Being a multicultural student at a predominantly white institution can often make you feel alone and helpless. It’s hard to find people to relate to and you don’t often find people who look like you around campus. However, there are many resources on campus and in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that can make you feel more comfortable and more represented.
TALK TO YOUR MLO. What is a MLO, you may ask? A MLO is a Multicultural Liaison Officer that helps multicultural students with the support and advocacy of diversity. The MLO of the College of LAS is Der Vang (email@example.com). You can find her at Catt Hall in Room 102 during her office hours or shoot her an email with any questions or concerns. She’s also a consistent user of social media, which might be more helpful for you in an informal setting. If you’re interested in being more involved on campus, you can contact Der about joining the BOLD Learning Community as well!
VISIT MSA. The Multicultural Student Affairs office is found on the second floor of the Student Services Building on campus. MSA is there for support, empowerment and is a great resource to meet new people and to get help in any area. At MSA, there’s a computer lab where multicultural students can work and print up to 25 pages of paper for free. There’s also a lounge area where you can relax, study and mingle with other multicultural students. MSA has many different people that can aid in scholarships, events and studies as well. Follow @ISU_MSA on Instagram for updates or read their student blog, The Hype, to feel more connected.
JOIN A CLUB. There are so many organizations that can help you feel like you belong on campus! You just have to look! Whatever nationality or ethnicity you identify with, there’s a group for you here on campus. If there isn’t, create one! To look at different clubs, go onto Iowa State’s main webpage and under the “Students” tab, click “Student Organizations”. Under the categories, click “Multicultural” and a list of groups will show up. Organizations like the Asian Student Union (ASU), Black Student Alliance (BSA), and even Greek fraternities and sororities are included.
You aren’t alone. As a multicultural student in the College of LAS, there are many people who want to see you succeed. They are resources for academics, finances, overall health and well-being, and socially related things. If the problem is that you don’t feel represented on campus, there are many others just like you! If you need help in other areas, the multicultural community at Iowa State is like a big family.