Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is committed to promoting an inclusive process by working together to ensure equitable access to opportunities, benefits, and resources for all faculty, administrators, students, and community members. More information can be found at https://edi.sou.edu/get-involved/.
Social Justice and Equity Center
Connecting sustainability on a student level, there are student-led teams within the Social Justice and Equity Center that hold many roles for sustainability at SOU. The Social Justice and Equity Center explicitly names Racial Justice, Gender and Sexuality Justice, Student Sustainability and Basic Needs Resourcing, and Veterans Resources as areas of focus and aims to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus with their accessible resources and event opportunities. A few examples of what this looks like are:
- the student-food pantry which is available for those who struggle with food insecurity;
- Equity Roundtable events that discuss important racial, gender, and injustice issues;
- Body Positivity Fashion show that expresses body acceptance for all shapes and sizes.
The center provides excellent opportunities for the student body as well as great support and resources for when you are in time of need. Student to student, staff to student, they have your back.
Sustainability in SOU’s Curriculum
As mentioned in the Strategic Goal three, incorporating sustainability in the curriculum is critical for SOU wanting to achieve its milestones. In 2019-2020, the first cohort of the SOU Sustainability Curriculum Initiative (SOUSCI) presented by Pavlina McGrady, Chris Lucas, Jamie Trammel, and John Gutrich submitted a proposal to integrate environmental aspects of sustainability into courses and was graciously accepted. A cohort of 10 faculty members from the BCE department worked towards changing the curriculum to incorporate a “commitment to sustainability.” Pavlina McGrady, an assistant professor in the business department and the head of the sustainability cohort, mentions course examples and how sustainability could fit into them, “…from Argumentation and Critical Thinking, Operations Management, Food and Beverage Management, to Film Theory and Practice and Management Information Systems.” All these different courses can benefit from learning about sustainability and how to improve the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit).
The second cohort of the SOUSCI submitted a proposal for the 2020-2021 academic year to integrate social aspects of sustainability (equity, diversity, inclusion) and cohort of ten faculty, led by Alena Ruggerio, Precious Yaamguchi, and Pavlina McGrady, worked on integrating social elements of sustainability, with focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion into their curriculums. A few of the courses where EDI changes are implemented include Public Speaking, International Financial Management, Marketing, Land Use Planning, and Environmental Field Methods, among others. It is important to implement social aspects in courses because this allows students to gain an understanding of social justice and equity and obtain diverse leadership skills. Lastly, the SOUSCI team has submitted a proposal of integrating economic aspects of sustainability into the curriculum for academic year 2021-2022 with focus on economic aspects of sustainability (closing the loop of the triple bottom line). Another big milestone SOU has accomplished is offering a major in Sustainability! This degree will give students an opportunity to study and learn about sustainability in all aspects of people, planet, profit, and education! The Sustainability major will require courses from all different disciplines such as business, economics, environmental science, sociology and anthropology. The relation between courses will show students how important sustainability is in all fields of study.