Minority Student Affairs office adopts new name

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's Office of Minority Student Affairs will now be known as "Multicultural Student Affairs." The new name is effective immediately.

The change, in part, stems from a spring 2004 survey of all students of color at Iowa State. In that survey, students were asked the question, "What are your feelings and/or thoughts regarding the word 'minority'?"

A majority of respondents found the word "minority" offensive on some level, and very few supported continued use of the term.

Associate Dean of Students Leonard Perry directs the Multicultural Student Affairs office. He says the new name is "more positive and affirming," and better reflects the population MSA serves: African American, Latino/a-Hispanic, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaskan Native, as well as multi-racial and international students of color.

"The name 'Multicultural Student Affairs' provides the foundation for us to reach out to more students, as well as effectively interact with our colleagues around the country in regard to terminology," Perry said.

MSA's strategic direction and programming targets all ISU community members, Perry added.

"Students of color do not live, study, work and play in a vacuum at Iowa State," he said. "To succeed in becoming all that they can become, these students have to interact and engage the entire community."