The primary mission of the Office of Social Equity (OSE) is to assist the University in creating and achieving a diverse and inclusive campus community. Through the Social Equity Strategic Plan, we attempt to identify innovative strategies that will ensure not only the representation of women, persons of color, persons with disabilities and others, but ensure their full participation in every facet of the Shippensburg University community as well. In addition to the issues of representation, the Social Equity document also focuses on issues of gender, program and physical accessibility, retention and homophobia. The document encompasses every constituent group represented at Shippensburg University.
The OSE plays a major role as an advocate for the protection of the rights of all constituencies to work and learn in an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. The advocacy is accomplished through training programs, policy development and implementation and sometimes through complaint investigations and resolutions.
The OSE is responsible for providing leadership for the University's Sexual Harassment Fact Finding Board and the Human Relations Fact Finding Board. Both bodies are designed to receive and investigate complaints of harassment and/or discrimination.
Additionally, the office provides leadership for four University committees, staffs two major committees for the President and Provost, and manages the University's Human Understanding grants.
The OSE serves as the University's representative office for the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 Compliance; monitors all hiring; coordinates and provides services to students with disabilities; investigates complaints; develops, implements, and monitors the University's Affirmative Action Plan; and acts as an advisor to the President and Provost on relevant equity issues.
The OSE also offers the Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities, a program designed to provide summer and permanent job opportunities in the federal government and the private sector for college students with disabilities. This program is co-sponsored by the Department of Defense and the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and offers job opportunities in fields such as computer programming, engineering, financial management, writing, science, and administration. All workers receive full benefits, even those only working as summer interns, and many of the internships have led to full-time placement upon degree completion.
"Touching Base" is the newsletter that is printed by the OSE each semester and is used to inform faculty, staff, and students of upcoming events such as the Day of Human Understanding and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events. You also will find information on available resources provided by the OSE, intelligent articles, and even some interesting facts.
The OSE staff, which consists of Dr. Melodye Wehrung (Director), Vicky Tosten and Ethel Brogan (Staff Associates), and several student employees and a graduate assistant, is always available to assist you. Drop by our office at Old Main 200 or call at X-1161, anytime.