Ferris State University Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS) coordinates cultural
programs and activities that promote the intellectual understanding and appreciation
of diversity, inclusion and social justice. We assess the following from attendees
How the OMSS event/presentation expanded their understanding of diversity, inclusion,
and/or social justice.
How the OMSS event/presentation provided them an opportunity to engage with others.
How the OMSS event/presentation expanded their level of appreciation of diversity,
inclusion and/or social justice.
Listed below are the lineup of OMSS's cultural programs and activities, all programs
are open to the public.
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
LATINO HERITAGE CELEBRATION 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.
NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE CELEBRATION Initially celebrated in 1916 by the state of New York, it was not until 1990 that
then President George H.W. Bush established it as a month long festival. Not only
does Native American Indian Heritage Month showcase the rich culture of the native
people of this land, but also honors those American Indians that have suffered injustices.
Therefore, we celebrate all Native Americans during the month of November. Through
guest performers and lectures, the Office of Multicultural Student Services celebrates
Native American Heritage at Ferris State University.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. CELEBRATION On the third Monday of January each year, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day
and is the only national holiday commemorating the actions of an African-American.
Originally petitioned to honor King's dedication to trade unions, it would be established
on November 2, 1983 by Ronald Reagan. The Office of Multicultural Student Services
and a Campus-wide committee of faculty and staff utilize this time to commemorate
Dr. Martin Luther King Day through a week of activities to engage the campus on the
relevance of his life’s work.
BLACK HISTORY CELEBRATION Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is celebrated every
year during the month of February in the United States. Because of the timing of the
birthdays of 2 very important individuals in the fight to end slavery, Frederick Douglass
and Abraham Lincoln, Black History Week was originally slated for the second week
in February in 1926. In 1976 it was expanded to encompass the entire month of February
to recognize the significant achievements made by the African-American community in
all aspects of American society. The Office of Multicultural Student Services sponsors
events acknowledging the contributions of African-American men and women from the
arts, politics, science and the academy. Lectures, forums and student-led presentations
are often a part of this month long celebration.
WOMEN'S HISTORY CELEBRATION Annually celebrated in March, Women's History Month acknowledges the many contributions
women have made in America's rich past. From its beginnings as International Women's
Day on March 8, 1911, it has been expanded twice by the United States Congress first
as a weeklong celebration in 1981 and to its current month-long celebration in 1987.
Each year, OMSS hosts programs to educate the FSU campus about women's issues and
contributions to society.
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE CELEBRATION May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific
Islanders in the United States. As the Spring semester ends in April, the Office of
Multicultural Student Services sponsor educational programs and activities with the
Asian Student Organization to celebrate APA Heritage. 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.
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.
MULTICULTURAL STUDENT GRADUATION RECOGNITION The Multicultural Student Graduation Recognition is an opportunity for graduating
International, Black, Latino, Asian and Native American students to be congratulated
on earning a Bachelors Masters or Doctorate Degree from Ferris State University. The
event involves a presentation of graduation stoles, words of encouragement from fellow
graduating students, and supportive faculty and staff. Annually OMSS collaborates
with the Office of International Education, Center for [email protected] Studies and Diversity
and Inclusion Office on the program.
The Office of Multicultural Student Services invites the campus community to attend
"Conversations on Race" - a campus dialogue series that will take place once a semester
and will aim to address events, issues and trends surrounding race in our society.
The main topics to be discussed are selected by the students, and OMSS seeks to collaborate
with faculty, and student organizations to serve as panelists for each discussion.