About

The Office of Minority Student Affairs, located in the Sitterding House basement, at 901 Floyd Avenue was founded in 1988 in response to intense lobbying from African American students. During that time, African American students attending VCU were a minority group, and these students felt that as underserved and underrepresented students, they needed an office that specifically served them. The office's focus was limited to these students because other ethnic groups didn't have significant numbers of students at this point in the university's history. Soon, because of the office's scope, students, faculty and administrative staff began to view the office as the "Black Student Office." This perception was largely due to the fact that the office offered programs and services to students who had advocated for its creation; namely African American students.

During the early 1990's, OMSA helped a growing number of Latino students to organize and create a student organization to address their own cultural and social concerns. In 1995 Latino students began to question the priorities of the office and, during meetings with the first director, L. Victor Collins, raised many questions about the unit's future direction and priorities. In essence, they wanted the office to extend its services to Latino students too.

Because of the mounting concern by Latino students, two proposals were developed for the office. One proposal was to change the name of the office to the Office of Cultural Diversity. Another proposal was to establish a separate Intercultural Center that would be managed by the Office of Minority Student Affairs. In October 1995, OMSA drafted a proposal offering a broader scope for the office; and in September 1996 the focus shifted to one of being more inclusive of other underserved, underrepresented ethnic groups. Afterwards, the office offered programs and services to a wider group of ethnic and race students at VCU. To reflect this shift, in 1998 the name was changed to the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. Later, another facility named the Center for Multicultural Student Activities was discussed and officially opened on February 17, 2000.

In 2001 the second director, Napoleon L. Peoples, PhD, was hired. Later that year, the Center for Multicultural Student Activities was closed so that it could be enlarged and redesigned for a new office. On April 15, 2004, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs moved into their newly designed office in the University Student Commons where the Center for Multicultural Student Activities was once located.

In 2006, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs expanded its scope by offering programs for Women students and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered students. In 2009 the third director, Beverly A. Walker, was hired. Previously, serving as the Assistant Director. In 2012 OMSA welcomed its fourth director, Faith A. Wilkerson.