Counseling and Student Affairs
We Support You and We Are Here For You
The Faculty and Staff in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs acknowledge that systemic racism is a reality embedded in contemporary American culture, perpetuated by white privilege. We believe that Black Lives Matter and we unequivocally support efforts to eradicate prejudice, inequities, and bias in all its forms, including discrimination based on race, ethnicity, country of origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, or political ideology. Further, we believe that violence is never justified and that force should never be employed as a strategy for conflict resolution; de-escalation, compassion, and empathy are more effective tools at creating connection and understanding.
We agree that it is time for people and institutions to move beyond platitudes and just talking about the current state of our society. Racism, discrimination, inequities, and white supremacy are sustained by our inner character (i.e., beliefs, attitudes, prejudices, and biases), whether intentional or unintentional, and by the institutional structures that perpetuate inequalities and injustices. Racism is a social construct that has been nurtured for far too long. This needs to be acknowledged, especially in the counseling and student affairs fields where we regularly work with individuals from diverse backgrounds and these inequities have impacted access to education and mental health for centuries. As members of the helping professions, we recognize the detrimental effects discrimination can precipitate on the mental and emotional well-being of all human beings, but especially those who have been subject to systemic racism their entire lives. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Every person has the right to feel safe and valued; until they do, we must do more.
We are committed to recruiting students from diverse backgrounds so that better support can be provided to the individuals, couples, and families affected by bias and discrimination. Most importantly we will examine ourselves, recognizing that we service people based on how we see them. We will continue to advocate for equal access to our educational programs and assist students of color with finding additional financial support, scholarships, fellowships, and employment opportunities.
As an academic department, we will remain open to new ways of acting to ensure diversity, equality, and inclusion for our graduate students and the people they serve before and after graduation. A free and just society depends on it.