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The mission of THE O, which is comprised of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity (OGSD), and Religious Life, is to strengthen and enhance diversity at Tulane University.  THE O offers students of color and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, and allied students with advocacy services, mentoring,  personal support, and cultural, social, and academic programming to facilitate their adjustment to the University and ability to thrive thereafter.  It is also our mission to foster within the University community a respect and appreciation for racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual diversity and the history, traditions, and cultures of underrepresented student populations.  

THE O assists academic and administrative departments in implementing policies, programs, and activities to increase the number of underrepresented students that enroll in and graduate from Tulane University. THE O provides and supports programs and services in the following areas:

Mentoring-Ambassador Program
Cultural & Identity Based Student Organization Advising
Leadership Development and Training
Critical Dialogue and Engagement
Advocacy
Social Justice & Cultural Programming
Campus-wide Diversity Education and Training
Orientation & Transitional Issues
 

How does the O’s vision and work align with the Division’s Core Values?

Live in Community

True to our motto, Non sibi, sed suis, (Not for one's self but for one's own) we believe we have an obligation to one another. We pledge our best efforts in creating an educationally purposeful, open, just, disciplined, thoughtful and caring Tulane. We advocate for each other and are responsible and accountable participants in the New Orleans community in which we live. This resilient city is rich in culture and traditions which we celebrate, respect, and value. 

“The O”, as a hub for both the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office for Gender and Sexuality, approaches work from a person-centered perspective. Through engaging students in programs that are designed to celebrate and honor identities, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Gender and Sexuality work to truly embrace this value of living in community. Because we believe that people have intersecting identities, we work to create a community that acknowledges how identities and experiences are oftentimes interconnected. We do not believe that identities exist in isolation from the community. So, we also create opportunities for students to participate in cultural celebrations and programs that extend into the New Orleans community. 

Lead lives of Integrity

Each of us has the capacity to cultivate a purposeful and principled life, leading by example. We strive to foster the highest potential within individuals and hold ourselves to sound personal and professional ethical principles. We are each responsible for our actions, and expect this of others.  

At The O, we work to ensure that our actions as a community and our program stands in congruence with the values of our office. We want students to feel assured that what we say we value is exemplified through our various services and programs offered at The O. Additionally, we work in tandem with other departments across campus to address issues of bias, violence, discrimination, and harassment of all forms that negatively impact our campus community. Through addressing these incidents with education and concern for students, we hold ourselves accountable to help foster an ethical and equitable learning community at The O. 
 

Model inclusive excellence

Multicultural educational experiences and relationships are essential to increasing social and cultural understanding and generating innovative knowledge for the 21st century. We work to foster a sense of well-being and belonging among people of all backgrounds. We engage with each other and the diverse communities of New Orleans with humility, self-awareness, flexibility, respect, and reciprocity.  And, we cultivate spaces where authentic dialogues promote transformational learning.  

As our mission states, The O’s work is focused on fostering an open and vibrant learning environment that embraces difference. At the crux of the O’s work is honoring intersecting identities through the merging of OMA, OGSD, and Religious Life’s efforts. We provide educational, social, spiritual, and cultural opportunities for students to engage with those who may come from a different background and hold a different perspective from them. It is our hope that through modeling inclusive excellence in the opportunities we provide, students will be more prepared to enter an increasingly diverse workforce and society.  
 

Educate the whole person

We view education from a comprehensive and holistic perspective. We believe students are best educated in an environment where their intellectual development is integrated with their physical, social, emotional, creative, and spiritual growth. We believe higher education has the ability to liberate individuals when considered comprehensively, and we seek to contribute to this transcendent approach to education.

At the O, we offer students of color and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, and allied students with advocacy services, mentoring, personal support, and cultural, social, and academic programming to facilitate their adjustment to the University and ability to thrive thereafter. These services are filtered through Multicultural Affairs, Gender and Sexuality, and Religious Life work. We attempt to use services and programs at the O to facilitate physical, social, emotional, creative, and spiritual growth for students. Through education, training, and leadership opportunities for our students, we work to shed light on systems of oppression that seek to work against liberation for all. 
 

Be person-centered

People are at the center of our work and deserve our finest efforts. We are committed to an individual and developmental approach that honors our multiple and intersectional identities and inspires us to be our best.  

The O assists academic and administrative departments in implementing policies, programs, and activities to increase the number of underrepresented students that enroll in and graduate from Tulane. Through advising, advocacy, and support, we work to ensure student needs are placed first and that we create an ethic of care within the walls of the O. Our student organizations are also an essential piece of the O’s fabric as a department. We are committed to developing our students and fostering student leadership through participation in student organizations. Additionally, the O offers a multicultural student and parent orientation to emphasize our people-centered culture at the O. The O seeks to create an environment of safety and bravery for students to explore their identities and ask critical questions that lead to self-discovery. 

 

Encourage creativity and innovation 

The world is rapidly changing. Responding to the complex issues of the 21st century relies on our ability to ignite creativity and innovation within our education and our work. We foster environments characterized by original thinking, where diversity, creativity, risk, and experimentation can flourish.  

The O, in collaboration with other departments, offices, and student organizations work to promote a campus climate where individuals from varying backgrounds interact on a range of levels. We offer a variety of programs that include cultural heritage months and weeks, lectures, film screenings, art and dance showcases, and co-sponsorship of a variety of campus programs including festivals, field days, conferences, and workshops. We also create spaces of meaningful dialogue for students to exercise their critical thinking in relation to the complex social issues of today. It is our hope that students engage in transformative experiences where creativity and innovation can flourish.

Commit to healthy living

Much like the resilient New Orleans community in which we live, we are committed to a future of growth, health and well-being. Individually and collectively, by attending to mind, body and spirit, we are better prepared to serve as effective agents of change in the world.  We promote care and concern for other.

The O collaborates with different campus partners to encourage mental health and wellness awareness. In order to better advocate for students of color and LGBTQ+ students, it is important to recognize and address how mental health and wellness impacts their overall experience at Tulane. With a proactive and reactive approach to advocacy, we express care and concern for our underrepresented student communities.