OMSS Moves In

The Office of Multicultural Student Services settles into its new home in FLITE

The Office of Multicultural Students Services (OMSS) has departed from the Rankin Student Center and has made its new home in FLITE Suite 159 of the 24-hour room after a long wait.

Director of OMSS, Matthew Chaney, says that he and staff are excited about the move, which took place just before July 4, and is optimistic that the move to FLITE will be advantageous because the office is now in a more visible location to better help students.

Regarding the move, Chaney states, “It’s been different in a good way and that was the whole intent behind the move: to have an office like ours be more visible and with the hope of more students getting involved with the office, what we do, and what we stand for in terms of multiculturalism and inclusion.”

He says that the benefits of the move have already become apparent, especially during the past month of the summer semester. He said that one of the drawbacks of the old location was that even though the office had traditionally been a high traffic area, it took newer students a while to become acclimated to where the office was located.

Chaney is looking forward to the constant influx of students of all different backgrounds, who will bring their ideas to the office and tell what they would like to see on campus with a multicultural inclusion.

“We’re just looking forward to them bringing in their ideas and being able to be out front so they know we’re there to support them.”

Chaney says that OMSS has always been there to help new students transition into college life and life in Big Rapids, which he believes is difficult for some students, especially because “some of our minority student population come from urban areas, and coming to Big Rapids is a transition.”

Last week, OMSS kicked off the year with the Minority 1st Year Student Orientation, “Transition to Success,” which gave new students the opportunity to meet with Ferris administrators, professors, staff and other students.

Get Acquainted Day will take place on Sept. 10 in the Quad and is an event which allows student organization and groups to come out and give students the opportunity to meet those different organizations and learn what resources are available to them on campus.

The office is currently working on a new leadership development program, called TOWERS (Teaching Others What Establishes Real Success) which attempts to match new students on campus with upper classmen who are in leadership positions to shape the younger students into leaders in hopes that by the time they graduate they’ve developed sound and concrete leadership skills and have the knowledge to run a business meeting and host and plan events.

Chaney says that the big picture goal of OMSS this year is to have successful events and “continue what we’re doing, because I believe that we’re an important office. Our office has always been a huge resource for students as it relates to multiculturalism and inclusion.”