The staff at the University of Central Florida Counseling Center have a commitment to providing a safe, welcoming environment for all students regardless of their gender, gender expression, ethnicity, race, culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical and mental abilities, and/or socioeconomic status.
The term "diversity" is meant in this statement to be inclusive of the categories just listed. Our statement on diversity is intended to be practical, not political. That is, we aim to demonstrate our view of diversity issues through our work with individual and group counseling, consultation, outreach presentations, program development, assessment, supervision, training, and research. In our professional roles, we stand at the intersection of diversity and mental/emotional health.
We recognize the impact of diversity issues on all individuals such as identity development, relationship formation, acculturation, stereotypes, oppression, discrimination, and prejudice. We make an effort to promote the acceptance and understanding of individuals with diverse backgrounds and to educate ourselves and others on diversity-related matters.
We strive to be affirming, respectful, and open minded of individuals with diverse backgrounds not only among ourselves within the Center, but across the campus community through our contact with all students, staff, faculty, and administrators. We see the richness and benefit of living in a multicultural society at large and at the University. We not only want to share this vision, but we hope to contribute to the reduction of problems such as prejudice, discrimination, and exploitation.
We encourage our staff and others to discuss and explore their own attitudes, values, and beliefs. We uphold the freedom for ourselves and others to remain committed to certain personal values. We also know that value conflicts and interpersonal challenges can arise from issues related to diversity, and that recognition and discussion of these differences often lead to further understanding and growth for everyone. In our efforts to be sensitive to the needs and backgrounds of everyone, we welcome our staff and others to initiate potentially difficult discussions in appropriate ways for the greater benefit of those involved.
We strive to recognize when our own diversity affects how we may relate to or work with our colleagues and the individuals we serve. It is part of our professional responsibility to gain continuing education for ourselves and our trainees regarding individuals of diverse backgrounds. We work towards recognizing and understanding the value of our similarities and differences.
While some of the ideals in this statement may be aspirational, we summarize our approach within this statement so that we can look to it as a guide for our practice, and to promulgate our affirmation of diversity not only within the Center but across the University. Our hope is that individuals in our Center, campus, and community feel at peace to live and be themselves.
ALLIES is a program created through CAPS and now in collaboration with The Office of Diversity Initiatives for UCF students, staff and faculty members interested in showing visual support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning (GLBTQ) persons at the university. An Ally will be open to answering questions or refer you to someone who can. Turn learn more about the ALLIES program, visit our site below.