Beginning in the Summer of 2015, a group identified as the Staff of Color Association (SOCA) began to meet formally to work on identifying ways to bring together minority staff in order to address their campus concerns. Minority staff have always been active in supporting minority students but there was no formal effort to support the needs of minority staff on campus. With the support and guidance of the Staff Council, the SOCA became a formal organization committed to meeting the needs of minority staff.
The Staff of Color Association (SOCA) is an association of staff committed to promoting the interests and advocating for the advancement of the minority community of Wheaton College. We honor and celebrate the diversity of our cultures and actively contribute to the enrichment of the College by:
- Providing support to its members,
- Sharing knowledge about the campus climate,
- Providing comprehensive support for students of color through outreach and programming,
- Being a resource for onboarding Staff of Color, and
- Providing support for the recruitment of diverse candidates throughout the College.
In meeting its mission, SOCA works in partnership with Wheaton College in the engagement, and fulfillment of the College’s mission. SOCA’s primary role is to promote the advancement, welfare, and interests of minority employees of Wheaton College while acknowledging the assets, cultural values, experiences, and histories of the minority community. As a result, in order to do its work, SOCA fully affirms the following guiding principles:
- SOCA believes in the mission of Wheaton College and in the College’s role as an agent for a just and equitable society.
- SOCA promotes social justice at all levels of the community and strives to advocate for social change.
- SOCA believes in a collaborative spirit and will work with campus organizations that are focused on betterment of the campus community.
- SOCA values and promotes diversity in all aspects of College life.
- SOCA believes in the importance and the right to have a good and fair work environment that supports all of our members’ career paths.
- SOCA respects and values the life experience of all of its members and believes that all voices and opinions are equally as important in order to meet SOCA’s mission and goals.
The Staff of Color Association (SOCA) is represented by Co-Chairs that serve alternating two year terms and have a representative to the Staff Council in order to communicate the groups work to the Council and to report back actions of the Council. Documentation of organization activities is done on a rotating basis in lieu of having a recognized Secretary. A schedule of annual meeting times has been created, with a goal of meeting in the summer and once per semester. Emergency meetings are able to be scheduled as necessary. The schedule is as follows:
While Faculty are not members of SOCA, they are invited to meetings as necessary to collaborate on issues affecting both constituencies.