The Student Multicultural Center Celebrates 50 Years at Kent State University
Beginning in the fall of 1968, the Office of Minority Affairs was created within the Human Relations Center to serve as a liaison with and provide consultative and special services to minority groups, students, and organizations. The overall goal of the Office of Minority Affairs was for the students they served to realize their full educational potential as noted by Dr. Wilson in April of 1970. The first person to head the office was Donald Thigpen, a political science student who also served as the co-chairman of Black United Students. Thigpen would graduate that December and continue as the coordinator for the Office of Minority Affairs and the advisor for Black United Students.
Over the years, the name would be changed from Office of Minority Affairs to the Office of Cultural Diversity, since there was, and still is today, a negative connotation with the word “minority”. In 1991, President Cartwright mentioned the office in her new diversity plan for Kent State University. In 1998, the name of the office would change to the Student Multicultural Center (SMC). For 50 years, this area has had a charge to support students of color in their growth and accessing their full potential here at Kent State University. Today, the SMC works to ensure cultural affirmation for our students and that they have a sense of belonging on campus. To commemorate this milestone, we will be hosting a series of events throughout the week of September 10. Below is a snapshot of those events.
To close the week out, the Student Multicultural Center will host a reception to celebrate the week’s end on Friday, September 14, at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. During this event, we will celebrate the last 50 years with food, music, and honoring our past. We will also share information about the Emergency Fund that the SMC would like to establish through the support and donation of those who believe in our work.
Although this week of events will officially kick off the SMC’s 50-year celebration, we will be celebrating this milestone all year long through various events.