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Black Student Union collaborates with administration to create multicultural fund

 Carley Crain

The Black Student Union, The Office of Multicultural Affairs, and The Office of the Vice President for Inclusion and Community Engagement have teamed up to create the multicultural fund.

Per Springfield College’s website, the multicultural fund aims to “support and encourage campus-based collaborations that promote social justice, antiracism, inclusion, and acceptance within the Springfield College community.” 

The fund is a newly founded program this year after many Springfield students demanded more funding for The Office of Multicultural Affairs as part of a list of six demands to increase equality, inclusion and diversity on campus. 

Instead of just creating new programs and events solely through The Office of Multicultural Affairs, the multicultural fund offers an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to have their voices be heard and to create unique initiatives. 

“It can really set the mood for increased scholarship on campus, increased awareness building, increased observation, and multicultural awareness,” said Vice President for Inclusion and Community Engagement, Dr. Calvin Hill. 

“One of the other things we are seeing is how do we honor our past, so this may involve research and who and what we are as an institution. The fund has an opportunity to have people think outside of the box,” he added.

Grants through the multicultural fund offer members of the Springfield College community a unique experience to educate themselves on culture and diversity awareness. Some examples of different initiatives may include educational speakers, cultural celebrations, diversity awareness campaigns and more. 

“Students wanted to have more dollars available for programming, so what we did is create this fund so that students who wanted to do programming, especially around issues of inclusion and multicultural awareness, have an opportunity to be eligible for this funding,” said Hill. 

“It is not just The Office of Multicultural Affairs programming, but really (it) is the campus community as a whole. It really is  everybody’s responsibility and job on campus to help promote diversity and inclusion. It is not just the role of one office alone.” 

Anybody directly involved with the Springfield College community is allowed to apply for a grant through the multicultural fund, as it is not limited just to students. 

However, the Springfield College community must be the main beneficiary. Grants can be awarded up to $1,000 and do not cover gifts or awards. Grants also cover only fifty percent of food costs and should be used for essential travel costs, printing, honoraria, programming logistics and more. 

When applying for a grant, criteria includes: campus connection, increased community and civic engagement on campus and involves a plan for evaluation and assessment. Due dates for grant applications are as follows: on or before Nov. 13, Jan. 8, Feb. 12, March 12, and April 9.

Applicants must include a budget plan when completing the grant application, as well as preparing a five-minute presentation to share with the selection committee of Raj Omoru (president of The Black Student Union), Vice President for Inclusion and Civic Engagement Dr. Calvin Hill, and Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs Felicia Lundquist. 

To apply for a grant through the multicultural fund head to:

Photo: Springfield College

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