E-4 Sensitivity to Diversity (1993, revised 2002, 2014, 2017)

Policy Number: E-4

Policy Category: Dental School Admin Policies and Student Government

It is the position of the American Student Dental Association that each dental school should assure that its faculty and administration are sensitive to the cultural diversity and changing demographics of today's dental students.

Care must be taken to ensure that the dental school provides a safe and humane environment for all students and all members of the dental team, both physically and psychologically. Sexist, discriminatory, or other similarly insensitive language and practices are totally unacceptable.

Faculty members should review their course content and styles to use inclusive language, to eliminate all potentially offensive language and graphics, and to present information in an objective manner which is sensitive to differences in gender, ethnicity, age, religion, politics, and physical abilities.

The American Student Dental Association defines diversity as: differences and variations among and between individual characteristics, demographics and professional choices, including, but not limited to, race, religion, ethnic background, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identification and gender expression. ASDA recognizes the unique challenges faced by these diverse populations of students.

ASDA supports the recruitment of an applicant pool that represents the continually diverse population. ASDA encourages the appropriate dental school admissions agencies to give equal admissions consideration to undocumented students with intent to seek legal permanent status. ASDA supports the promotion of access to care for underserved diverse populations through legislative advocacy at the state and national levels. ASDA supports the development and enhancement of opportunities to create open communication regarding diversity among associations within organized dentistry.

ASDA supports the incorporation of diversity training and cultural competence as part of dental education. ASDA supports the retention of diverse dental students and new dentists in organized dentistry.

ASDA supports reasonable academic accommodations for religious and cultural observances.