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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Millennium Leadership Conference

            As a freshman, I was highly impressed by my first leadership conference at Clark University. The main focus of the event was striving to become tomorrow’s leaders.  One of the workshops that I attended was “What you need to know to become tomorrow’s leader today!”  The session expressed that leaders are crazy enough to believe that they are able change the world despite what they do or accomplish.  Leaders must be able to adapt to their environments and the modifications of them.  Listening to consumers is a vital aspect of leadership because they need to be able to serve their desires.  Leaders use their emotions to move people and inspire them to strive to follow their example.  Leaders are more importantly, not afraid of failure.  If one fails once and decides not to try or pursue their goal again, then they will resign at the same position of life that they failed in and will never progress.
            There were a few wonderful motivational speakers who spoke at the conference.  Domingo Guyton, from Boston Ma, discussed his hardships growing up, to his success in popular music, to his success in gospel music and expressing that we must be positive role models.  Then Joshua Fredenburg, who is an entrepreneur and author, preached that leaders must evaluate themselves and their responsibilities.  I have met many new people and fellowshipped with the people I already knew in many ways.  I felt honored to attend my first conference.  The millennium leadership conference was an excellent and fulfilling experience, which is highly recommended.             

- Brandon Lee

Thursday, December 1, 2011

OMA on the Importance of Reading

Like many 20-year-old college students, procrastination is an addiction, a hard habit to kick to the curb. In the midst of our procrastination high, Facebook may be a recurring side affect. 
As I was procrastinating and spending time on my Facebook page, I came across someone's bio that read, "I do not like to read." And although it wasn't a shock to me, I found myself thinking intently about the very notion of reading and it reminded me of a quote I read in Malcolm X's autobiography: "Where else but in prison could I have attacked my ignorance by being able to study intensely sometimes as much as fifteen hours a day?" 
Malcolm X studied by reading many books. He said that reading [books] was the best way to attack his own ignorance. In the college community, I found through experience that not many people are willing to pick up a book. 
Of course, many classes require students to read, but who does that anymore? It is a commonality for students to ignore required texts in favor of a much more addictive form of reading and writing, such as Facebook and Twitter. 
I'm not saying that these social media outlets aren't good resources, because as witnessed in Egypt, they were the main contributors to a revolution. I am more concerned with books and why students leave them to collect dust on unattended shelves.
I remember reading an article one day written by Marc Lamont Hill, an associate professor of education at Columbia University, in which he said, "Sadly, it seems that the next generation won't have...a lifelong connection tobooks...because books matter less and less in our society." He also went on to say, "The problem isn't the death of reading, it's the death of books. And book culture." 
This is exactly what I've witnessed as a college student. It seems as if reading books is a dying culture that is being taken over by a technology that is the Internet. 
Instead of waking up and reading a book, we wake up and check Facebook. As for me, I wake up and check my Twitter feed (which I find as a great source for information, opinions etc.). So, as I try and break away from this generational norm, I encourage others to do the same. 
Even if you don't want to read books for the sake of learning and knowledge, think about what my good friend Dr. Seuss once said: "The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." 
- Trae Alston-Swan

Monday, November 28, 2011

OMA Encourages Students To Branch Out!

As I was sitting in the Office of Multicultural Affairs thinking about what to write, it dawned on me that this is my first year being a student leader. I had a similar track record in high school; I only became involved on campus during my last two years there and here I am, following the same pattern. 
With the limited time I have left here at Assumption, I try the best I can to make the most of the opportunities I am presented. What if I had started becoming involved earlier? Would I have made a bigger impact on what happens on campus? Questions like these cross my mind every so often, but I do not let them rule me because what matters is what I can do now in order to bring about a better tomorrow. 
From my experience here at Assumption, I can use what I have learned to educate first-year students who are trying to find their niches on campus. What I would suggest is to find something you enjoy doing and figure out how you can tie it into campus life. If you enjoy what different cultures and ethnicities have to offer on campus or life in general and you want to promote awareness about the diverse cultures of the world, consider joining the African Latino Asian Native-American Network. If you loved participating in student government in high school or want to have a say in what the campus has to offer to students, consider joining the Student Government Association or the Campus Activities Board. If you enjoy helping others and making a difference in the lives of others, the Reach Out Center might just be the place for you. There are clubs and groups for just about anything you wish to pursue on campus and all you need to do is look for them. I know it is not the easiest thing to do, given that the period of adjustment varies with each student, but starting the process early will give you a head start on figuring out what you enjoy doing.
Being a student leader has so far been a rewarding experience. I have learned a great deal from interacting with my peers and interacting with other administrators on campus. This interaction amongst peers goes to another aspect of getting involved on campus: networking and connections. You never know how the people you interact with from different organizations can help you through the people they know. Networking is key in any kind of environment, whether it is work or academic. Collaboration between organizations is also a must if you want to be able to pull off large-scale events or promote your organization. That comes though once you actually begin participating in organizations on campus. In closing, the best way to make an impact on campus is to participate because the idle can only watch things happen, while those who act can make things happen.
_ Freymers Beaubrun

Multicultural Day a Celebration for All

            We are all defined by certain characteristics, which compose us, gender, personality, weight, height, ethnicity etc. These characteristics in turn make each and everyone of us an individual. Multicultural Day is a time to embrace these differences but yet to be aware, as well as open minded to learn about other cultures.
On February 1st you will have the chance to leave the Assumption Campus and travel the world, by simply visiting the offices in the Hagan Campus Center. Each office will become a different region in the world and specifically represent a few countries within that offices region. You will be able to attain adequate knowledge through facts regarding the randomly selected countries.
There will also be a showcase of various countries from six to eight in the Hagan Campus Center Hall. Tables will be set up with artifacts, photos, books, music, dishes and many other things that are being provided by Assumption College students. This experience only comes around once a year, and it is great to honor not only your culture but also other cultures being represented by the Assumption College community.
From the perspective of a bi-racial student, Multicultural Day is essential to have. It is a time in which everyone can feel special, because it encompasses every culture, therefore no one is secluded or marginalized by a certain aspect that makes them who they are. It is a day to celebrate our own uniqueness by being proud of what we are, to not be classified and bound to a particular category, but to embrace and appreciate all sides of who we are.
Being of Native American descent I would like to close with a quote from Chief Seattle, who was leader of the Duwamish tribe, which resided in Washington.  “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to acquire a better understanding of the world, in turn boosting your self-awareness. 
- Joanna Silva- Jones 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spreading Latino Culture at Assumption.

As I take one step further with my dance partner, I see the reflection in the mirror of a Latina student leader that I have become. While dancing to “Te Extraño” by Xtreme, a bachata group, I release the stress of the many tasks I have to complete after this rehearsal.  As a sophomore, at Assumption College, I have grown to come out of my shyness and take on a greater leadership position. I am Secretary for the ALANA Network. As an Ecuadorian on the Executive Board, I have the responsibility to promote Latino/Hispanic culture to the Assumption College community.
I was born and raised in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a place full of diversity, where no one is ashamed to express themselves. I came to Assumption College with a background in diversity. In my freshman year, I would blast to bachata, merengue, salsa, reggaeton, cumbia, etc. in my room in Desautels Hall. I had no shame to leave my door open because I wanted the girls on my floor to hear it. Yes, there were murmurs but that did not stop me. I decided to join ALANA so I can be able to express my culture. I was welcomed with open arms.
As a freshman, I had many ideas to promote Latino/Hispanic culture to the Assumption College community. However, as a freshman, I was lazy to take that role. Second semester came and I decided to run for the Secretary position. Over the summer, I brainstormed how to bring awareness of the Latino/Hispanic culture on campus.
One of ALANA’s annual events is the Latino Festival. I came back to college prepared and ready to start planning. The Latino Festival is an evening to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. I am very excited for this event because I love my culture and this is a great opportunity for students at Assumption College to learn about the Latino/Hispanic Culture.
Food will be catered by various Latino restaurants in Worcester; there will be live performances by Assumption College students, a live band and fun facts from each Latin American country. According to USA Today, did you know that by the year 2050, the Latino/Hispanic population will triple! Meaning that one out of four people will come from a Latino/Hispanic descent. Bring your friends and be prepared to travel to South American, Central America and the Caribbean’s.
            My dance partner and I nailed one third of our bachata performance but we still have two more songs to dance to. Dancing bachata, merengue and salsa makes me feel as if I was back home in New York City. I see how happy the other three couples get when we are practicing and on the day of the Latino Festival that dedication will show. You do not want to miss the Latino Festival on Thursday, October 13, 2011 from 6 P.M to 8 P.M at Hagan Campus Center Hall. ¡Que vivan los Latinos(a)/Hispanos(a)!
Daisy Sinchi ‘14
Secretary, ALANA Network

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Office of Multicultural Affairs Talks Diversity

         I enjoy people watching. While some might find this a bit strange, I, being a psychology major, actually think it’s a great way to pass time and it also gives me a chance to learn a lot. Human beings are very complex, and although we will never get to know who someone really is unless we talk to them, we can learn a lot by just observing our surroundings, and how they behave in them. For example, I’ve learned that I know more left handed people than I thought. I’ve also observed that there are so many different ways one can hold a pencil. I am able to pick up on a person’s favorite color, if they cross their legs while talking, or if they have certain comforting mannerisms they do without even realizing. Little things like that actually make up a person. If I can learn all that just by watching a person, imagine how much I can learn by striking a conversation!
Over the summer, I was talking to a friend about a whole lot of nothing, but from that conversation alone we learned so much about each other in just twenty minutes. We learned things that may have seemed small, but they were essentially a huge part of us. Not only that, but because of that conversation we learned one important thing, “I’m not the only one who does this!” So, while I found many difference between us, it was good to find some similarities as well. 
I can only imagine how many differences there must be on this campus, how many lefties are there, how many people come from small families, how many come from big ones. How many people wear glasses that actually need them, how many wear contacts instead? How many people don’t wear or need glasses at all. How many different hair types there are, how about eye colors, or shoes sizes? I often wonder who was brought up with strict parents and who had more democratic parents? Do you ever take the time to find out the values you share with your friends? Are there any values that you or your friends see completely different? Partaking in a classroom discussion shows me how many people have disabilities, how many people are only children, how many people come from working class families, even. Think about how DIVERSE this campus really is. Many people have this misconception of diversity, and only think of ‘big pictures’ such as race, religion, and/or sexual orientation, and that doesn’t even begin to cover what diversity is. If you take the time to observe people or even have a conversation about nothing among your circle of friends, not only will you notice that there’s more to your circle than your common interests (which I would assume bonds you), but you’ll truly appreciate who you are and appreciate the differences you see around you. So, go ahead and embrace diversity, you’ll be glad you did. 
- Isabelle Biennestin 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What is Privilege?

“White Privilege is the other side of racism. Unless we name it, we are in danger of wallowing in guilt or moral outrage with no idea of how to move beyond them. It is often easier to deplore racism and its effects than to take responsibility for the privileges some of us receive as a result of it… once we understand how white privilege operates, we can begin addressing it on an individual and institutional basis.” ~Paula Rothenberg
“Privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do. Access to privilege doesn’t determine one’s outcomes, but it is defiantly as asset that makes it more likely that whatever talent, ability, and aspirations a person with privilege has will result in something positive for them.” ~Peggy McIntosh

Friday, March 18, 2011

Indirect Intercultural Communication By:Tyler Alston-Swan

Being able to really seek knowledge and understand how people from different cultures act, communicate, and perceive the world around them is more than less, very important. Being able to come to a mutual understood meaning between any intercultural encounter is the object of communication, effective communication. I come from Puerto Rican and African American descent but in relation to this article, I am first, a STUDENT of this liberal arts institution. I am second, a student of color.

I am growing weary of this back and forth indirect communication between the “majority” and the “minority”. All it does is cause tension between certain groups on campus, I feel it and so do you. In-person intercultural communication is the most effective way to suspend any misperceptions towards cultures and/or ethnic heritages that differ from your own. Deep in-person dialogue between the “majority” and the “minority” is the only TRUE dialogue that will draw a significant connection between this mindless and ignorant gap between us, on both ends. Liberal arts; free to chose, free to be, but not free from mental segregation. This mindset of not wanting to step outside our cultural boundaries and being afraid to sway and linger from our in-groups isn’t progressive. If anything, we will only continue to bind ourselves tightly to what we know as “comfortable”, until the bind is too tight: until the subtle damage that has progressed over time is too great to reverse or mend.

Many of us are familiar with the term, “don’t talk about it, be about it”. This institution takes pride in our students; we take pride in our faculty. We take pride in what we as a catholic institution has accomplished over the years! Now it’s sincerely time to take pride in the cultural diversity WE have created. It’s time to stop talking about what we should do, but what we can do to diminish or shrink the gap between our white and minority students. It’s time to BE who we say we are. “Our Catholic identity also challenges us to create a campus culture that respects the dignity of each member of this community because all of us are created in the image and likeness of God.” These are the very words from Assumption’s President, Dr. Cesareo. Are you up for the challenge?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Assumption's 6th Annual Fashion Show!!!

Thursday March, 24th
6-8 P.M.
Laska Gymnasium

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