle said, “We want to welcome you in and help you to understand what it means to be here and why we are so excited about you being here.”
Article written by Sara Al Harthi