Welcome to Rice University and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. We think you will find that Rice epitomizes the word community. We are small enough to be able to address the needs of most any student, and this office is particularly interested in insuring that all students are able to succeed in an environment in which they feel safe, comfortable and accepted. You can be a budding community activist, someone interested in exploring social justice, a gay student looking for a safe have, a small town resident looking for new cultural experiences, someone hungry to dialogue on important social issues, or an academic superstar looking for an engaging outlet. We welcome the opportunity to get to know you and enhance your Rice experience. Please let us know if you cannot find the answers to your questions or concerns within our pages. We are here to assist you!
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) has as a primary mission coordinating and implementing comprehensive educational, cultural and social programs designed to emphasize inclusiveness, while promoting intercultural dialogue, awareness and respect for diversity. Through advocacy, cultural programs and education, OMA also helps students understand and appreciate racial, ethnic, gender and other differences, while creating opportunities for students to challenge perjudice and expand their cultural knowledge and appreciation. OMA utilizes its programming and support systems to provide an optimum developmental environment where all members of the University community may develop to the highest level of their potential in an atmosphere free from harassment and bias, thereby ensuring Rice’s standing as a intellectually and culturally vibrant community.
I n-house activities include individualized counseling, as needed, as well as facilitating student concerns or complaints, such as those of a racial or affirmative action nature. Individual student complaints are handled on a case-by-case basis, and more often than not, problems are dealt with internally, though some referral is also provided. Financial assistance is also available on a strictly limited basis to those individuals who find themselves without resources once they have matriculated. The Minority Affairs Scholarship Fund is utilized to buy books and supplies for Rice undergraduates on financial assistance who find that they are unable to do so.
OMA maintains a reference and resource library. The reference library includes a variety of books on cultures, guide books on multiculturalism, and educational videos.
Tutorial assistance is available in conjunction with that available from Academic Advising. The particulars of each tutorial session are left up to the individual students.
Multicultural student organization support continues to be a mainstay of the office, be it assistance with group finances, programming, copying, facilities, equipment, etc. Multicultural organizations represented on the Diversity Council may use the OMA copier and the office account at Copy Club free of charge (to the organization, that is). They may also freely use the office computers, phone, and fax machine. OMA will also continue to assist these groups, when feasible, in attending important minority student conferences. (For more information on cultural student organizations, see our cultural student web page.)
OMA also provides a variety of special programs of social and/or educational benefit as deemed necessary or by request. Such events have included, as examples: co-hosting an Afrocentric poetry performance, leading gender issues discussions in the residential colleges, hosting receptions for new minority students, facilitating dialogues on diversity, working with the Rice University Campus Police to select new officers, developing specialized student support groups as requested, working to empower student activism, producing a play, and teaching a college course.
O-Week Diversity Facilitators
The primary role of the Diversity Facilitators can best be summed be one of our six guiding principles for O-Week: “Rice is an open community, a place where freedom of expression is uncompromisingly protected and where civility is powerfully affirmed.” »
The African American Freshman Experience. Harambe (Swahili for “working together in unity” or “let’s pull together) seeks to create a unifying event for entering African American students, allowing them to build social and academic connections with peers, faulty and staff. »
Dialogues on Diversity
Dialogues on Diversity are weekly open conversation lunches hosted and facilitated by the O-Week Diversity Facilitators. Topics vary and cover a variety of social issues. Lunch is provided. »