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Learn more about what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to Student Affairs and Penn State as well as what we are doing across the University to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

What are we doing?

In Student Affairs

Student Affairs is committed to supporting an equitable living, learning, and working environment that affirms the dignity, worth, and value of all members of the Penn State community. We strive to create a campus culture that allows for openness, respect, and safety; an environment in which those with diverse attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors feel included and can thrive. We seek to understand, value, and uplift individual differences, including but not limited to those related to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious and spiritual beliefs, gender, sexuality, physical and mental abilities, size and appearance, and socioeconomic status.

Like all systems within higher education, Student Affairs is not exempt from the influence of deep-rooted cultural forces like racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, heterosexism, xenophobia, ableism, and other forms of marginalization and oppression. Consistent with the University’s mission, we take personal and organizational responsibility to grow in our awareness of these systemic issues, reduce barriers and bias, and develop our cultural humility. We are constantly growing, learning, and finding new ways to hold ourselves accountable to these efforts.

We understand that equity, inclusion, and social justice require ongoing work; it’s a journey, rather than an end goal. Student Affairs will continue to take steps to support and advance these values in ways that are sustainable across our campuses.

At Penn State

We are taking action together at Penn State to address racism, bias, and community safety. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals in an effort to help them thrive.

Penn State's strategic plan defines inclusion, equity, and diversity as follows: 

  • Inclusion refers to the respectful treatment of all people with recognition for the multiplicity of identities and perspectives present in a diverse community.
  • Equity requires attention to disparate impact, differential access, and opportunities afforded to various communities, as well as structural and systemic barriers that limit potential and possibilities.
  • Diversity refers to the numerical representation of faculty, staff, and students who hold different social identities, backgrounds, and experiences.

Educational Equity

Penn State's Office of Educational Equity is charged with fostering diversity and inclusion at Penn State and creating a climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University’s faculty, staff, leadership, and student body. 

Affirmative Action Office

The Affirmative Action Office serves as a resource in promoting and furthering the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and diversity. 

Across our Campuses

The Coalition on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CoDEI) is a network of staff and faculty across the Commonwealth focused on providing diversity, equity, and inclusion support for students through programming, education, and visibility.