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.