Equity & Inclusion Statement
We all come from different walks of life. The Vacca Office of Student Services places value and importance on equity and inclusion, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes us all a united educational community. As a student, you have a home with the Vacca Office of Student Services. Below we share our values with you.
Vacca Office of Student Services (VOSS) Statement of Value to Our Students:
We value your social identities including race, ethnicity, (dis)ability, age, sex, sexual and gender identity, and expression, religious beliefs/backgrounds, and socioeconomic status, among others. We strive to provide equitable experiences for all of you who have been marginalized or underserved, and use our power to dismantle discrimination and disparity across our programs. We will engage in collective action to address individual and systematic oppression within our local, national, and global communities. We pledge that we will continue to act until each of you sees our office as a place that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.
The Vacca Office of Student Services will strive to show our commitment to antiracist, equitable, and just practices through the following:
The Vacca Office of Student Services Equity & Inclusion Team is critically reviewing existing policies, practices, and procedures within the office, college, and university to be more inclusive and equitable for all students with whom we work.
Engaging the office in professional development that will guide us to examine our own unconscious biases and educate us about social justice and equity issues.
Continuing work with the office of Diversity, Outreach, and Development (DOD) to improve recruitment and retention and cultural climate for students of color and other underrepresented populations.
Cultivating a climate where we all have a sense of responsibility for identifying academic barriers at the university that may prevent student success.
Examples of What These Commitments Mean in Practice:
In the last two years work included:
- Reviewing messaging (emails, letters, website) from the Vacca office for inclusive and bias free language,
- Examining communications to ensure chosen name is used,
- Exploring leadership opportunities and support for underrepresented students,
- Inviting a variety of campus organizations to join our staff meetings to help us all reconnect with important partners in diversity and equity work (Women’s Center, LGTBQ+ Center, Hillel Center, MCSC),
- Examining and revising our staff handbook with an eye on equity,
- Implementing flexible work arrangement and telework arrangements with an eye on equity for staff,
- Examining our hiring practices,
- Teacher education coordinators examining and revising the teacher education handbook with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens,
- Considering and exploring practices and policies within the college and the university that staff began to see as possible barriers to student access and completion,
- Exploring the interest for a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Health Science student organization and facilitating its start,
- Participating in aspects of the Kent State’s First Anti-Racism Conference, and
- Taking and debriefing the Intercultural Development Inventory.
Some work for this year will include:
- Examining our policies and practices from a trauma-informed lens,
- Examining and revising the collaboration handbook for student teaching with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens,
- Exploring additional ways to collaborate with the division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), the Women’s Center, the Student Multicultural and the LGTBQ+ Center, and other organizations on campus to address the climate issues for all students at KSU, and
- Reviewing and improving diversity and inclusion recruitment practices.