- Men's recruitment and retention at our institutions is slumping.
- Men's engagement on our campuses is low.
- Men's behavior on our campuses is risky.
- Support the male students who walk through your door. It might seem like an obvious one, but decades of social justice training that has informed us about the problems of male privilege can sometimes influence our ability to affectively support male students. Certainly male privilege is complex and problematic but it doesn't mean that men on our campuses don't still need our support. When working with men in your area, start by meeting them where they are at and work toward challenging them after you've had a chance to build trust.
- Reach out to male student on your campus. Given that nearly all spaces on our college campuses are safe spaces for men, very little programming tends to focus explicitly on the specific needs of male students. While they may generally be taken care of given the predominance of their identities on campus, men experience unique challenges around many issues from academic achievement to mental health. Reaching out to men and providing programming and support that meets their needs may be one way to ensure their success at college.
- Support gender equity efforts on your campus. No matter what area of campus you work in, there are opportunities to challenge tradition notions of gender and provide equitable solutions for both women and men. Whether it be creating gender neutral bathroom spaces in the residence halls or using inclusive language in your departmental handbook, gender equity benefits all genders on our campuses. Men feel restricted when they are limited to fitting a rough and rugged stereotype just as much as women do when they are told they must be passive, quiet, and sensitive. Start by making small efforts toward gender equity in your functional area and branch out by getting involved with large scale programs on your campus like the Vagina Monologues, Take Back the Night, The White Ribbon Campaign, or others.
This post is from Kyle Carpenter, who works at Dartmouth College as the Director of the Center for Gender and Student Engagement. You can connect with Kyle by email firstname.lastname@example.org.