May 14, 2007

As a living, learning, and working community, Susquehanna University affirms its commitment to being an engaged, culturally inclusive campus.

The University’s history and heritage lead us to affirm the dignity and worth of all persons. Consequently, we must be vigilant to ensure that we do not exclude or marginalize individuals and groups because of such differences as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class, marital and parental status, disability, age, religion, gender identity or expression, geography, and national origin. As Susquehanna seeks to embody the rich diversity of the human community, we commit ourselves to the full participation of persons who represent the breadth of human differences.

Critical engagement with diversity entails understanding how these differences impact the ways in which we experience the world, the beliefs that emerge from and frame those experiences, and the impact of power and privilege on our lives. Such engagement takes account of the lived realities of students and is essential for effective teaching and learning, equitable governance and decision-making, and healthy community life.

Critically aware of the ways power and privilege influence practices, processes and relationships, Susquehanna University declares its intention to be a more diverse and inclusive community. One which:

  • Embodies a commitment to civility and rich dialogue where all people can share their perspectives in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding;
  • Adopts policies and practices that protect the rights and dignity of all persons and which provide equal access to resources;
  • Seeks actively to recruit and retain students of diverse backgrounds;
  • Seeks actively to employ persons of diverse backgrounds in all categories of employment;
  • Encourages and expects teaching and advising practices and professional behaviors that promote critical engagement with diversity;
  • Challenges myths and stereotypes; and
  • Fosters the development of cross-cultural relationships marked by mutual curiosity and respect.

As we seek to fulfill these commitments our perceptions, understandings, and expectations will often come into conflict with those of other members of the campus community. These conflicts are not to be avoided, but should be seen as opportunities for learning and growth. Our responses to such conflicts must be framed by our respect for all people and our commitment to social justice and lifelong learning.

We believe that these commitments are morally and educationally necessary, essential to being a viable and competitive institution of higher learning in the 21st century, and indispensable in educating “students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership, and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world.”