Affirmative ACtion/Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

West Chester University is committed to providing leadership in extending equal opportunities to all individuals. Accordingly, the University will make every effort to provide these rights to all persons regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, or other protected-class status. This applies to all members of the University community including students, faculty, staff, and administrators. It also applies to all applicants for admission or employment and all participants in university sponsored activities. 

Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) provides leadership, coordination, and information to assist departments and constituencies within West Chester University to achieve its commitments to the principles of equity, diversity, and affirmative action. Through collaborative efforts, the office helps to foster an inclusive and welcoming community. In furtherance of its mission, the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion monitors a number of policies to promote diversity and inclusion and to eliminate discriminatory behaviors at West Chester University. The director for equity and compliance also serves as the Title IX and ADA Coordinator for the University. Any individual having suggestions, problems, complaints, or grievances with regard to any of our policies is encouraged to contact our office at114 W. Rosedale Ave., 610-436-2433.  

West Chester University (WCU) received the 2020 and 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award (HEED) from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused public higher education. The HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

West Chester University has also established the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD), which operates as a centralized service for addressing the needs of students with disabilities and as a resource center for students, faculty, and staff. A student who wants to request an accommodation and/or receive specialized services should contact the director of the OSSD.  

Policies 

Through collaborative efforts, the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion helps to foster an inclusive and civil community by monitoring a number of policies that promote diversity and inclusion, as well as work to eliminate discriminatory behaviors at West Chester University. Furthermore, the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is responsible for the overall well-being of the campus community and its climate by monitoring a number of policies that work to keep our campus a civil and safe environment for all. Accommodations for individuals with disabilities in accessing these policies are available upon request by emailing accessiblepolicy@wcupa.edu.  

Americans with Disabilities Act

West Chester University is committed to equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination for all students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and all participants in public University sponsored activities. In keeping with this commitment, and in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the University will make every effort to provide equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination for all members of the University community and visitors to the University, regardless of any disability an individual may have. Accordingly, the University has taken positive steps to make University facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities and has established procedures to provide reasonable accommodations to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in University programs. 

Animals on Campus

This policy applies to all individuals bringing an animal on West Chester University (WCU) property. WCU does not permit animals in University buildings, facilities, vehicles, or on University grounds except as described in this policy. The University remains committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive educational, working, and living environment for people of all abilities. Therefore, WCU allows animals in its buildings, vehicles or facilities when they are serving a University-approved purpose, or meet the definition of Service Animals, Service Animal in Training, or Emotional Support Animals as provided in this policy. 

Affirmative Action – Equal Opportunity  

West Chester University is committed to providing leadership in extending equal opportunities to all individuals. Accordingly, the University will make every effort to provide these rights to all persons regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and veteran status. This policy applies to all members of the University community including students, faculty, staff and administrators. It also applies to all applicants for admission or employment and all participants in University-sponsored activities. To achieve our educational mission, West Chester University is committed to creating pluralistic learning communities. As an equal opportunity employer, we comply with federal and state laws and regulations, while demonstrating our commitment to equal opportunity for all persons and not discriminating on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, religion, veteran status, genetic information or legally protected statuses in all aspects of employment. 

Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) and Sexual Harassment and Misconduct (Non-Title IX)

West Chester University is committed to creating and maintaining a campus environment where safety, health and well-being are priorities for all. Sexual Misconduct includes a variety of acts that are perpetrated against another without consent or when an individual is unable to freely give consent.  West Chester University is committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting of all types of sexual misconduct, and timely and fair resolution of sexual misconduct complaints. 

Preferred Name

West Chester University recognizes members of its community use and identify with first names that are different from their legal names. A chosen or preferred name may be a valuable component of a person’s identity and impact their ability to successfully navigate the campus environment. Therefore, the University has established this policy that allows preferred first names to appear in select University systems and records, even if individuals have not changed their legal names. While anyone is welcome to use a preferred name, this policy was developed to respond to the needs of transgender and non-binary communities, international communities, and anyone who prefers the use of a name other than their legal name. This policy applies to all staff/students at all campuses. 

 

Committees

Several committees support the University’s strategic diversity goals. Any interested student, faculty, or staff may contact the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion directly if she/he wishes to become part of any of these committees. 

ADA Committee

The Americans with Disabilities Act Committee is a campus-wide group with the primary goal of promoting and advancing University policies and procedures that provide access to employment, services, and programs, which result in equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. The committee's name reflects the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, public services and transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications services. The Director for Equity and Compliance serves as the ADA Coordinator for the University. 

The ADA Committee supports the existing University services via consultation and education. The committee includes members from the faculty, non-instructional staff, and students, as well as the University's ADA coordinator. Membership is open to any interested person at the University. The committee works to provide bridges to facilitate better understanding between disabled and nondisabled persons and to enable all of the campus community to benefit from improved educational opportunities.

Campus Climate Intervention Team

The Campus Climate Intervention Team (CCIT) was established in the fall of 1991 to foster an institution-wide climate free from acts of intolerance or prejudice and to establish protocol for responding to and monitoring acts of intolerance or prejudice should they occur. The CCIT serves as a university-wide committee of faculty, staff and students to understand and monitor the university’s campus climate through active review of campus climate surveys; work proactively to encourage reporting and prevention of acts of discrimination, harassment, intolerance or prejudice; when needed, serve as an education team to unwelcomed or challenging acts that occur on campus.  

Council for Diversity, Inclusion and Academic Excellence

The Council for Diversity, Inclusion, & Academic Excellence was formed in fall 2013 through the WCU Strategic Plan, Building on Excellence, and was charged with the assessment of the University’s progress toward its diversity and inclusion goals and to develop a plan to advance its progress to improve the campus climate.  After the University hired a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer in 2018 and launched the current strategic plan, Pathways to Success in Fall 2019, the charge of the Council for Diversity, Inclusion and Academic Excellence was redirected in Spring 2020. 

The Society

The Society, established in 1983 and formerly known as the Frederick Douglass Society (FDS) of West Chester University, is a campus organization composed of faculty, staff, and administrators which celebrates diversity and supports the enrichment of the campus’ multicultural climate. The Society coordinates the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, which unites the campus and surrounding communities while highlighting WCU alumni through the awarding of the Drum Major for Justice Award. Proceeds from the annual event support student success through scholarships that enable them to participate in study abroad programs, engage in research initiatives, enhance professional readiness, purchase textbooks, and engage in other activities to foster their academic growth. In addition, the Society regularly supports other campus programs that aid the growth and success of the campus community.  

WCU Latina/o/x Communities Conference 

For over a decade, the annual Latinos/as Community Conference has engaged WCU students, faculty, staff, as well as students from area high schools and universities in interdisciplinary discussions on critical and contemporary issues for Latinx communities through dynamic themes and presentations. Each year, the conference grows in community partnerships and outreach.

LGBTQIA+ University Caucus

The mission of the LGBTQIA+ University Caucus is to promote the equity, empowerment, and success of LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff by fostering a safe campus environment; developing, suggesting, and supporting inclusive policies and curriculum; supporting LGBTQIA+ recruitment and retention initiatives; and promoting social and educational opportunities to meaningfully engage with the University community. 

Multicultural Faculty Commission

Formed in June 2006, the MFC functions as a constituency group for faculty of color.  The MFC addresses unmet and incompletely met community-building needs and provides expanded support for a diverse and global faculty in such areas as scholarship and academic leadership. 

University Military Veterans Coordinating Committee 

West Chester University is committed to developing and sustaining programs that foster student success and support the experience of our current and future military veteran students and their families.  Under the leadership of the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and the Coordinator of the Greg and Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center, this committee strives to work in collaboration to promote best practices across the university, ensure consistent and sustained support for veterans, collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies that support student veteran transition and success, and promote their well-being and connectedness to the campus community. 

President's Commission on the Status of Women

In support of the University’s Mission, Values Statement, and Vision Statement, the Commission shall function as an advisory group that recommends and advocates for the improvement of working conditions, climate, and safety for women on campus through serving as an interface between students, staff, faculty, administration, bargaining agents, and the Council of Trustees on women’s issues; promoting the enrichment and development of women, and raise the visibility of women’s contributions; fostering women's leadership; and coordinating with or providing points of contact for other internal and external organizations for women. 

 

Training and Education

The Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) offers educational and learning opportunities for all students, faculty and staff at West Chester University (WCU). In accordance with the University’s strategic plan, it is our intent to foster a campus environment that invites all community members to build upon their awareness, skills, and competencies related to diversity and inclusion topic areas.  ODEI works collaboratively with campus partners to provide consultation, resources, and support toward the advancement and sustainability of a positive campus climate for all. 

Diversity Calendar Website

 

Innovation for Diversity and Inclusion Grants Council 

The Innovation for Diversity and Inclusion Grants promotes a sense of community, facilitates communication and cooperation among diverse constituencies of the University community, and collaborates in support of the University mission, values statement, and strategic plan with special emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and emergent issues of community importance. This is accomplished through a competitive request for proposal process facilitated annually by a dedicated and engaged group of faculty, staff, and students with support from the Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI). The Council invites grant applications for programs and activities that enhance the WCU campus climate for students, staff, and faculty through scholarship, programming, creative and collaborative activities, teaching, learning, and other aspects of campus community development. 

 

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