SRU sports are for all

Published by and Tyler Howe, Date: October 17, 2022

Whether you are on the field, in a classroom, catching the Happy Bus or grabbing a quick bite to eat, Slippery Rock University and the surrounding community strive to welcome you to be true to who you are.

Diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging (DEIB) is not a mindset that the people of the Slippery Rock community have confined to any walls or put restraints on. If anything, Slippery Rock University, as well as the surrounding community, is thriving from its inclusive nature.

DEIB has been a positively progressing mindset and practice that Slippery Rock’s community has embraced.

When it comes to the SRU Rock Athletics as a whole, they’ve been hitting it out of the park.

Director of Athletics, Roberta Page, provided further insight into her opinion about the experiences within the athletics here and why DEIB is positively influencing the community.

“It’s never needed to be something that we’ve needed to address in a negative way,” said Page. “I’m proud of our teams, I’m proud of our coaches and I’m proud of our student athletes for the inclusive atmosphere that’s created here.”

Page described that everyone who participates alongside Rock Athletics is on the same wavelength as the rest of the university when it comes to promoting DEIB environments.

“Slippery Rock will always provide that environment,” said Page. “We mirror the population on campus, so we are no different than what I would hope other professors, or faculty, or staff would have within their groups on campus.”

Page has made it a point to bring up diversity in her meetings with all of the coaches on campus. Not only is there no tolerance for discrimination, but there is also an expectation of inclusion.

There has been no shortage of conversations about diversity between Page and each staff member on campus. In fact, her goal coming in was to create an open dialogue. This was so that she could make sure that each and every person feels safe and respected on this campus.

“We use open dialogue in our meetings, we have an environment where we can talk about almost everything,” Page said. “If that comes up and coaches have questions or thoughts, I’m certain that we’ve created an environment to have those types of conversations.”

It stems further than just sports, however. Page acknowledged that there is that same expectation of inclusion in the community. She’s right, and all that needs to be done to prove her point is to walk down main street.

“Our goal is to always provide a safe environment,” Page said. “We are no different and should be no different than anyone else outside of Slippery Rock. I don’t think we are doing anything differently than what others are doing across the country.”

Page further explained that she has never had to deal with any form of negativity in regard to DEIB in the athletic department. As well as that, discrimination will never be tolerated within the athletic department.

All of the work that is done by everyone behind the scenes to make people feel welcome is to show that Slippery Rock cares and supports everyone, according to Page.

“I think it shows our prospective student athletes that we care about them as individuals, not about what they bring,” Page said. “This is a very accepting campus and we are part of that campus.”

She is proud of Slippery Rock for creating a safe environment for people to continue being who they are.

“I am proud of our community,” said Page. “I’m proud of the athletic department, I’m proud of the university and I am proud of our town.

“We are a welcoming community to all.”


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