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How College Men Make Meaning

Dr. Frank Harris III (2010) theorized that college men make meaning about gender through interactions with male peers and involvement on campus that either reinforces or challenges pre-college socialization from parents, teachers, coaches, siblings, and friends. Many times, these interactions reinforce the hierarchy of the Man Box.

The Richmond College experience aims to broaden the definition of masculinities to allow students to find a personal definition of masculinity that is authentic. Personal advising and mentoring by members of the dean’s staff is an important component of that approach, and has had a significant impact on the academic and personal success of many students.

We believe that a connection to values is an important aspect to making meaning as a man. Richmond College students are encouraged to embrace the elements of a shared set of values known as a Positive Image of Masculinity.

The elements of a Positive Image of Masculinity are reinforced through our traditions and other messaging. We make clear that there is no singular definition of masculinity. Richmond College celebrates the qualities and experiences that make each of our students unique. We challenge our students to develop their own personal definition of masculinity.


Harris III, F. (2010). College Men’s Meanings of Masculinities and Contextual Influences: Toward a Conceptual Model. Journal of College Student Development, 51(3), pp 297-318.