Center for Multicultural Affairs & Services (CMAS)

The Center for Multicultural Affairs at Saint Michael’s reflects our commitment to a campus and a world that values every human being, and supports and celebrates each person’s uniqueness, experiences and contributions.

We welcome and challenge you to be self-reflective and to join us in actively pursuing the creation of an inclusive community on campus centered on mutual respect and acceptance.

Bias Response Protocol

As part of the College’s ongoing efforts to promote an enhanced understanding of, and respect for, diversity in its many forms, the College has established this Bias Response Protocol as a framework to respond effectively to incidents of bias or perceived bias. This protocol is one of several initiatives that support and further the goal of promoting a campus climate in which all members thrive personally, professionally, and academically. To be clear, this protocol is not intended to curb the free expression of opinion or ideas. In fact, we hope that the effective implementation of the protocol will contribute to a campus climate that encourages dialogue around challenging issues. This protocol does not replace any existing policies or procedures.

Click to here to report a Bias Incident

Programs and Services

Even before you start your first class as a student, you can get a sense of our vibrant, engaging community through our summer orientation program, SOAR. Important conversations, presentations and peer forums start here.

Diversity Coalition is committed to educating and promoting an inclusive campus community as well as engaging fellow students and community members to become more aware and accepting of each other. Our goal is to provide an educational sanctuary where diverse perspectives aid the individual intellectual with a new sensitivity, awareness and understanding for a global and interdependent community.

This is an organization for students to find a safe and supportive environment to explore issues of multiculturalism and diversity. As Margaret Mead wrote, “If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.” If these issues challenge and interest you, Diversity Coalition is the perfect organization for you.

Annual Events and Activities

  • Peer discussions on issues of diversity and social justice
  • Scholarly presentations, training and workshops by invited experts.
  • Community forum on issues of diversity and multiculturalism.
  • Trips to historical sites pertaining to civil rights, peace and justice
  • Trips to Montreal and Boston

The Martin Luther King Jr. Society is dedicated to reaching across social barriers to create a more just and humane society. It’s an organization for students who are willing to think critically and fearlessly about the problems that plague our society.

It encourages each student to examine the content of their own character to make an honest assessment of the moral shortcomings in their communities, and to work together to promote personal growth and greater integrity in their decision-making and their communities.

Annual Events and Activities

  • Harvest Festival
  • Martin Luther King Convocation
  • Talent Show
  • Discussion groups, cookouts, hiking and skiing, movies
  • Scholarly presentations and talks
  • Awareness training and workshops
  • Peer mentoring and community service

“The large house in which we live demands that we transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world-wide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Become a Mentor

Students involved in the center work closely with faculty as mentors, serve as mentor for their peers and are mentored by their peers.

You will also become engaged in various leadership opportunities both on campus and nationally.

PEACE is a pivotal peer mentoring program that the office has run since Fall 2004. Academically and socially successful students serve as trained mentors to their peers, providing motivational, academic and personal support. This mentoring is multifaceted in that it involves both motivational, academic, and personal support. Mentors with the assistance of the Director work to ensure that students in the program achieve high academic success and leadership involvement.

The center organizes various conferences and leadership workshops for students to enhance their skills. We provide students with leadership opportunities off-campus by taking them to conferences addressing student leadership, growth and development. Students also attend leadership conferences that address issues of ethnicity, race, gender and culture – issues pertinent to their own identity formation and personal awareness.

This is primarily a skills enhancement effort undertaken by the center that benefits a cross-section of Saint Michael’s students. Students who participate in these activities often become more involved on campus and show greater satisfaction with their college experience.

A group of students, faculty and staff committed to sharing languages and cultures with each other, members meet twice a month over coffee or lunch to speak in different languages. Participants are native speakers as well as people learning the language. The range of conversations and discussions varies depending on the interests of the participants and facilitators. This is a wonderful way to support language learners and affirm those who speak languages other than English in our community.

Leadership Institute

Created in 2007, the Institute provides a selected group of applicants with a semester-long leadership curriculum and a certificate series for those who complete all the sessions. The Leadership Institute is designed to help students enhance their leadership skills and be prepared to take leadership roles during and after college.

Multicultural Ambassadors

A collaborative program between Admission and the Center for Multicultural Affairs, this program works closely with a select group of students to assist in recruiting, hosting multicultural visits, and connecting with incoming and potential Saint Michael’s students.

Peer Diversity Educators are a group of students whose goal is to educate their peers around issues of diversity and acceptance. Highly successful and trained in leadership, facilitation, mediation and conflict resolution, this group visits residence halls and other places around campus to engage their peers.

A group of faculty and staff volunteers who are committed to assisting multicultural students in their career and personal goals. Most of the mentoring is field/major-specific and involves faculty members who are highly successful and experts in their areas of research. This program gives faculty members an opportunity to be involved with international, first-generation, and multicultural college students. It provides students with invaluable resources, support and wisdom.

PESO is a first-year transition program that includes first-year orientation and transition activities, a secret support system run by upper-level students to alleviate pressures on first-year students, as well as various international events, workshops and panels around issues like study-skill management to help students experience a successful first year.

For more information about any of these programs, email Sarah Childs at

Philosophical Foundation

The Center for Multicultural Affairs reflects Saint Michael’s commitment to a campus and a world that values every human being, and supports and celebrates their uniqueness, experiences, and contributions. The Center contributes to the personal and intellectual development of all students. We welcome and challenge all students to be self-reflective and to actively pursue the creation of an inclusive community on campus centered around mutual respect and acceptance.

The Center realizes that exploring issues of diversity and multiculturalism cannot be devoid of a historical framework or the historicity of race, class and ethnicities in a country that is arguably the most socially, racially and ethnically diverse in the world. We also recognize that achieving diversity on campus requires more than celebrating differences or similarities. Thus, we seek to engage students, faculty and staff intellectually and tangibly to explore the diversity and multiculturalism within as well as without.

In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, the ability to understand the people and cultures one encounters, as well as oneself, in ways that defy and transcend superficial barriers of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and class that often impede human connection and relationship, are essential and indispensable components of personal and intellectual development. In this vein, the commitment of the MSA office to multiculturalism and diversity reflects a deep commitment to your success as an individual both on campus and in the world.

The Center for Multicultural Affairs efforts include:

  • Acting as liaison between multicultural students and the Saint Michael’s community
  • Planning and implementing educational and social programs to provide the campus community with opportunities to explore issues of diversity and multiculturalism
  • Celebrating diversity as a valued and indispensable aspect and strength at Saint Michael’s College
  • Assisting in the recruitment and retention of students from diverse backgrounds
  • Providing leadership opportunities and training to students around issues of diversity and multiculturalism
  • Creating opportunities for students and staff to engage in meaningful dialogue about diversity and multicultural issues impacting the campus and the world
  • Recognizing and encouraging students’ academic excellence and dedication to community service at Saint Michael’s College
  • Serving as a resource to Residence Life in its work to create inclusive and safe living environments

The Center for Multicultural Affairs is advisor to the Martin Luther King Jr. Society, Diversity Coalition, and Alianza, and also coordinates with other organizations on campus and in the local communities that are interested in diversity and multiculturalism.

Program Director

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs is an intercultural center for all American and international students.

Our mission is to create an inclusive, caring, accepting and dynamic community of learners at Saint Michael’s College. The office serves as a resource for students, faculty, staff and the Office of Student Life in such areas as cross-cultural communication, leadership training and development, cultural awareness, multicultural understanding, student development and identity development issues, in addition to organizing educational and recreational programs for the campus community.

The office enjoys a very vibrant environment. At any time, you will find a diverse group of students speaking various languages, working on projects, planning activities, discussing current socio-political issues, reading or doing research. The office is very open so any student can walk in and feel welcome and at home in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

Enjoy the site. If you should have any questions about the clubs that are part of the office or any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Have a wonderful day,

Sarah Childs
Director of Center for Multicultural Affairs & Services

Diversity Statement

Diversity is an essential element in a learning environment that prepares students for citizenship in the global community. True to our Catholic tradition and our founding order, the Society of Saint Edmund, the College is dedicated to fostering a culture of inclusion where individual differences are celebrated, valued and recognized as vital and complementary to the academic experience.

Thus, the Saint Michael’s community embraces the inherent worth and educational importance of sharing perspectives and beliefs in an increasingly interconnected world, and seeks to understand the significance of differences in culture and circumstance, including those based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, military service and geographic origin.

As a liberal arts institution committed to exploring the full breadth of knowledge, perspectives, traditions and experiences of the human condition, Saint Michael’s College strives for an inclusive, diverse environment where the dignity of each person and all peoples is respected.

Board of Trustees
Trusteeship & Mission Committee
October 2, 2009