UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Inclusivity

"Inclusivity", like "Sustainability", is a major goal defined in the UWRF Strategic Plan.  By definition, sustainability is the intimate synergy of environmental, social, and economic performance (often referred to as the "triple bottom line" of performance, or the "three-legged stool"), as it is applied to personal, professional, and/or civic life.  The social performance element is most often referred to in the contexts of social justice, equity, or responsibility, and increasingly under the umbrella of inclusivity and community well-being.  UWRF, from the beginning, consciously positioned its sustainability initiative under the context of "community".   As goal 2 states, "UWRF will model and champion the principles of sustainable community development".

In other words, while the vast majority of other campuses in the country launched their sustainability initiatives from an environmental performance context, UWRF is one of the very few campuses to establish a "sustainable campus community" platform, providing one of the richest multidisciplinary and multicultural learning environments with a holistic, systems-thinking approach to critical analysis, problem solving, and entrepreneurial style solutions.  Critical to understanding the value of this is to recognize that every environmental issue is a social and economic issue to one degree or another, and vice-versa in each order of focus.  There can be no true and lasting solution to any major environmental issue unless there is a social and economic solution, whether it be in regard to global climate change, food vulnerability, water supply, land use, species loss, inner city air pollution, lead paint exposure, or the myriad of other local to global contexts.

Inclusivity, in the full breadth and depth of its meaning, is critical in two ways.  First, it means achieving the safest and most nurturing educational environment that UWRF can provide for each and every student regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or geographic and international origin (not to mention Packer vs. Viking vs. I hate football fans).  And second, it means that the integrity of social conscience and process by which each and every voice is heard and participatory in the decision-making process of the campus and its external stakeholders is as important as the technical solutions and economic benefits to be reaped.

This section of the SCISCD website is devoted to advancing the discussion and demonstration of inclusivity initiatives in the context of a sustainable campus community approach.  We look forward to your suggestions and contributions to such.

Asian-American woman