Office Of Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) was established in 2002 to support the College’s efforts to attract, recruit, and serve both students of color and international students. Our mission is to create and sustain an environment that encourages and embraces the contributions of people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Congratulations ALANA NETWORK!

On Sunday, April 29, 2012, Tyler K. Alston-Swan and Anna Hunt were invited to the Student Government Association Brunch. At this Brunch the ALANA Network was awarded the Assumption College Club of the Year Award by the Student Government Association. Requirements for this award are as follow: dedication and commitment to their cause throughout the year, successfully meet all student club and organization requirements, kept an active and involved membership throughout the year, and had an overall positive impact on the entire Assumption College community. CONGRATULATIONS ALANA NETWORK!!! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

OMA student discusses passive consumption of the news media

We passively take in a massive amount of information on a daily basis, more than our conscious minds can handle. By the end of the day we've forgotten the majority of that information. But what about the things we take note of and intentionally store in our memories such as lectures, advertisements, newspaper articles, newscasts or stories? I would argue that although we do not obtain this information subconsciously we are still obtaining it passively. 
The American Heritage dictionary defines the word passive as "accepting or submitting without resistance;compliant." As a society we accept information as it is given to us by the popular media. We deem particular people (newscasters, editors and other professionals) as credible sources of information. 
We often do not consider that the information we are receiving from them may not be entirely true. In reality the media is often presenting us with biased information that perpetuates rigid social constructs such as gender roles and other stereotypes or misconceptions.
In addition, other professionals such as doctors, scientists or teachers also present us with less than comprehensive information. In many cases it is not that these professionals are trying to mislead us, it may just be that they do not have all the facts themselves or may only be presenting one aspect of the information. 
Think about when you go into to a clothing store. A responsible sales associate politely greets you then directs you to the store's sales rack. Among other things, the associate tells you how little the clothes cost and how nice they look. 
What they do not tell you is that those clothes are on sale because no one else was interested in buying them, they have a high rate of returns, or they are made with a thin fabric that is easily damaged. 
On the surface you see nice looking clothes at a low price so you buy them without knowing all the facts. As a society we are always "buying" things or "buying into" things without knowing all the facts.
As daily consumers of information, it is scary to think that many of us are forming opinions and making complex life choices without considering or knowing all of our options. Luckily, popular media isn't all bad. With social media a simple post can provide someone (particularly young adults and other youth) with an instant forum for discussion, debate and information sharing. With that simple action we can become active and informed consumers of information. We can even take it a step farther; with a little poking around the Internet anyone can receive a wealth of additional information from peer-reviewed sources to blog postings.
With all of the over-simplified generalizations we take in on a daily basis, 21st century technology provides us with a simple means of accessing more in depth and varied sources of information. 
Of course it is crucial that we are just as critical of the information we receive online as we are of other sources; however, seeking out a variety of sources allows us all to make more socially responsible informed decisions. 
It is important for everyone in all facets of life to remain cognizant of the fact that there is almost never only one side to a story or one right answer. 
Next time you turn on the news or hear a convincing argument give it a second thought or a third or even a fourth. If you're feeling particularly daring, maybe you'll even tweet about it. 
- Anna Hunt 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Office of Multicultural Affairs Questions: Why Are We Here?

In my life, through my eyes, this is my observation. This is my theory.  In my generation, becoming more evident with every class entering Assumption College, gaining knowledge, experience and fully exploiting the benefits of attending college becomes less of a priority.  
Now, I haven't had the time to gather any statistical data through means of thorough research to validly claim what I am about to state. But, I cannot shake the feeling that college is becoming the new "high school." Let me attempt to relax your puzzled face after trying to understand that obscure statement. Throughout my childhood, I always knew I would be going to college. My entire family drilled that into my head from before I can remember. "The only way you're going to college is with your brain," my mother would tell me. 
Always a bright boy, what she meant by this is that neither she nor my father had the money to send my twin and me to college. Therefore, going to college meant no money would be coming out of their pockets. Moving away from, in my opinion, the ridiculous price it takes to attend a fine institution such as this, college wasn't always the normal mindset. College may have been on the agenda for millions of people back to my parents' and grandparents' generations, but college wasn't a part of the norm. Now, again, my knowledge on this matter doesn't exceed what I have heard through family, teachings, friends and colleagues. Back to my point; receiving a high school diploma or a GED was the main goal of education in prior generations. Going to college was a blessing. Do I believe attending college and receiving higher education is still a blessing? Yes; but I feel it has lost some meaning.
Remember when I said I cannot shake the feeling that college is becoming the new high school? And, throughout my childhood, I always knew I would be going to college? Well this mindset of "I always knew I would be going to college" I feel doesn't just lie in me, but with my generation. My parents didn't even know if they would finish high school, and yet I haven't doubted I would be going to college. I get all variations of the same answer: "I always knew I would be going to college," when I ask students how long have they've known they wanted to attend college. There is no problem with that. It's great. This mindset has allowed myself and others not to think of high school as the end of our educational journey because that wouldn't feel "right." 
High school is slowly becoming, hypothetically speaking, the "middle school" our parents have gone through to get to the end of our educational journey, the "normal end" that has been high school for years. College is becoming more of the minimum of our educational standard we have for ourselves, thus making college more of the norm. I'm afraid that this has resulted in students taking college and all it has to offer less seriously. This is not okay.
I do not intend to call anyone out. I am not purposely trying to make anyone upset or feel offended. I assume there will be people who will disagree with me. I also assume this might not pertain to everyone. I only intend to express my opinion and share my thoughts.
With that being said, I have some questions I want you to think about. I don't have the answers, only you do. All I want you to do is think about these questions and be true to yourself. 

Why did you want to attend college?
What do you want to get from attending college and why?
What goals do you want to achieve through your college career?
How are you going to achieve them?
If you don't have any goals, why don't you?
What resources are you tapping into?
Why are you tapping into those resources?
What are you doing now that will benefit your future?
How involved in your college community are you?
How involved are you outside of your college community?
If your apart of a student organization/club, how involved and engaged are you?
Do you passively attend meetings?
If you want to see changes, are you actively trying to make those changes happen?
Do you fully understand what you organization/club stands for?
Are you happy with your choice of major?
Why/Why not 
Have you done research about your major or intended major? 
What separates you from the students sitting next to you in class?
What do you have to offer to your college? 
What do you have offer the world post-graduation? 
Just think about it. Why are you here?
- Tyler Alston-Swan

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