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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

December 10, 2004

Minority Student Affairs office adopts new name

by Annette Hacker

The Office of Minority Student Affairs has a new name: Multicultural Student Affairs.

Associate dean of students Leonard Perry, who directs the office, said the new name is "more positive and affirming" and better reflects the population MSA serves: African American, Latino/a-Hispanic, Asian American/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaskan Native, as well as multi-racial and international students of color.

The change, in part, stems from a spring survey of all students of color at Iowa State. In that survey, students were asked the question, "What are your feelings and/or thoughts regarding the word 'minority'?"

A majority of respondents found the word offensive on some level, and very few supported continued use of the term.

"The name 'Multicultural Student Affairs' provides the foundation for us to reach out to more students, as well as effectively interact with our colleagues around the country in regard to terminology," Perry said.

MSA's strategic direction and programming targets all ISU community members, Perry added.

"Students of color do not live, study, work and play in a vacuum at Iowa State," he said. "To succeed in becoming all that they can become, these students have to interact and engage the entire community."


Multicultural Student Affairs is the new name for the former Minority Student Affairs. The new name better reflects the population the office services.