I say this because, on countless occasions, I have heard students mistake the Office of Multicultural Affairs for the ALANA Network, and vice versa; I have encountered students who do not know what OMA or ALANA stands for; and I have met students who are oblivious to the fact that the ALANA Network exists. As the current President of the ALANA Network, as much as I wish the Office of Multicultural Affairs and ALANA Network were household names with the majority of the students at the college, the reality is that this is not the case. As a result, I feel obliged to clarify certain things. Allow me to reintroduce the Office of Multicultural Affairs and ALANA Network.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs here at Assumption College is dedicated to creating and sustaining an environment that encourages and embraces the contributions of people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The Office of Multicultural Affairs works in conjunction with other departments to offer campus-wide programs on diversity-related issues, as well as advise and support the ALANA Network student group.
ALANA stands for African-Latino-Asian-Native-American. The ALANA Network is grounded in an understanding of diversity that includes people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, races, nationalities, religions or spiritual traditions, and socio-economic classes. ALANA Network programs and services are specifically designed to reach out to, support and celebrate the students here on campus, as well as educate the entire Assumption College Community on diversity issues.
The paragraph above outlines the mission statement of the ALANA Network, which you will find written in bold yellow print on this year's ALANA Network poster, but, in summary, what we truly do is cross boundaries and build bridges. We cross boundaries by moving beyond ideas and practices that divide us as a campus such as stereotyping and discrimination in order to see people for who they truly are humans, the one attribute we all have in common. We build bridges by establishing strong connections and developing genuine, long-lasting relationships with our peers.
A common misconception is that the ALANA Network is strictly for minority students. If you are yet to hear otherwise, let me be the first to openly denounce this argument. Although the ALANA Network celebrates the students here on campus, we also foster cooperation and have a strong sense of community. The ALANA Network is a welcoming environment for all students here at Assumption College. It is important to note that diversity refers to a community of people who have identifiable differences in their backgrounds or lifestyles. Thus, when we speak of promoting diversity here at Assumption, we are referring to the entire Assumption College Community and not just a handful of the student body.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs and ALANA Network here at Assumption College play a big role in the experiences of many students. They both serve as resources to students, create a comfortable and welcoming environment for students and ultimately foster unity amongst the entire Assumption College Community. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Office of Multicultural Affairs and ALANA Network.
The ALANA Network meets every Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in the Student Activities Resource Room, located below Hagan Campus Center. We also have a number of events throughout this semester - our first being the Latino Festival on Thursday, October 1, 2009 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in Hagan Campus Center Hall. That being said, I encourage you to attend any of our general meetings or events. You are also welcome to stop by the Office of Multicultural Affairs located in Hagan Campus Center. Your presence is appreciated at all times."