ERIC Number: EJ788999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-14
Reference Count: 0
"In Loco Parentis" in Disaster Mode
Fant, Gene C., Jr.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n27 pC3 Mar 2008
On February 5, a tornado carved a deep gash across the aorta of the dormitory complex at the Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Along with the university's president, David Dockery, and another dean, this author was among the first administrators to arrive at the disaster, a mere two minutes following the direct hit. As the dorms lay in ruins, most students just wanted to see their parents. In this article, the author recounts what happened after the tornado hit the dormitory complex of the campus and describes how the devastating event led him to a new understanding of the old concept of "in loco parentis." In his mind, he has always thought of "in loco" as a kind of authoritarian concept. He now sees it, though, in terms of the responsibilities to the students, not as authorities but rather as preparers, protectors, and passers-on of the vision of a learning community's ideals.
Descriptors: Emergency Programs, Administrators, Natural Disasters, School Responsibility, Administrator Role, College Students, Student Needs, Dormitories, Coping, Teacher Role
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A