Diversity , Equity, Inclusion , and Belonging

To achieve our goal of bringing together the most representative fraternity and sorority members, and to create an organization which will help to mold the sentiment of the institution on questions of local and intercollegiate affairs, Order of Omega is committed to fostering communities that value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.


Order of Omega is dedicated to meeting its purpose to bring together members of the faculty, alumni and student fraternity and sorority members of our host institutions on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and cooperation. We recognize that diversity, inclusion, and belonging in an academic environment add value to the educational experience. We are committed to fostering an environment that values and supports diversity, equity, and inclusiveness for the individuals of all backgrounds, orientation, and abilities.


• Access/Accessibility

 Improving access – or making an experience more accessible – means reducing economic, social, communication, and physical barriers to participation.

• Ally

This term might just be the hardest to fully define because it encompasses so many different elements. Put simply, an ally makes an active, conscious and consistent effort to promote a culture of inclusion through thoughts, words and actions. 

• Anti-Racism

 Is the intentional act of working to eliminate prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions based on the differences in race and ethnicity.

• Belonging

 Is the desire to form and maintain lasting, positive, and significant interpersonal relationships where one can be authentic and a part of something bigger than themselves. It is important that we cultivate brave spaces where our members can be their most authentic selves.

• Climate

Refers to the way that an organization is perceived and experienced by its individual members. Climate influences whether individuals feel valued, listened to, personally safe and treated with fairness and dignity within an organization.

• Discrimination

 Is treatment of individuals, based on conscious or unconscious prejudice, that favor one group over another.

• Diversity

Reflects the many ways in which individuals and communities are unique, contributing distinct and valuable experiences and perspectives to the mission and vision of an organization. Each Order of Omega member brings their own uniqueness to strengthen our organization. These characteristics impact the way a member is perceived and received by others, as well as how a member perceives the world.

• Engagement

Reflects an organization’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion internally and externally.

• Equity

 Is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people. In life, advantages and barriers exist – and as a result, we all don’t all start from the same place. Furthermore, equity reflects fairness in the distribution of and access to opportunity for all individuals.

• Gender pronouns

Pronouns let people decide how they want to be identified. Using gender pronouns is also a way for people to show their support of different gender expressions. For example: he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/their. 

• Identity

 Is how we define ourselves as individuals, including our personal characteristics, history, personality, name, race, sexual orientation, gender and other characteristics that make us unique and different from other individuals.

• Inclusion

 Reflects the manner in which individuals of diverse backgrounds are not only included but valued as necessary voices within an organization.  Order of Omega aspires to create an environment where all members feel they have a voice, are valued, feel validated and can fully participate.

• Inclusive Excellence

 Is the recognition that an organization’s success is dependent on how well it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of its community members, including its students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and affiliates.

• Innovation

Refers to the creation and introduction of a new, improved and transformative idea, initiative, practice or structure.

• Integration

Refers to the sustainable incorporation of an idea, initiative, practice or structure into an organization.

• Intersectionality

Is the overlapping of the unique characteristics, identities and personalities an individual holds which creates a perspective all their own.

• Isms

 Racism, sexism, classism, ageism, heterosexism — it’s important to understand that discrimination takes many forms. In the workplace, these are often subtle. It could manifest as women being interrupted by their male colleagues during meetings or older candidates who apply for a job being passed over for younger candidates.

• Microaggressions

Can be described as a result of unconscious bias. The stereotypes mentioned above may spur us to act toward others in ways that may seem innocuous to us — if we even think about them at all. When we compliment a person of color on their English-speaking ability, for example, we do so based on the assumption that English isn’t their first language.

• Multicultural competency

Those who possess multicultural competency acknowledge and value diversity and the worldviews that come with it, and possess interpersonal skills that reflect that value.

• Privilege

 Is access to resources based on being part of a societal group, which becomes an advantage over others.

• Servant leadership

Is a philosophy that focuses on leadership practices that enrich the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.

• Social Justice

Reflects the theoretical foundation used to guide the work of the Office of Institutional Diversity. A social justice framework is applied through the equitable distribution and access to opportunity for all individuals.

• Structural inequity

Structural inequity occurs when bias (not just racism) is rooted into the structures of society — legal, educational, professional and others — and gives certain groups an advantage and marginalizes or discriminates against other groups.

• Systemic racism

Systemic or structural racism is when racism is embedded into the structures of our society, working environment, government and organizations.

• Transformative Learning

 Is the expansion of awareness through the evolution of individual worldviews and perceptions of oneself. Transformative learning is facilitated through consciously directed processes such as accessing new information and frameworks and critically analyzing underlying premises.

• Unconscious bias

Our brain is hit with 10-11 million pieces of information at any given time. We can really only understand about 50 pieces of information at any moment, and we can only remember seven. Because we are not able to process all this information consciously, our brain takes shortcuts to process and categorize this information. It creates an image or stereotype, positive or negative, based on all these pieces of information and impressions. When we meet someone, we often take an impression or stereotype that already exists in our brain and subconsciously use it to understand that person. 

• Underrepresented communities

Consists of individuals holding identities broadly underrepresented or underserved within academic or administrative areas at Oregon State, within the state of Oregon and nationally in higher education.

• Viewpoint Diversity

The goal of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is not to make everyone think a certain way, or to force any particular idea on anyone. Rather, the goal is to provide space for multiple perspectives to be present, and to create an environment of mutual respect, even when our opinions differ.  

For a more extensive glossary of terms, please visit https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary