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 certain "protected classes" in society.
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 and veteran's status. These groups have been designated as protected because of certain injustices which have occurred against the members of these groups in the past and present. 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 doing justice to 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 as American citizens.
The actual implementation of a program of social equity may take several forms. It may take the form of an extra effort to recruit employees or students from historically disadvantaged groups. It may mean providing a helper to assist a blind student by taking notes in class. Or again, it may consist of responding in a sensitive and expeditious way to a complaint of sexual or racial harassment.
As you can see, social equity may take many forms depending on the issue or the problem being addressed. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social equity program at Shippensburg University represents a serious effort on the part of the University community to provide an environment that is characterized by freedom and opportunity for all individuals and groups who wish to become a part of Shippensburg University.