The Vermont Connection


Self-care is a principle of the student affairs profession that has constantly been praised and espoused as necessary for effective work. Countless literature describes the benefits of self care, but little has been written about the demanding nature of student affairs that requires self-care in the first place. Rather than examining the system that overworks its professionals, scholars tend to accept this culture and tout self-care as a coping strategy to prevent burnout. However, self-care rhetoric often comes from a place of ableism and privilege and ignores marginalized identities. Additionally, using self-care as a tool to be better role models for students ignores the value and health of student affairs professionals. Using crip theory as a foundation for deconstructing dominant discourses about normality, I address how the field needs to start valuing its employees and create cultures of community care. Student affairs scholars need to critically examine the accepted norms of student affairs and advocate for their wellbeing as worthy and valued individuals.