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Our Stance

The staff of the Syracuse University Counseling Center is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment for everyone who utilizes our services.  The values of our staff and the clinical services of our center reflect our respect, empathy, compassion, and acceptance of all identities including but not limited to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religious and spiritual beliefs, age, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, political viewpoints, physical and mental abilities, size and appearance, and socio-economic status.

We recognize that power, privilege, and varying degrees of access to resources have created structures, communities, and institutions that have historically marginalized or oppressed individuals from certain identities and backgrounds. Social forces such as homophobia, racism, ethnocentrism, ableism, classism, and sexism have further served to marginalize numerous individuals as a result of their identity.   We further recognize that ongoing experiences with marginalizing and/or oppressive systems can negatively impact emotional and psychological well-being and contribute to mental health problems. 

Our staff seek to acknowledge the existence of oppressive and marginalizing systems and honor the experiences of our students who are impacted by these systems.  We strive to create a safe environment in which students who have experienced marginalization can feel validated, be heard and seen, and have an opportunity to address their concerns with culturally competent staff who are committed to social justice.  We strive to assist in giving voice and empowerment to our students and work with all of those within our university community as advocates of social change as we try to address and remove historic and systemic barriers to success, well-being, and psychological and emotional health.       

We strive to bring social justice to life in practical ways such as advocating for policy change, examining and removing barriers to accessing our office’s service, discussing the impacts of marginalization and oppression with our students in both individual and group therapy, attending social justice related events across campus and within our community, participating on related university committees and working groups, and continually exploring our own office’s allocation of resources. 

Our staff takes personal and organizational responsibility to grow in our own awareness and advocate for an open, just, and affirming community. We realize that in order to reduce barriers and bias externally, we must constantly look internally, and seek to continually engage in strengthening our own cultural competence through difficult dialogues, ongoing education, and ongoing commitment.  We believe that courage, respectful communication, empathy, and shared understanding provide the basis of this work and we recognize that none of us is perfect and we all have continued work to accomplish.

We invite you to explore the resources provided in this section of our website, engage in social justice related conversation with our staff, and to provide us feedback that you think may be important or helpful.

Statement Regarding the 2016 Presidential Election

Originally Published November 2016

We have just completed a divisive and painful election cycle, in which hurtful, frightening, intimidating and at times threatening rhetoric have been common place.  Social forces such as homophobia, racism, ethnocentrism, ableism, classism, anti-Semitism, and sexism have been central in this election cycle. While we recognize that this election cycle has impacted individuals from all identities, backgrounds, and political ideologies, we specifically recognize that members of our campus community from traditionally marginalized and/or oppressed identities may be experiencing unique and specific concerns related to the election outcome.  As our campus, community, and country hopefully move forward in healing and coming together, our office reaffirms our commitment to social justice, as we strive to end oppressive and marginalizing systems. We strive to create an environment in which those who have experienced marginalization can feel validated, be heard and seen, and experience safety.  We encourage those of you impacted by this election cycle or historical marginalization and oppression to seek support from the resources of Syracuse University as needed.  We additionally encourage everyone to engage in honest self-reflection to identify ways in which you may (even unconsciously) be contributing to the marginalization of others and work towards behavioral change that leads us to a more inclusive and welcoming community.

-The Staff of the Syracuse University Counseling Center