What is Social Equity?

The concept of social equity is used at Shippensburg University to refer to a set of standards which apply to our personal and social relationships with other individuals and/or groups. These standards consist of a bundle of rights and duties which apply to members of protected classes.

These protected classes are defined by state and federal law, and categories of classes include:

  • race
  • color
  • national origin
  • religion
  • creed
  • gender (sex)
  • age
  • disability
  • veteran's status

These groups have been designated as protected because of certain injustices which have occurred and continue to occur against the members of these groups. Social equity is the means used to help to redress these injuries. The term also covers the protection of certain fundamental rights which we all enjoy as citizens of a free society.

Therefore, social equity is really nothing more than ensuring justice for our fellow employees, students, or acquaintances who have, as a result of membership in a protected class, suffered injuries now or in the past. These injuries may take many forms but generally consist of some form of harassment or discrimination which has caused the victim to suffer a loss of the equal rights and opportunities that we all cherish.

The actual implementation of a program of social equity takes many forms. They range from efforts to recruit employees or students from historically disadvantaged groups to an assistant for a blind student for note taking.

The social equity efforts at Shippensburg University represent a serious commitment on the part of the University to provide an environment that is characterized by opportunity for all individuals and groups who wish to become a part of Shippensburg University.