Brown-Bag Series Encourages Discussion about Buffalo State Students

A series of lunchtime discussions geared to boost professional development and promote a better understanding of issues that affect Buffalo State students will be offered this semester.

Sponsored by the Weigel Health Center’s Health Promotion Office in collaboration with other campus departments, “Creating a Civil and Caring Community” is a three-part series that will help faculty and staff better understand the Buffalo State student mind-set, respond to potential student violence, and serve a burgeoning veteran student population.

“Today’s teachers are in the position where they’re often the first responders to incidents,” said Tammy Kresge, coordinator for health promotion, Weigel Health Center. “Whether it’s relationship troubles, alcoholism, physical abuse, or a host of other difficulties, students could be coming into the classroom with more issues than faculty are equipped to deal with.”

Kresge said the goal of the workshops is to help faculty and staff learn how to better recognize problems and make appropriate referrals.

The first of three workshops takes place in Butler Library 210 from noon until 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 11, and will feature information collected from recent student surveys and assessments. Additional workshops are scheduled for Thursday, October 23, and Thursday, November 13, at the same time and place.

Kresge, who interacts frequently with students in the residence halls during evening hours, said she observes many issues that could affect performance inside the classroom. She said she also understands the plight of returning soldiers.

“It’s a completely different world, transitioning from Iraq to the classroom,” Kresge said. “It can be hard for veteran students to adjust. Class discussions could be sensitive, too. What if something said in class gets a student really emotional? How would you respond?”

The brown-bag series is a collaboration between Weigel Health Center, the Dean of Students Office, the Counseling Center, University Police, and the Career Development Center. The workshops are free, and Kresge said they offer a great opportunity to network with others on campus and learn skills to create a better classroom environment.

“Students in today’s world have a lot more ‘baggage,’” she said, “and we need to keep up with it.”

For more information and a complete lineup of presenters, please visit the series Web site.