Campus Climate Flashpoints Case Study Compendium

Campus Climate Flashpoints Case Study Compendium

Climate flashpoints—including protests and demonstrations, controversial campus speakers, and viral social media posts—can catch colleges and universities off guard, making it difficult to craft a swift and appropriate response. Progressive institutions recognize they must have a proactive strategy in place to address student concerns and minimize consequences.

The Case Study Compendium can prepare leadership at your institution for a variety of potential campus flashpoints. In meetings with the your department or your institution’s crisis response team, use the following case studies to brainstorm possible responses to the following scenarios, assess your institution’s readiness for potential campus climate flashpoints, and develop strategies to prepare your campus’s response.

Consider the general discussion questions below for all case scenarios.

  1. Has a similar flashpoint occurred on our campus or a nearby campus before? What did we do well? What could we have done better?
  2. What parts of our campus culture could contribute to an incident like this? What pre-emptive measures can we take to address these issues?
  3. What is our top priority in addressing this flashpoint? What key response components would serve that priority?
  4. How do different groups communicate and coordinate with one another following a campus flashpoint such as this? How do we minimize redundant communication between different points of contact?