Barron talks need for 'All In' at Quality Advocates Network

February 12, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State President Eric Barron discussed the need for the University’s ‘All In’ diversity and inclusion effort during a presentation to the Quality Advocates Network on Feb. 10 on the University Park campus.

Barron said Penn State’s desire to address today’s climate, including increased diversity across the country, hostility to different viewpoints and populations, anger on social media and growing protests, was a major reason for the creation of ‘All In,’ which launched in October 2016. The idea for ‘All In’ began with a small group of students who expressed the need for more education and awareness around the topic of inclusion.

“We wanted to face this head on,” Barron said. The principles driving ‘All In’ center on promoting inclusion, encouraging civil discourse and challenging all perspectives.

Barron said those core principles have materialized in five distinct ways: how the University serves and supports different groups; how Penn State provides education; the manner in which the University recruits students and hires and trains employees; promoting dialogue within the campus community; and spreading awareness of diversity and inclusion as necessary to sustain a successful society.

Barron cited a number of new as well as long-standing efforts in diversity and inclusion across Penn State’s campuses, such as a mentoring program for underrepresented students at Penn State Law, Military Appreciation Week, New Student Orientation and a proposal by Housing and Food Services to offer a Halal and Kashrut option at the renovated East Food District in Findlay Commons on the University Park campus for observant Muslim and Jewish students.

Barron said the initiative is not a “campaign,” but more of a grassroots movement that must “result in actions that are sustained.”

The president also touched on the meaning of “We Are,” explaining that everyone at Penn State — regardless of their differences — is entitled to be at the University. “You earned the right to be here,” Barron said.

Looking ahead, Barron said the ‘All In’ Capstone — a permanent tribute representing Penn State’s commitment to diversity and inclusion — will be announced in April, and events will continue throughout the year focused on inclusion and creating a welcoming environment.

“’All In’ is becoming more important,” said Barron. “In my mind, it is more important than ever.”

Last Updated February 14, 2017