Likely, the final hours of American College Personnel Association (ACPA) President Tom Jackson’s term will be spent issuing pardons for a number of misguided conference delegates.
ACPA held its annual convention this week in Boston, where over 3000 college student affairs professionals met to attend workshops and learn the latest trends in higher education.
“What happened at the ‘Helping Students Deal with Abuse, Trauma and Devastation’ workshop was terribly unfortunate,” said a member of the ACPA public relations team. “From what we understand, a well-intended group from Pennsylvania created quite a ruckus.”
According to reports, the workshop presenter used storytelling as a technique to help the audience empathize with students who had experienced significant traumas.
“Every time the speaker mentioned a horrible maiming incident in Altoona, a group from Pennsylvania yelled ‘Woot! Woot!’ and high-fived each other,” said a witness.
“At first it was subtle. They used ‘raise the roof’ motions and made eye contact, but it quickly escalated,” explained a shaken session facilitator. “When the presenter described the awful mining accident that caused the Altoona maiming, the Pennsylvanians jumped from their seats and started doing dance moves like the Robot and the Cabbage Patch.”
“We’re from a small school in rural PA,” said one of the instigators. “With budgets so tight, we rarely make it to national conferences, so we get our cues from Tweeps. All the Woot-Wooting during previous conference programs painted a picture for us that was very different from reality.”
“We thought the presenter was using this thing they keep calling a ‘shout out,’” said another Pennsylvanian. “Tom Jackson gave one the other night at the opening gala, and we’re hoping he has it in his heart to give us one more.”