Multicultural Resource Center fall 2019
Signature events and initiatives
During this quarter, the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) hosted a number of large-scale events to serve the campus community, including:
- Student staff training: The MRC, in collaboration with other DEI offices (Q Center and the UDiversity Educational Institute) held a two-week training for undergraduate and graduate student staff from Aug. 12−23. These training sessions included 23 undergraduate interns, volunteers and student assistants as well as nine graduate assistants and interns throughout the division. Student staff were trained on various divisional and center expectations and built on their communication/team building and cultural competency skills.
- Intercultural Welcome Week: The MRC continued support for the annual Intercultural Welcome Kick-off Series in collaboration with the Student Association, Cultural Presidents Council and a host of other campus partners. This year, Student Association Vice President of Multicultural Affairs (VPMA) Khaleel James and his staff took on more leadership with the Multicultural Extravaganza event, while the MRC lead facilitated the MRC Open House (50 in attendance), New Students of Color Networking Event (125 in attendance) and Diversity Leadership Reception (120 in attendance). Each of the events took place during the B-welcome period.
- not but nothing other: African-American Portrayals 1930s to Today - The MRC collaborated with the Binghamton University Art Museum on a series of programs that took place between Sept. 5, and Dec. 7, alongside the opening of the not but nothing other art exhibition to help spotlight the initiative and increase attendance. A few of the events included the exhibition opening, a conversation with Ruben Santiago-Hudson ’78 and a lecture and community sing with Ysaye Maria Barnwell.
- Culture Chats: Co-sponsored with the Student Association’s VPMA, “Culture Chats” were monthly lunches where students from our multicultural communities had the opportunity to meet faculty and staff across campus who provided insight and advice regarding their trajectories in higher education. The purpose of “Culture Chats” is to start building meaningful relationships and support for multicultural students as they work toward their goals. The first lunch was held Sept. 9, in University Union 124.
- Alumni and Student of Color Networking Event: The Alumni and Student of Color Networking Event was held Sept. 20, with the Fleishman Center. The event showed lower overall attendance, about 50 total individuals, with a decrease in alumni attendance so we are revisiting the event, its mission, location and execution to improve on alumni attendance for next year.
- Alumni of Color Tailgate (Homecoming): As part of Homecoming weekend, the Alumni of Color Tailgate on Sept. 21 was the success of the weekend. The event had 533 sign-ins and 34 student volunteers throughout the day, providing assistance with setup, check-in, food serving, cleaning and break down.
- MRC Student Manager Programming Board and birthday celebration events: In an effort to continue building cultural awareness on campus as well as to continue fostering awareness of the MRC and its services, the MRC continued its internal programming series planned by its Student Managers. During this period, the MRC Student Managers hosted three events that included Propaganda Art for LatinX Heritage Month and Pride Around the World: Filipino Edition for Pride Month.
Resource requests, Bartle tabling and room reservations
As a resource center, the MRC continues to expand its services for the greater campus community:
- The MRC currently oversees and manages the tabling requests for the Bartle Library breezeway; the process for this has successfully been moved to B There and is self-service with reviews done by MRC staff. During this quarter, the MRC received and executed seven table reservation requests.
- The MRC is in the process of revamping the Resource Room request form which will be live at the beginning of the spring semester, making it easier for the campus community to utilize the MRC’s paid and unpaid resources for their events, course needs, etc. During this quarter, the MRC received and executed 37 resource room requests.
- As space in the University Union went offline this fall for renovations, the MRC promoted and encourage student organizations to utilize its meeting space for organization meetings and events. The MRC saw an increase in utilization of the space for reservations as well as general study space. During this quarter, the MRC received 45 room reservation requests.
Religious community support
The MRC set a goal of continuing to enhance support for religious students during the 2019-2020 academic year. To begin to meet this goal, the MRC:
- Supported the creation of the Pagan Student Circle, a student peer-led support group for students who either identify as pagan or who wish to learn more about pagan practices and culture.
- Continued operations and promotions of the Multi-faith Meditation and Prayer Room (MMPR). The MMPR has become widely used and is currently one of the most prevalent reasons guests visit the MRC.
As the campus hiring freeze was lifted, the MRC was finally able to expand its staff with the hiring of three new professional staff members. The hires include two assistant directors, Nuray Seyidzade and Itika (Richie) Sebuharara, and an office manager, Ejiro Amata. With the addition of these new staff members, the MRC began a process of reorganizing support for cultural student populations, internal operations and signature events/initiatives.
- Seyidzade currently provides support to the Asian and Asian American and international student populations through various programming and initiatives. She also oversees the MRC internship program as well as the Translation and Interpretation Program (TIP).
- Sebuharara currently provides support to the African American, LatinX and Native American student populations through programming and initiatives. He also oversees the MRC ambassador program as well as has administrative oversight of center collaboration requests from student organizations and campus and local community partners.
- Amata, as the new office manager, will assist the MRC associate director with front-desk operations, general secretarial tasks and supervision of the MRC student managers.