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ERIC Number: ED478295
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 39
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Working the System: Student Activists' Characterizations of and Desired Communication with Higher Education Administrators.
Ropers-Huilman, Becky; Carwile, Laura; Barnett, Kathy
The perceptions of student activists about college administrators were studied. For purposes of the study, which was part of a larger exploration of student activism, activists were defined as college students who were both involved in and committed to social change. Also studied was the type of relationship student activists would like to have with university officials. Interviews were conducted with 24 student activists at 1 university. Data strongly support the idea that student activists perceive administrators as antagonists. Student activists often interpreted the opposition they experienced in their relations with administrators as representative of administrators' desire to disempower students through ignoring them or keeping crucial information from them. A few activists did recount positive experiences during which they through administrators had been supportive, and most of this support came in the form of availability for communication and access to institutional resources. Data also suggest that many students did have challenging the system as a primary purpose, but wished instead to participate fully in a society governed by the democratic principles in which they believed. Administrators could use the lessons suggested by the student activists in this study to engage with students who take social change seriously. (Contains 23 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A