The Green Book

by Jimmy Luckman

I first realized I wanted to go into student affairs and higher education when I was a sophomore, after having completed one summer of being an orientation leader as well as one semester of being a resident assistant. My interest in the field of student affairs occurred early in my academic journey, which gave me the time to explore and navigate the profession. I remember reaching out and asking several questions to various professionals, however a common trend that I noticed early on was not specifically in their responses however, it was a book that was located in almost every office. This constantly reappearing book was titled Student Development in College: Theory, Research and Practice. I vividly remember the appearance because it was green and had a flower on it. This green book was used throughout multiple master programs across the country as professionals that graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio, Syracuse University, Canisius College, Rutgers University, University of Buffalo, and Buffalo State all had this book on their bookshelf. Despite their various diverse backgrounds, this book was a pinnacle item that demonstrated their commitment to the field of student affairs.  
I am taking the time to reflect on this experience because I have recently completed reading my own green book titled Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession. Throughout my first semester of graduate school I was assigned to read weekly chapters form the text and this past week I officially completed reading the entire book from front to back. The very last sentence of the book stated: “It is our sincere hope that there will be generations of student affairs professionals who will see the ‘green book’ as a powerful resource to assist them in their work in student affairs” (Schuh, Jones, & Torres, 2017 p. 564). I noticed this powerful resource when I first became interested in the field of student affairs because it had physical presence; however, I now value the book because of the content.
Throughout the semester, I constantly pushed myself to read, the entire book because I truly valued the information that each chapter had to offer. Whether it was reading about the history of student affairs, identity development, finances, assessment, or various essential competencies each chapter gave me new insight to reflect on as I start my academic journey into student affairs. Instead of placing the book on my shelf as an image that I have gone through an academic program only serving the purpose of valuing intellectual abilities or collecting dust, I can use this book, as a reference to address student needs. I can look back on the book, reflecting on what I highlighted in the past and what theories I can use in the present and future. The fact of the matter is simply caring about students cannot be the only purpose within student affairs. Instead, it has to expand beyond that, grasping ideas such as professionalism, cultural competencies, creating an inclusive environment, strategic planning, comprehending theory, and developing leadership skills.
Although it is, still early on, my career it is exciting to know that one day a student might come into my office and notice my own green book, and ask me questions about the profession. I have already place the book on my personal bookshelf in my apartment, placed proudly near my Vegetarian Cooking for Dummies books (which have not been effective since I still cannot cook or make vegetarian dishes). I am excited that one day I will be able to reference and showcase my graduate books that I read in order to better serve students and the community. I am also excited to see the impact that I am able to make within the profession. As I continue to expand my own knowledge and literature, I am interested to see where I can help the profession grow and develop as well. This green book has been present since the pique of interest in student affairs as an undergraduate student I am certain that it will remain present throughout my entire career within the profession of student affairs.

Schuh, J. H., Jones, S. R., & Torres, V. (2017) Student services: A handbook for the profession. 6th Edititon. Jossey-Brass a John Wiley & Sons Brand

Student Affairs - the First Years

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