Multicultural Affairs Announces Affinity Housing


Morgan Fuerstenberg

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs has recently been implementing more opportunities and accommodations for students of color on campus including two support groups and a new housing project called Affinity Housing, which will be a living space for students of color. This is to connect with each other and build a sense of community. 

Brittany Howell, OMSA counselor and Multicultural Specialist, hosts the two current support groups available on campus: Mental Health Mondays and Multicultural Support Group. 

Mental Health Mondays meet every month from 12-1 p.m. in Warner Hall room 117. These meetings are open dialogues focused on a variety of topics, such as stress management and healthy relationships. Upcoming topics of discussion include depression and anxiety on Nov. 24 and body positivity on Dec. 12.

The Multicultural Support Group meets every other Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. in Warner Hall room 117 and discusses the struggles that Black, Indigenous and students of color face on campus. Howell said that these support groups are important for creating a strong sense of community among minority students and allows them to connect with each other.

Kari Hill, Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Assistant Director of OMSA, heads the Affinity Housing project. She mentioned students had been asking for the housing opportunity for a few years. Howell added that Affinity Housing has been implemented at other campuses as well. 

Hill said it was only made possible with help from partners in Residence Life, especially Jen Artz and Lucas Pake. This housing will be available for students starting Fall 2023.

The wing of Affinity Housing will be in Dobson Hall. “The wing works to uplift and empower (one another) to be their authentic selves. (It is) open to any student, new or returning, who is an active participant within the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs,” Hill said.

Along with these opportunities and upcoming projects, OMSA hosted their first annual OMSA Alumni reunion during Homecoming week. “This was our way of giving back to them, and recognizing them as students of this university and creating another space for even alumni of color to come together and contribute to our current students—by giving them words of encouragement, advice, inspiration and also mentorship,” Howell said.