Communications Case Study


Choose one of the following scenarios which illustrate a variety of incidents that have occurred on a university campus.

Imagine that you are a residence hall counselor on campus, and the student described in the incident has come to you to ask for advice.

  • QUESTION 1: What sort of advice would you give to the student?
  • EXPLAIN: why your advice represents the best course of action for the student to follow.
  • Scenario 1: Jessica
    Jessica is a 22yearold Mexican American who moved from Illinois to attend college in California.
    Lately, she has noticed that the majority of her Hispanic classmates are able to speak both English and
    Spanish fluently, and most speak Spanish to each other in her Chicano studies class and socially.
    Jessica’s parents spoke Spanish at home but did not insist on their children becoming bilingual. For this
    reason, Jessica understands Spanish when it is spoken to her, but she does not speak it fluently.
    Jessica has found that she feels more comfortable and relaxed in classes where most of her classmates are
    white rather than in her Chicano studies class, where she does not share the experiences of the other
    Hispanic students. This realization has upset her, and she has come to you for advice.

    Scenario 2: Jim
    Jim is an 18yearold white student living away from home for the first time. He and his girlfriend were
    hanging out at the park when they noticed a car pull into the empty parking lot. No one got out of the car
    for nearly an hour, and it was getting dark. Jim and his girlfriend had planned to stay a while longer, but
    the car made them feel nervous.
    As they left the park, they passed nearby the car, and Jim knocked on the window to see if the occupants
    needed any help. As the window rolled down, Jim noticed that the men were black. He said, “Hey, what’s
    up? What are you guys doing here?” One of the men was insulted, became angry, and stated that they had
    every right to be in the parking lot. He claimed that Jim was racially profiling them. He has gone to the
    campus mediation center to report the incident and is demanding that Jim formally apologize.
    Jim is very upset because he feels he is being unfairly called a racist.

    Scenario #3: Anthony
    Anthony is a 20yearold Chinese American student who recently transferred to your university from the
    community college in his hometown. He met with his advisor earlier today to discuss his schedule. As he
    was leaving the office, his advisor said, in a friendly and jovial manner, “The restaurant on First Street has
    the best wonton soup in town!”
    The more Anthony thought about this, the more upset he has become.


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