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.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Le Provoc: Multicultural Affairs Article #2

" At Assumption, the word diversity has been downplayed to only refer to racial diversity. As a result, we tend to forget that there are other forms of diversity, such as gender diversity, sexual diversity, and, in this case, religious diversity. Assumption College is a Catholic institution where religion and faith are taken seriously as an integral part of the human experience, and, at Assumption several Catholic traditions are upheld. As a non-Catholic Christian at Assumption, I sometimes find myself feeling out-of-place, and although Assumption is welcoming to people of all religious faiths, I can't help but find myself shying away from activities held in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, such as candlelight prayer, and daily mass. Although my feelings are not representative of the entire non-Catholic population at Assumption, I know, through several conversations, that there are other students who share my sentiments. At a point, I asked myself, "If I, a Christian at Assumption, sometimes felt out-of-place, how must other students of different faiths, specifically Muslims, feel about going to Assumption, a Catholic institution?" This question resulted in a series of discussions, which eventually led to my interest in writing this article.

You are probably asking, "Why is he concerned specifically with how Muslims feel about attending Assumption?" In order for you to understand why such a question even came to mind, it is important that I give you a brief personal history of my life. I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, in West Africa. In Nigeria, the two major religions are Christianity and Islam. We also have a variety of other religions which tend to vary regionally. As a result, I have been highly exposed to Islam since my childhood. I grew up having quite a number of Muslim friends who, even after middle school and high school, I am still in close contact with. As a result, during the times I felt out-of-place, I always wondered what their experiences were, or would have been, if they were enrolled in other Catholic institutions. In asking this question, I decided to find out what the Muslim population at Assumption was, as I am yet to meet any Muslim students at Assumption. My research opened my eyes to a lot of things.

In my research, I was unable to find data on the student body as a whole, but I was able to get data on the freshman and senior class from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). In the 2008 CIRP Freshman survey, concerning students' current religious preference, of the 591 students who responded, 67.8 percent were Roman Catholic, and 0.0 percent were Islamic/Muslim. The data from NSSE concerning students' current religious preference in 2007 shows that, of the 125 seniors surveyed, 74 were Roman Catholic and none were Islamic/Muslim. This finding amazed me for reasons different from what you might expect. I was in no way expecting to find a high percentage of Islamic/Muslim enrollments, so these findings did not come as a shock to me, they merely proved my earlier assumptions. I was more amazed at how I had been oblivious to all the other religious faiths besides Catholicism and Islam. In my quest to raise awareness about one religious faith, I had subconsciously excluded a host of other religious faiths. I had ignored that fact that there were other religious faiths besides Catholicism and Islam, such as Hinduism, Judaism, Quakers, Later Day Saints and countless others.

At this point, you are probably wondering where I am going with all of this. My whole point is that as we go through our daily activities, we must remain cognizant of the fact that all people do not share similar religious beliefs, and in our expression of our own religious faiths, we should be respectful of all other religious faiths. We must ensure that Assumption continues to truly remain a welcoming environment for people of all faiths."
Usen Esiet '10
Vice President, ALANA Network

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spain National Day 2008

Spanish National Day is a major public holiday celebrated every year on October 12, to commemorate Spain’s reunification and the successful voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1492. The parade goes through the capital city of Madrid and is attended by the Spanish royals and government officials. Other festivities and processions occur all over the country.

In celebration of this year’s Spanish National Day, soldiers took part in the parade in Madrid, Spain on the 12th of October, 2008. At the ceremony, some 4,000 officers and soldiers, 250 military vehicles and 70 warplanes were in attendance. Spain’s Royal Family also joined the rest of the country in celebration at the National Day Parade last Sunday.

Here are some pictures from this splendid event:

In the picture above from left to right, Princess Letizia of Spain, Crown Prince Felipe, Princess Elena, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain. Also in the back ground are Princess Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin.

Here are some other pictures:

Pictures courtesy of and

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dedication Honors the Works Martin Luther King Jr.

"A boulevard fit for a King"

By Sandy Meindersma CORRESPONDENT

WORCESTER— City Hall’s foyer echoed with the sounds of a gospel choir at the beginning of yesterday’s commitment march and dedication ceremony for the newly named Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Central Street was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard effective July 1, 2008, after a June 2007 vote by the City Council to change the street’s name.

In celebration of the newly named street, a crowd of nearly 300, including members of five black churches, gathered at City Hall before marching down Main Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard for the dedication ceremony at the DCU Center.

Stacy DeBoise Luster, human resource manager for the Worcester public schools, welcomed the crowd to City Hall, declaring that the Knights of Zion “had awakened the gospel in all of our souls.”

“This is where all the black leadership is,” Mrs. Luster said. “It’s in our churches, our pastors, our leaders and our choirs. It’s all of you.”

Following a welcome address from Mayor Konstantina B. Lukes, the crowd, led by the Worcester Combined Church Choir, marched the six blocks down Main Street to the renamed boulevard and gathered at the DCU Center for the dedication ceremony.

At the DCU Center, state Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester, called the day “one to honor the memory of a man who is an icon in American history.

I’m delighted to see this black community so united,” Mrs. Chandler said. “But this is not just a one-day event. To honor Dr. King’s legacy, you must stay united.”

The keynote speaker, state Rep. Byron Rushing, D-Boston, called on the audience to honor Dr. King with their own lives.

“We are gathered here to commemorate Martin Luther King,” Mr. Rushing said. “But not just one man, but a whole race, a whole movement. We honor all who by faith have been true to what they know is right.”

“To be faithful to the name of this street,” Mr. Rushing said, “we must ask the question: Can we commemorate ourselves in this legacy — where do we fit?

“If Martin Luther King were alive today, he would be working for decent jobs at decent salaries, for unions and for the poor and working people. He would still say that nonviolence is an effective strategy.

“As we reflect on his life, these words and why we named this boulevard, work for justice, freedom and peace and to end oppression,” he said.

Courtesy of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Le Provoc: Multicultural Affairs Article #1

"I would like to begin by welcoming the Class of 2012. You made the right choice by coming here, and your time at Assumption College is an opportunity for each of you to develop into the person you truly want to be. I advise you to find those opportunities that appeal to you and get involved. I missed out on a lot during my freshman year because I did not seize the chances I had, and I do not want any of you to make that mistake.

I would also like to welcome the rest of the Assumption College community, and thank you for all your support at our various events last year. Your support makes what we do worthwhile, and encourages us to keep coming up with new ideas and events to get our message across.

Under the guidance of Brenda Safford, the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Charlaine St. Charles, our Graduate Assistant, the African, Latino, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Network is committed to creating a campus atmosphere where all cultures are embraced and celebrated, and where there are opportunities for students to share their heritage and learn about the heritage of others. We all have a culture to share.

I would like to encourage you to get involved in our mission by attending our events and sharing your thoughts in our meetings. We have already kicked off our event schedule with the performance by the Jamaican Steel Drum Band, Ewabo, which we co-hosted with the Campus Activities Board. Coming up are the Latino Festival on October 9, and the Nintendo Wii Raffle which you will be learning more about in the coming weeks.

New this year is "All in the Mix: The Official ALANA Network Blog" maintained by our Vice President, Usen Esiet. The blog will be kept up to date with reports on our events and the various cultural holidays that we will be celebrating. The blog can be found at We also have new Executive Board members who have made the leap from the general membership. Mona Al-Abad will be serving as our Public Relations executive, and Marely Garcia will be serving as our Community Outreach executive. Returning from last year on the Executive Board our Secretary, Lammar Cash, Noelia Chafoya as our Treasurer, and Brian Collier as our Member-At-Large.

Beginning on September 18, our general meetings will be held every Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Student Activities Resource Room in the basement of Hagan. I encourage you to attend our meetings. We love to hear your ideas and get your feedback, and our meetings are a good way to find ways to get involved in planning our events.

I hope to see you all at our events this year, and feel free to stop by at the Office of Multicultural Affairs in Charlie's to say hello.Have a great year!

Have a great year!"

Ukeme Esiet '09
President, ALANA Network.
Creative Commons License ALANA Network Official Blog by Usen Esiet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at