Oregon State University
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History & Acknowledgements

In 2004, Oregon State University (OSU) President Ed Ray used his University Day speech to encourage the campus to move the issues of diversity from the margins of their thinking and actions to become a central and integrated part of the discussions. He challenged all colleges and divisions to create diversity action plans that would make their efforts in the area of diversity more intentional and thereby more effective to become inclusive of all students, staff, and faculty. As approximately 80% of the first year students live on campus, the staff of University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS) felt that their efforts could not only impact the residents living with them, but perhaps the campus as a whole. Through analysis of past practices, the UHDS Diversity Initiative team members found that OSU and UHDS was moderately successful at recruiting students, faculty and staff of various ethnic backgrounds but was not as effective at retaining them. It was determined that this was partially due to the campus climate not being conducive to their success.

For some in people from traditionally underrepresented communities, there was a lack of resources and communities available for individuals to access. Even more challenging was that there was limited awareness of the resources that were available on campus and in the local community. It was determined that there was a need to develop a tool to assist OSU students, staff, and faculty from traditionally underrepresented group in finding the resources they needed. The needed resources were not only campus resources, but local businesses as well. An example of a commonly reported challenge was the ability of an African-American woman to find hair care services in Corvallis.

This project originated in 2008 with the identification that many different OSU departments and student groups had come to similar conclusions and had been working on developing or had developed their own resource guides including UHDS, the Office of Community & Diversity, the Women's Center, the Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU), International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS) and the International Students of Oregon State University (ISOSU). In addition to the Multicultural Resource Guide from the former Office of Multicultural Affairs (now part of the Office of Equity and Inclusion), there was also the ASOSU Non-Traditional Student Handbook and ISOSU/ISFS's OSU Life Guidebook. This was being done without a centralized conceptual plan or management process. After much discussion, members from UHDS, the Office of Community & Diversity, ASOSU, and the Dean of Student Life's office decided to work collaboratively to create an online Multicultural Resource Guide (MRG).

Through the support of the campus partners listed below, we identified the need for a web-based tool for ease of updating allowing for current information, but would also have the capability of being printed on demand. What has been created prior to the web interface has been a PDF version of a MRG that is posted on the UHDS Web site. Previous printed versions of the MRG put out by the former Office of Multicultural Affairs (now part of the Office of Equity and Inclusion) contained information on scholarships, campus resource centers, and faculty members who serve traditionally underrepresented students. These resources are now readily available on the web, so are not included in the web interface version of the MRG.

To submit an additional listing, provide information to update a current listing, submit an idea, or provide feedback about this project, please contact us via this e-mail.