Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.78
Liaison Jennifer McLaughlin
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

South Dakota State University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Jennifer McLaughlin
Sustainability Intern
Facilities and Services
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Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:


Policy and Procedure Manual
SUBJECT: Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Affirmative Action
1. Purpose
This policy sets forth the University’s position on equal opportunity and non-discrimination
among its employees, students, visitors, and other members of the University community and
implements SDBOR Policy 1:19 and related provisions.
2. Policy
a. The University offers equal opportunities in employment and for access to and
participation in education, extension, and other services at the University to all persons
qualified by academic preparation, experience, and ability for the various levels of
employment or academic program or other University service, without discrimination
based on sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender
identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic
information, veteran status, or any other status that may become protected under law
against discrimination.
b. The University, in conjunction with state and federal law and applicable SDBOR and
University policies, is committed to the objectives of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and affirmative action. Redress for alleged violations of those laws may
be pursued at law, or through the procedures established in University Policy 4:6 through
the University Title IX/EO Coordinator.
i. Title IX/EO Coordinator contact information shall be maintained and made
available in, and disseminated to the University community and general public
by, the University Title IX/EO Coordinator Office located in the University
Office of Human Resources, or successor unit.
c. The University President is responsible for assuring that the principles of SDBOR Policy
1:19 and this policy are communicated effectively to the University community and the
public at large. The Title IX/EO Coordinator is designated as responsible for providing
notice to employees, students, and other members of the University community regarding
equal opportunity at the University. The means may include seminars or other public
service or instructional programming and shall include notices to be posted or otherwise
incorporated into University promotional materials. Such notices will clearly identify
persons who are responsible for the implementation of equal opportunity policies and
should advise readers or listeners of how they might contact the responsible University
official to obtain further information or to express concerns.
Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Affirmative Action Page 2 of 2
d. The Title IX/EO Coordinator, upon approval of the University President, may establish
an advisory committee to assist the Title IX/EO Coordinator with the University’s
strategies for addressing equal opportunity, non-discrimination, and affirmative action at
the University.
3. Responsible Administrator
The Title IX/EO Coordinator, successor, or designee is responsible for annual and ad hoc review
of this policy. The University President is responsible for approval of modifications to this policy.
SOURCE: Approved by President on 08/01/2014. Revised (clerical edits only) on 11/16/2018.

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

SDSU has developed a protocol for notifying top administration of discriminatory and other issues of a sensitive nature that have the likelihood of impacting the campus climate. The protocol includes a flowchart of who will be notified, based on job position, and the steps that university officials will take to respond to relevant incidents. At this time, the process is called Campus Climate Response Chart, and the process and name are fluid. Immediately after receiving information about a related incident, the appropriate senior staff members will be informed and the need to file a report under the emergency response plan will be considered. A determination is then made regarding whether a University response is warranted along with relevant employees who need to be notified. Identification and outreach to relevant groups occurs next, in addition to communication with impacted individuals. Finally, continued monitoring of the incident occurs until the incident is no longer likely to impact the campus community.


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Managers, supervisors, contract recruiters, and any other personnel involved in interviewing or communicating with job applicants must follow these procedures and avoid any form of discrimination, intentional or unintentional. All hiring managers and search committee members are required to complete on-line training regarding the interviewing and selection of candidates, prior to the interview stage of the hiring process. The training is required during the initiation of the hiring process and/or prior to participating on the first search committee. A refresher course is required on an annual basis. In addition, all employees are required to complete annual, on-line, Title IX training, as a measure to ensure gender discrimination does not occur. The following programs were designed and/or implemented to assist SDSU with meeting its affirmative action goals:
1.A 25 minute, on-line, training on candidate selection and interviewing, for all Hiring Managers and Search Committee Chairs.
2.In-person “Recruitment and Selection Process Training” on the purpose and roles of search committees, employment discrimination and the prohibition of such discrimination, and the Diversity Advocate Role.
3.A Diversity Advocate is assigned for every search to ensure that search committee members remain cognizant of the importance of giving full consideration to underrepresented populations.
4.Conducting analyses of all position descriptions when the position turns over to insure that the description is properly classified to represent the actual essential job functions.
5.Providing hiring authorities and supervisors access to position descriptions under their supervision.
6.Providing employees access to their position descriptions.
7.Providing access to all Career Service Act (CSA) position classifications via the Internet.
8.Evaluating the selection process to insure bias-free hiring processes.
•Reviewing posting data and other pre-employment forms to insure that the criteria required for the
position is job-related and necessary to be successful in the position.
•Informing hiring authorities, supervisors and search committee members on proper techniques for hiring,
interviewing, etc.
•Training on and assisting hiring authorities and supervisors with EEO issues.

SDSU currently uses the following techniques to improve recruitment and increase the flow of minority and female applicants:

•Include the phrase, “Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer” in all printed employment advertisements;
•Inform hiring managers and search and screen committees that women and minorities are underutilized within our employee population and ask that they focus their efforts on assisting the institution in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce.
•Include the statement, “South Dakota State University is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce” on all recruitment materials;
•Within the Human Resources Office, provide individual assistance and technology access to applicants with disabilities, persons who do not have access to a computer, and/or persons who have difficulty submitting an application on the Online Employment System.
•Advertise all position vacancies on HigherEdJobs.com in order to reach more minorities and women applicants nationwide.
•The Online Employment System automatically sends email notifications to the local South Dakota Department of Labor location each time our institution posts a position vacancy or closes a position posting.
•Conduct monthly trainings on Equal Opportunity and special topics related to harassment, discrimination and affirmative action.

The American Indian Student Center hired a Native American Recruitment Coordinator (student specific) in April 2018. This new position is funded under the Wokini Initiative.

The American Indian Student Center hosts American Indian recruitment days through Admissions. In addition, they work with the Flandreau Indian School when the come up to SDSU for various programs, AISC ensures to talk about their center.

The American Indian Student Center is also involved in SDSU to You where faculty and staff go the road to the reservations and help the students sign up for classes, housing, etc.

SDSU Admissions has a Multicultural Recruitment Coordinator.

JackRabbit reception has Veterans Affairs Office attend and recruit our military members and veterans.

The Disability Office has helped with special campus tours to focus on our accessibility.

Upward Bound prepares high school students for success in college. Upward Bound helps students by focusing early on developing academic skills and motivation. Counseling, as well as social and recreational activities, expand and encourage confidence our program participants.

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is actively involved in the cultural and educational development functions of the University. The office works closely with campus support services to provide resources to ethnic minority students and cultural organizations. The following are a few of the services the center provides to students: Academic Tutorial Services, Computer Resources, Cultural Programs, Multicultural Resource Library, National Student Exchange Program, Personal Support, Social and Educational Activities, Student Lounge/Study Space, and Weekend Programs.

The SDSU Gender & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) is a campus student organization created to promote the education of students and community members alike about LGBTQ issues, gender identity, and the current issues in our society relating to them. This is not an organization specifically about gay pride; GSA's goal is to break down the walls standing between those of differing sexualities and gender identities and expressions. Their website provides information on a LGBTQ+ friendly counselor as well as information on the LGBTQ+ housing opportunities, list of gender inclusive/neutral bathrooms, and various book resources to learn more. The Allied for Acceptance Living Learning Community is a community for students who place a high value on inclusiveness for people of all identities, including gender identity and sexual orientation.

Various students on campus are related to different cultures. These include Black Student Alliance, Latin American Student Association, Gender & Sexualities Alliance, American Indian Students Association, and American Indian Science and Engineering Society as well as clubs specific to Bangladeshi, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Nepalese, Saudi, Sri-lankan, and Turkish students.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, campus hosts a "Friendsgiving" to all who are unable to go home.

American Indian Student Center
The AISC offers retention advising support to all self-identified American Indian/Alaskan Native students. Peer Tutors and mentors are also available. AISC provides the following resources: retention advisement, advocacy social, cultural, and academic programming, academic workshop series, organizational student leadership development, community & profession referrals, financial aid guidance, enrollment and registration assistance, and first year seminar. Additional programming and information about the above listed resources are below:
*Beading & Drumming Circles
*Sunka Wakan (Sacred Horse) program - In an effort to create a space to honor cultural identities of Native American students, the American Indian Student Center (AISC) in collaboration with the Equine Science program developed the Sunka Wakan program. They utilize the horse as a partner to enrich the first-year experience of Native students both culturally and socially.
*Textoobk, laptop, and school supplies (clickers/calculators) are available on loan.
*Encouragement Dinner - Mid-semester the AISC hosts a dinner for American Indian students to gather, share a meal and share stories and words of encouragement with one another. The event provides an opportunity for guest speakers, staff and faculty to support our students in their educational journey.
*Oyate Yuwitaya Tipi (OYT) Living Learning Community is open to all first and second-year students who self-identify as American Indian or who have an interest in history, culture, or contemporary American Indian issues.
*First Year Experience Orientation - The AISC Orientation program is held in late August during the week prior to the start of fall classes. It is provided at no cost to new and transfer students. The early move-in and expanded orientation is designed to build community and establish a sense of belonging at SDState. Families are welcome to join in during the first day of the program.
*Student Organization Leadership Retreat - AISC hosts a one-day training session for the two Native Student Organizations to understand leadership roles and expectations and to identify goals for the upcoming academic year. Student officers participate in team building exercises in order to build relationships within the Native community at SDState.

SDSU has 5 Affinity Groups. These groups are designed as support groups for minority faculty and staff. The groups include:
- Sister Circle is for female African Americans
- Brother Cirle is for male African Americans
- Los Ambros is for Latino males
- ERG Group is for LGBTQ+
- Female Leaders is for females who serve in administrative roles such as department heads and deans.

Warrior Wellness is a committee that promotes mental health and safety for our military and veteran students.ROTC and Mental Health services has a once a semester check in for mental health. Veterans Affairs Resource Center is open 24/7 for students, staff and faculty to use. Student group Armed Forced Association meets year round and conducts several events to support out military students on campus.

SDSU offers two TRIO programs that support first generation and income eligible students in college access, preparation and success. Both programs provide proactive support systems that increase the probability of student success and graduation from college.

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is designed to provide a supportive community for students in transition to college. Our enthusiastic staff provide various support services to promote each participant’s personal, academic and professional achievement. These supports include advising, academic resources, peer mentoring, career planning and involvement opportunities.

SDSU also has a disability service coordinator for students and and ADA coordinator for all of campus.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.