While student activism has long been part of higher education's narrative, colleges and universities across the United States and Canada were caught by surprise by the swift upsurge of student activism on campus in late 2015. The current wave of student activism is expected to intensify in coming years, as student populations and expectations change.
Student activism is not a one-size-fits-all issue from campus to campus. Institutions must find a delicate balance in the face of increasing questions from the public about ensuring free speech and increasing pressure from students to curb hateful or hurtful speech in an effort to create a welcoming campus climate. Alongside the reality that today’s activism is more complex than ever before, colleges and universities face high stakes to get the response right. Across the year, Student Affairs Forum research gradually evolved from a crisis management approach to a positive, student-centered approach to addressing today’s activism.
Student Affairs Forum assembled custom studies, expert insights, infographics, and other resources to support your institution navigate the new wave of student activism.