Ferris State University Office of Multicultural Student Services (O.M.S.S.) makes every effort to educate the University community on various ethnic, faith-based and GLBT groups through programs and activities. In addition, O.M.S.S. is committed to assisting the ethnic minority population of students with their transition to college and leadership development.
Below is a summary of various events which our department seeks to increase understanding of diversity and inclusion as well as cultural awareness on campus.
MINORITY STUDENT ORGANIZATION LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
The Minority Student Organization Leadership Summit is an opportunity for newly appointed executive board members to be trained on how to run their student organization effectively. Session topics will include organizational stability & development, and financial recording to name a few.
MINORITY STUDENT GET ACQUAINTED DAY
Get Acquainted Day is an opportunity to for incoming minority students to meet and greet fellow freshman and upperclassman as well as find information about registered student organizations.
T.O.W.E.R.S. PROGRAM SEMESTER KICK-OFF
The T.O.W.E.R.S. Multicultural Leadership Development Program Fall semester begins with this opportunity for LEADERS and PROTEGES to meet, learn about upcoming events, and receive program overview and expectations for active involvement.
HISPANIC/LATINO HERITAGE MONTH
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each September 15- October 15 in the United States of America to recognize the contributions made by people of Hispanic descent and to celebrate Hispanic culture. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 because it is the anniversary of 5 Latin American countries' Independence Day: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Office of Multicultural Student Services seeks to sponsor events to educate the campus community of the Hispanic Heritage through performances, speakers, discussions and exhibits. In addition, the International Student Center and the Hispanic Student Organization work closely with our department with programming throughout the month.
NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY
National Coming Out Day is an international celebration that encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to speak openly about their identity. Early in 1988, a group of more than 100 LGBT activists from all over the United States convened in Manassas, Virginia to discuss issues related to the LGBT community. It was during that meeting that National Coming Out Day was established, with credit for the concept given to Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary. The date of the celebration (October 11) was chosen to commemorate the 1987 national March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights that had attracted more than half a million participants and had included the first showing of the NAMES Project Quilt, better known to some as the AIDS Quilt. The event is celebrated on October 11 in all fifty U.S. states as well as in several other countries, and is recognized on the following day, October 12, in the United Kingdom.
Ferris State University’s Office of Multicultural Student Services looks to collaborate with the DSAGA (Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance) student organization on events to educate the campus on GLBT issues.
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution designating the annual celebration. In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
The Office of Multicultural Student Services looks to sponsor educational programs and activities with the Asian Student Organization during this month(s) and throughout the academic year.
OMSS’S ANNUAL PIGNIC
The Annual OMSS’s PIGNIC has been a tradition through our department for over 25 years. Held in Hemlock Park in Big Rapids, current students, faculty and staff as well as FSU alumni and friends come together to fellowship with free food and music as a way to end the academic year. The PIGNIC precedes the Annual Black Greek Council Step Show held at Williams Auditorium.
T.O.W.E.R.S. PROGRAM END OF YEAR AWARDS
The T.O.W.E.R.S. Multicultural Leadership Development Program Fall semester begins with this opportunity for LEADERS and PROTEGES to be awarded for active participation, and reflect on the year’s programs.
PASSING OF THE TORCH CEREMONY
The Passing of the Torch Ceremony is an event at which minority student organization current leaders symbolically passing the torch on to students who are expected to be the new leaders on campus.
MULTICULTURAL STUDENT GRADUATION RECOGNITION
The Multicultural Student Graduation Recognition is an opportunity for graduating minority students to be recognized for their contributions while on campus, and acknowledgment of their graduation from Ferris State University. Minority students receiving an Associates, Bachelors Masters or Doctorate Degree will be recognized.