Social Justice Statement
The Residence Life department at Truman State University endeavors to maintain and uphold the principles of social justice within its communities. These principles include: access, equity, participation, and human rights. Residence Life strives to create environments where respect and acceptance are integral parts of our communities. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each resident and staff member associated with Residence Life to advance our social justice efforts.
Residence Life recognizes that social justice is both an action and an outcome. The outcome is to create communities where every resident has equitable access to resources and opportunities while living on campus. Hall Directors and Student Advisors strive to create intentional interactions which are accessible to all on-campus residents regardless of identity. Hall staffs work to achieve social justice by:
- Empowering residents to speak up for themselves and others when they witness acts that do not align with social justice principles;
- Holding members of the community accountable for their actions and words;
- Having open and honest conversations with community members;
- Creating communities that are available for all residents with a focus on those who have identities that have been marginalized and oppressed; and
- Understanding the unique influences and experiences of an individual’s interconnected identities.
“Social justice is both a process and goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.” – Lee Anne Bell
Lee Anne Bell, professor emeritus at Barnard College, Columbia University specializing in gender, race, and culture in an educational setting.
Inclusion creates the foundation for diversity to grow and flourish within residential communities. Residence Life staff commit to creating safe, inclusive environments where all residents are welcomed and acknowledged. Residence Life staff commits to:
- Ensuring residents of minoritized identities are given equitable opportunities;
- Creating inclusive communities that support open discourse;
- Encouraging staff and on-campus residents to challenge assumptions and biases;
- Supporting and respecting an individual’s identity through pronoun usage; and
- Evolving to better meet the needs of diverse residential communities.
The Residence Life department at Truman State University endeavors to develop inclusive, educational environments and amend previous errors by embracing and emphasizing diverse identities within residents. The Resident Engagement and Development Plan includes a commitment to promote and support active education and diverse interactions among staff and residents. Residence Life staff encourages exploration of traditions while recognizing individual rights to cultural expression and maintaining respect for an individual’s background and beliefs. Residence Life staff strive to foster productive exchanges of new ideas, challenge preconceived biases, and expand the mutual understanding and recognition of individuals in the community. Residential communities rich in diversity provide opportunities to understand individual differences and commonalities.