Multicultural Advocates (MA) were added to the Residential Life staff team in 2003. MAs work and collaborate with all levels of University Housing staff and focus their time, talents, and enthusiasm on making our residence halls safe, welcoming, and celebrative environments for ALL students. MAs seek to create communities of allies in the residence halls by planning programs and learning events that deal primarily with diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice issues.
MAs serve as leaders and role models within the residence hall community by confronting acts of intolerance or hate, encouraging dialogue among students, and working toward the creation of truly inclusive communities. The Multicultural Advocate assumes an active role in the advancement of multiculturalism and social justice within the residence halls through community and staff development, education, celebration, and dialogue.
The Multicultural Advocate assists Resident Advisors, Resident Directors, and students by being a:
- Resource person on issues of social identity and social justice
- Student advocate
- Peer advisor
- Role model
The daily life of a Multicultural Advocate includes but is not limited to:
- Advocating for all students and staff in the residence halls and campus community inclusive of their many social identities (race, ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion.)
- Developing interactive and innovative programs in the residence halls and for the campus community around social justice and diversity which encourage interpersonal and group interactions among residents.
- Collaborating with Resident Advisors, student organizations, and university departments on program initiatives around social justice and diversity.
- Serving as a resource and consultant for Resident Advisors in the areas of programming and interpersonal or community-based conflicts involving social identity issues.
- Facilitating residence hall and campus wide dialogues when social identity conflicts occur.
- Developing bulletin boards in the residence halls around social justice and diversity which educate and spark conversations among students and staff around various issues of social justice and social identities.
- Providing individual support to students and staff in the residence halls who are struggling with issues involving social identity and cultural differences.
- Co-advising housing student groups especially but not limited to identity-based housing student groups such as Black Student Unions, LSA-UNFAS, Asian American Student Housing Organization, etc.
- Developing positive relationships with residence hall staff and community members.
This is achieved through:
- Planning and implementing 1 to 2 active/passive programs each month.
- Participating in floor and hall activities.
- Facilitating weekly community conversations.
- Being knowledgeable about and referring students and staff to campus and community resources.
- Serving on Residential Life committees as assigned.
- Attending MA staff development meetings on Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m.
- Attending RA staff development meetings on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m.
- Participating in developing cross-cultural communication skills through ongoing training and development, including completion of the ten-week EPOL 199 course for residential life student staff.
- Negotiating any living-learning community responsibilities with the program directors and the residence hall director for two to five hours per week.
- Submitting required reports and paperwork on time.
Multicultural Advocate Program Update September 2020:
In the Spring 2020, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs commissioned an internal and external review of University Housing’s paraprofessional positions with the goal of identifying best practices from leading national peers and to respond to the current and future socio-political climate.
After a review of the recommendations, University Housing has decided to conduct a multilayer assessment of the Multicultural Advocate (MA) Program based on contemporary issues of racism, anti-Blackness, immigration and nationality status, homophobia and transphobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, income inequality, misogyny, ableism, cultural appropriation, and all other forms of oppression, hate, and violence.
In order to invest the time, talent, and resources necessary to efficiently and successfully complete this assessment, the Multicultural Advocate (MA) Program will be on hiatus for the 2021-2022 academic year.
January through December 2021, University Housing will collaborate with campus partners and community stakeholders, including student and alumni leaders, to identify how University Housing will continue to provide social justice leadership and education over the next ten years.
Questions regarding this assessment can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org