Counseling and Wellness Services Statement on Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Gettysburg College Counseling and Wellness staff have the privilege of working with an accomplished and diverse student body. We are honored to work with students with various identities and lived experiences. We honor where students are in their developmental process.

We also acknowledge the impact of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, oppression, marginalization, power, and privilege on our students’ lives. Numerous barriers may prevent students from utilizing our services, including fear of not being heard or being misunderstood. Consequently, we continuously work to assess & remove these barriers, in order to ensure that Counseling and Wellness Services is accessible to all students on campus.

We acknowledge that we are a collective of individuals with various identities, some which are openly apparent while others are not. We are multifaceted persons with diverse cultural and educational approaches to service.

Despite our differences, both individually and collectively we strongly uphold these professional core values:

  • We value the dignity and worth of all human beings while treating each person with care, empathy and respect, continuously working to do no harm.
  • We value justice, recognizing that dismantling systems of oppression and ensuring equity are essential factors for social change, particularly with regard to vulnerable and oppressed individuals, groups, and communities.
  • We value integrity, acting honestly and responsibly while safeguarding the counselor/client relationship and maintaining professional ethical standards.
  • We value autonomy and self-determination by promoting the right of individuals to control the direction of their lives and the right to live according to their identities and values.
  • We value privacy and confidentiality while providing a safe environment where all can freely express themselves without judgment.

As a group, we support each other in the process of self-exploration around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, challenging our own biases and engaging in difficult dialogues. We take responsibility to educate ourselves and others about current events, privilege, oppression and systemic racism.

Current actions

What we are doing now to ensure that we meet our department’s mission:

  • Holding challenging conversations within our department
  • Increasing collaboration with and outreach to different departments on campus
  • Prioritizing regular, ongoing personal & professional development on issues related to social justice, equity, inclusion, power, and privilege
  • Speaking up and advocating for change when practices or policies are in conflict with our stated mission and values
  • Remaining relevant on resources for specific communities and advertising them to the campus community through our social media platform @GettysburgCWS
  • Facilitating conversations and providing opportunities for student feedback and reflection to ensure that we are meeting our stated mission & values statements and goals

What we plan to continue to do in the future:

  • Continue professional development on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Have ongoing conversations/opportunities for reflection with students to ensure that we are meeting our stated mission & values statements and goals
  • Invite student & community feedback about our work so we continue to expand our awareness on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging

Statement on Racial Violence & Discrimination

We are committed to fostering an anti-racist community of acceptance and respect. We acknowledge the consequences of racism and systems of oppression that have perpetuated discrimination and bias toward various individuals and communities in America. We denounce racism and bigotry in all forms, which can lead to traumas that can manifest as depression, anxiety, fear, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and anger. Counseling Services is committed to supporting and providing care for all of our students impacted directly or vicariously by trauma.

We encourage you to contact our office if you would like support with coping and healing.