Student Counseling Services: Statement on racial equity, advocacy and support

Dear Hatters,

While the dynamics of systemic racism may have finally registered in the mainstream national consciousness, this awareness does not eradicate the pain these dynamics have caused, and continue to cause, the African-American community.  Therefore, following a thorough review of constructive feedback regarding how Student Counseling Services (SCS) can better support our students of color during this period of increased distress, we have added a bias-incident option to our Request for Immediate Services form.  Additionally, we have increased our availability for daily walk-in/log-in counseling appointments.

To create lasting systemic change, we have created a departmental plan which includes the following commitments:

  • Compare department and campus-wide demographic data annually to actively close any gaps in our service to historically marginalized groups
  • Gather feedback from students on barriers and perceptions of counseling annually
  • Offer a Diversity Support Group focused on racism in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Offer advocacy and support to students experiencing bias
  • Require graduate counseling trainees to receive diversity, equity and inclusion training
  • Update our Mission, Vision, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
  • Continue to use inclusive language on our website and forms and audit regularly
  • Complete an organizational self-assessment of cultural competence as part of our external review process
  • Continue to learn, grow and listen
  • Add to this plan as new opportunities arise to address systemic racism and support our students.

Please know that, while our SCS staff has extensive multi-cultural education and training, including ongoing assessment and development of our cultural competence, we thoroughly understand our responsibility, as staunch advocates, to remain learners in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.  Therefore, should you recognize additional means by which we can better serve our students of color, we would truly appreciate the opportunity to listen to your feedback.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 386.822.8900.

Together,

Student Counseling Services