For most, the calendar year spans from January to December, but the Multicultural Center operates on a different calendar altogether: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, United Black World Month, Women’s History Month, Latinx Heritage Month, LGBTQ History Month and Native American Heritage Month. Their year revolves around the celebration and education of the history and actuality of different minority groups.
Despite the Multicultural Center’s tenured history at The Ohio State University, they are continually working to organize new programming to be able to better serve communities of underrepresented populations throughout the university. Within recent years, the office has seen notable growth in the celebration of months designated to these groups as well as educational initiatives aimed at understanding them.
The Student Life Multicultural Center has much to offer for the students of OSU. It was first formed in 2001 when
one of the cultural directors had the idea to combine the separate cultural groups across campus. The main reason for this was a centralization of available resources and an acknowledgement of the intersections of different cultural backgrounds.
The Multicultural Center is a specific department of the Office of Student Life that is dedicated to teaching necessary skills to exist in a diverse world. While their events target and support specific groups, all are welcome to participate and learn more.
One of the main focuses of the center is putting on different heritage months throughout the year. With attendance continuing to grow, the center’s executive director, Dr. Todd Suddeth, said that almost fifteen thousand people have been a part of the celebrations this year. November happens to be Native American Heritage month, and one of their biggest events is the Alternative Thanksgiving Celebration at the beginning of the month.
The center also prioritizes learning and education initiatives. According to Suddeth, more than seven thousand people attend and participate in these trainings annually. He is especially excited about the DICE Certificate Program that the center offers.
“DICE stands for Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement,” Suddeth said. “It’s a way for students and faculty to explore and learn more about diversity and social justice. You earn eight credits by attending different presentations and discussions and then write a reflection paper.”
The center also wants students to be aware of their team ups with the wellness center and the counseling and consultation services. Two days per week they provide free STI screenings. They have drop-in hours for counseling services that Suddeth says can be more discreet than making your way to the specific floor for these services at the Younkin Success Center.
The Multicultural Center has many free resources available, and with its central location on the first floor of the Ohio Union, it is easy for interested students to find out more.