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Penn State Behrend's Definition of Diversity

The College is committed to the principle of equitable treatment of all individuals. At Behrend we are dedicated to providing an inclusive campus environment reflective of contemporary society. We acknowledge that while individuals are distinguished by a myriad of factors -- such as ethnic heritage, gender, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, ideologies, socio-economic status, life experiences, and physical characteristics and capabilities -- we demand that no one should be defined or narrowly perceived by these terms. Our commitment to diversity insists that individuals should be appreciated through their actions and beliefs, and not by their association with a particular group. Institutions of higher learning should be models of inclusiveness for society.

The College also affirms its belief that diversity has a critical role in a liberal education. A college campus provides a unique intellectual environment for individuals with different experiences, backgrounds, and values to interact with one another. An institution that embraces diversity facilitates discourse by providing all its members opportunities to examine new and unique ideas. Only through the open exchange of different beliefs, experiences, and values can individuals develop the important critical thinking skills that will serve them throughout their life. This type of liberal education allows students and faculty to create and share knowledge in a safe, accepting, and nurturing environment. The breadth of opinions and experiences that the members of our academic community share results in a richer education for all.