Monday, November 27, 2023

We Are the Champions, My Friends

Lately, a list-serv I have subscribed to has been a hotbed of political group-wide emails. It is not a political list-serv, so this volley is something of a surprise. The emails are about the war between Israel and Hamas-and they have been ugly. Am I a coward for not engaging in the group email chain but rather writing about it in a blog entry? Perhaps, but I contend that the professionals (that I suppose I can call colleagues) on this list-serv are engaging in behavior that they are absolutely free to engage in but is also demeaning and chilling. One thing some posters on the list do is launch personal attacks.  Others basically argue that if you do not agree with them, it is because you are ignorant and uneducated about the subject area, so they offer a lot of links--some from questionable sources-and one, in a total twist of fate, written by my sister-in-law (a reputable source!). The same email accusing people of being essentially unintelligent is signed, “Yours in Solidarity…” Um, I am not going to actually agree with you that I am an imbecile because I don’t see things exactly as you do, so that’s a big nope on the solidarity.

Some of these posters could learn a lot from Academic Support folks about how to be collegial. That is why I am thankful this year for the amazing community of ASP folks who are the champions:

  1. We share well. ASP conferences are the best because we share everything. We share materials, techniques, statistics, joy, triumph, frustrations, and passion.
  2. We care about each other. I have had more people in this community inquire about my family in Israel than I ever anticipated. It actually brought me to tears.
  3. We care about our students. We always use the possessive when we talk about them-they belong to us and while we cannot help every single student, we would if we could (and they came to office hours, just saying).
  4. We celebrate and uplift each other’s work. Think of the work Louis does on this blog every Tuesday to announce recent scholarship-and that is just one example of how we amplify the community.
  5. We respect each other. We would never call each other names or require acquiescence to be deserving of solidarity.
  6. We are family. We know each other. We welcome newcomers with offers of help and materials.
  7. And even if you don’t agree with the above points, I still think the world of you and your intelligence and accomplishments.

Happy end of classes!

(Liz Stillman)

Current Affairs, Encouragement & Inspiration, Meetings, Professionalism | Permalink


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