Every Fall, as we all begin a new academic year, I think back to my annual ritual of starting school in Fergus Falls, Minnesota -- buying clothes, notebooks, wondering who will be in my class, what the teacher will be like, how often we will get to play kickball, etc. It is the same excitement and anxiety I see on hundreds of faces at the University of Michigan when students move in -- in fact, I like to walk around and hear some of the conversations between students and between students and their parents. I think about all that goes into students' navigating and negotiating the often troubled waters ahead. And I think about the fact that we will see many of these students in our office this coming year, just as you will all see many of your students as you help them proceed through the college years.
Being a college or university counseling center professional is a very unique enterprise. We are, at times, a strange combination of therapist, academic counselor, career counselor, community worker, educator, and trusted advisor. It is partly this multi-faceted professional identity that leads us to this edition's article Ð an extended length article that walks us through some of the changes and implications of the recently revised Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This act has the potential to deeply impact our work as counseling center professionals and as members of divisions of student affairs. Robert Bonfiglio and Heidi Levine do an outstanding job of helping us to see the contours of how this act does/might affect our work. In future editions, we will continue to examine the implications of this act as different campuses learn how deal with this movement for the good of college and university students.
In fact, that's it -- for the good of college and university students. That is why we all do what we do. Everything is centered around that. If there is one thing that unites us all as members of Commission VII, it is the fact that we all care deeply about the education and the psychological growth and development of college students. If you are a member of Commission VII, you know this. If you are not, and are reading this newsletter for the first time, give us a call. We would be happy to talk with you and let you know what we are all about.
Happy Fall! Our next newsletter will be in early February as we gear up for our national convention. See you then.
Todd Sevig, Ph.D.
University of Michigan CAPS
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