Statement of Commitment to Being a Community of Inclusiveness and Diversity
Bethany College strives to affirm its commitment to being a community of inclusiveness and diversity by its Christian heritage and by its respect for human dignity. As the Church in mission in higher education, Bethany College is expected to respond to the gospel by recognizing more fully that the inclusive nature of this College is manifested in the gift of diversity. Likewise, as a human community, we are called to recognize the dignity and the worth of all persons and to embody in our community in as full a measure as possible the full richness and diversity of people. 109 The gift of diversity strengthens and enriches us. It brings us to listen to the voices and needs of others. We must learn more about each other and be more understanding of and sensitive to one another’s’ customs, values and needs. Our task is not to try to change or diminish these differences, but to share them lovingly with one another. By respecting the uniqueness of others and rejoicing in our diversity, we will find unity, peace and justice. We acknowledge the presence of diversity within the Bethany College community. Our diversity has many dimensions, for students, staff, faculty, and administration including age, gender, race, cultural and ethnic origin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, ability, marital status, and employment categories within the college structure. Bethany College declares its intention to actively bring about a more fully inclusive and diverse college community, one which:
- is free of myths and stereotypes about gender, age, orientation, ability, religious, race, cultural and ethnic background;
- confronts racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination wherever and whenever they may appear in the life and values of the campus community;
- adopts policies and practices that acknowledge and protect the rights and dignity of all
- persons and which provide equitable access to resources;
- encourages and expects teaching and advising practices, professional behaviors and uses of language that promote the elimination of inappropriate, prejudicial and demeaning attitudes, assumptions and stereotypes about sex roles and racial or cultural identity;
- encourages the use of inclusive languages about God in the college’s worship life;
- in hiring persons to fill positions at the College, seeks actively to employ women and persons of all races and diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds in all categories of employment;
- fosters an appreciation of diverse religious traditions and value systems; and
- works to continuously educate all administrators, faculty, staff and students about the issues, needs and concerns of people from diverse backgrounds.
Concern for inclusiveness and diversity must permeate the student recruitment process, the employment and advancement of faculty, administration and support staff, the design and implementation of curricular and co-curricular programs, the selection of the Board of Directors, and all other aspects of the life and operation of this college. Our mutual task, then, is to facilitate relationships which are defined by justice and love for one another. We are enriched by full partnership and fellowship among women and men of different races, cultures, and beliefs. Bethany College calls upon all members of the campus community to take responsibility for implementing this declaration.
Approved by the Board of Directors, October 17, 1988
Revised and approved by the Board of Directors, May 17, 1998