University hiring psychologist to treat 'microaggressions'

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will soon hire a licensed psychologist to help students cope with with issues such as “microaggressions” and “bias incidents.” 

The new Counselor/Psychologist (Diversity and Inclusion Liaison) will provide counseling services to students, but the position is unique as the new psychologist will “especially” tend to “students from historically marginalized populations.”

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Posted Monday, the job advertisement adds that the psychologist will ultimately have “priority in addressing the mental health needs of students of color” and will work to help these students in group, individual, crisis, and couples counseling.

The counselor will also help “students coping with issues including (but not limited to) racial battle fatigue, bias incidences, microaggressions, and intersectionality,” and will also be dispatched occasionally to serve on the school’s “Bias/Hate Team.” 

As at most other public universities, the UW-La Crosse Hate Response Team responds to reports of perceived discriminatory conduct such as  “graffiti/vandalism,” “hateful messages...conveyed using sign language [or] gestures,” and anything offensive published in “public websites or blogs.” 

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Though bias response teams at some schools can go unnoticed by students, the UW-La Crosse system does appear to be an active resource, with 92 individual reports of bias since the beginning of the 2017 school year, according to its website. 

For the psychologist position, the standard qualifications such as a college degree and counseling experience are needed, and the successful applicant must also have knowledge of “multicultural issues” and “intersectionality,” as well as the ability to interact with “persons of diverse socio-economic, racial/ethnic, international, and LGBTQ backgrounds.” 

The university is hoping to fill the position, which offers a salary “commensurate with degree and experience,” by July 2018. 

Campus Reform reached out to UW-La Crosse for comment on how the position is funded, but did not receive a response. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen