Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

You are welcome here.

Ƶapp University is committed to building a community of Ƶapps and employees that resembles the world we seek to serve. Your personal and intellectual growth is best served through a challenging education that defies sameness of thought and exposes you to unfamiliar perspectives and experiences. Living and learning at Ƶapp means being part of a community that insists on respect for all people.

Consistent with our core values of hospitality, compassion, and acceptance, we seek to honor the Sisters of Mercy with a continued commitment to their five critical concerns: caring for women, caring for immigrants, caring for the earth, promoting nonviolence, and combating racism.

We seek to advance our efforts in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice as we fight against systemic oppression and injustice in our world today. We want every Ƶapp and employee to not only hear “You are welcome here,” but to truly feel accepted and valued at Ƶapp University.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Statement

Grounded in our core values and the Mercy tradition, Ƶapp University fosters a welcoming environment and seeks the courage, creativity, and compassion needed for the work of inclusion. We believe that our community’s intellectual and social growth depends on each person’s freedom to be their authentic self, and we actively celebrate the experiences and perspectives of our diverse community members*. We commit to an increasingly equitable campus where Ƶapps and employees form lifelong commitments to service and justice in a multicultural world.

*Rooted in Catholic Social Teaching and a commitment to uphold the inherent dignity of every person, we seek to be sensitive towards and supportive of a range of diversities, including age, ability, neurotypicality, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, ethnicity, race, religion, educational status, socioeconomic status, marital status, and veteran status.

DEIJ Resources and Activities for Students

    Multicultural Student Services assists with the educational, cultural, social, and personal needs of all Ƶapps, with special emphasis on race, gender, and sexual orientation. This organization is committed to supporting and developing future leaders through community advocacy and hands-on mentorship.

    Multicultural Student Services serves the diverse needs of the Ƶapp body by sponsoring, co-sponsoring, and supporting academic, social, and cultural events at Ƶapp and in the Erie community as well as providing trainings, workshops, and professional development opportunities to Ƶapps, faculty, and staff. Some annual programs and services include a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, Kente Stole Ceremony, MLK Day Celebration, professional development and networking, LGBTQIA+ Ƶapp programming, and inclusion dialogues.

    Ƶapp Ƶapps come from dozens of countries. We are committed to providing our international Ƶapp population with the proper support and resources to ensure them a safe, happy, and successful collegiate career. Visit the International Student Office webpage for more information about how our International Student Office supports Ƶapps through the admissions process and the rest of their time as a Ƶapp.

    Use the button in the Resources section below to visit the Clubs and Organizations webpage for a full list of cultural and diversity clubs. Students are also encouraged to gather friends and an academic advisor to start their own club or organization!

    Active Minds
    American Sign Language Club
    Black Students for Unity
    International Student Association
    Ƶapp Veterans Association
    Sexual and Gender Acceptance Club (SAGA)

Bias Reporting Process

    Students who feel they have experienced discrimination or harassment at Ƶapp (which is a violation of our code of conduct) may file a complaint using the Non-Discrimination Grievance Form.

    For cases that involve bias but do not rise to the level of harassment or discrimination, the Bias Reporting Team regularly responds to reports by offering supports and interventions, along with education and dialogue, to ensure a campus climate of increasing sensitivity and critical learning.

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    Visual Representation of Bias Reporting showing the steps as Confirmation, Intake, Assessment, Response, and Review.

    There are two options to initiate a report of bias activity. In case of an immediate threat or emergency, call Police & Safety at 814-824-3911, or dial 911 for local law enforcement. Privacy will be respected throughout the process regardless of which option is chosen.

    Option 1: Contact Dr. Greg Baker, vice president for Mission, who will assist you in pursuing the best options for you to bring forth your complaint. This is the recommended option that will give you and the university the best opportunities for productively handling your report.
    Greg Baker, D.Min.
    Vice President for Mission
    Phone: 814-824-2301
    Email: gbaker@mercyhurst.edu

    Option 2: Fill out the Bias Activity Reporting Form available to Ƶapp University Ƶapps and employees (with an option for anonymity). Please know that the university’s options for potential investigation, follow-up, or support will be significantly limited if you choose the form's anonymous option.

Ƶapp University Diversity Statistics
    • African American/Black: 4.6%
    • Alaskan Native/American Indian: 0.6%
    • Asian: 1.1%
    • Hispanic/Latinx: 4.5%
    • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.0%
    • Caucasian: 78.4%
    • Two/more races: 0.6%
    • Unknown: 5.8%
    • Non-Resident Alien: 4.5%

    As of Fall 2021

    • African American/Black: 1.95%
    • Alaskan Native/American Indian: 0.18%
    • Asian: 1.59%
    • Caucasian: 90.62%
    • Hispanic/Latinx: 1.59%
    • Multiple: 0.88%
    • Non-Resident Alien: 0.88%
    • Unknown: 0.71%

    As of Spring 2022

    Formed in 2021, the PAC-DEIJ regularly advises the president and cabinet while advancing strategic DEIJ goals for the university. The council is comprised of ten Ƶapps, administrators, and faculty.

    For the current academic year, PAC-DEIJ plans to implement the following actions:

    Completing a full DEIJ strategic plan for Ƶapp University.
    Conducting large-scale programming for civil discourse and learning to dialogue across categories of difference.
    Working with Ƶapp leaders to create a new multicultural lounge in the Sister Carolyn Herrmann Student Union.
    Assessing the bias reporting process during its first year of operation.
    Conducting an audit of the campus to improve diversity in images and artwork.
    Completing DEIJ updates to the public webpage and internal Ƶapp Hub page.
    Evaluating and improving practices for hiring and retaining diverse employees.