Social Justice and Inclusion
Student Wellness Statement on Social Justice and Inclusion:
Student Wellness is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment for everyone and strives to create a health promoting university that works to dismantle barriers of health equity for all students. The values of our staff reflect our respect, empathy, compassion, and celebration of all identities including, but not limited to, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religious and spiritual beliefs, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, political viewpoints, physical and mental abilities, size and appearance, and socio-economic status.
We believe that health inequity is caused by social inequity. We recognize that power, privilege, and varying degrees of access to resources have created structures, communities, and institutions that have historically marginalized or oppressed individuals from certain identities and backgrounds and have created disparities in health and well-being. Social determinants of health (e.g. access to education, access to care, socioeconomic conditions, availability of resources, social norms) and social forces (e.g. homophobia, transphobia, racism, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, ableism, classism, sexism) have further served to marginalize individuals as a result of their social conditions or their identities. We recognize that ongoing experiences with marginalizing and/or oppressive systems can negatively impact well-being and student success.
We strive to assist in giving voice and empowerment to our students and work with all of those within our university community as advocates of social change as we try to address and remove historic and systemic barriers to success, well-being, and health.
We strive to bring social justice to life in practical ways such as advocating for policy change, examining and removing barriers to accessing wellness services, attending social justice related events across campus and within our community, participating on related university committees and working groups, and continually exploring our own office’s allocation of resources.
Our staff takes personal and organizational responsibility to grow in our own awareness and advocate for an open, just, and affirming university community. We realize that in order to reduce barriers to health equity externally, we must constantly look internally, and seek to continually engage in strengthening our own cultural competence through difficult dialogues, ongoing education, and ongoing commitment. We believe that courage, respectful communication, empathy, and shared understanding provide the basis of this work and we recognize that none of us is perfect and we all have continued work to accomplish.
We invite you to engage in social justice related conversation with our staff, and to provide us feedback that you think may be important or helpful.
Adapted from Syracuse University Counseling Center – Social Justice, Our Stance