Multicultural Student Services (MSS), as part of the Office of the Dean of Students, aims to promote inclusion and engagement for historically underrepresented students. We enhance the undergraduate experience through co-curricular programs and culturally relevant services that are meant to empower students in their identity, build community, and help a diverse group of students find their individual and collective voices.
Through MSS, we work with students to develop programs offered through the Multicultural Student Center (MSC) and the LGBTQ Center, both located on the lower level of Newcomb Hall. These important centers of student life have been designed to meet the needs of multicultural students to find community and engage in rich dialogue. The Centers offer meeting and program space for student groups, study space with computers, a comfortable lounge area, and a conference room. These Centers are open to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Opened in 2016, the Multicultural Student Center aims to facilitate a student-centered, collaborative space that supports historically underrepresented communities, while cultivating the empowerment of all students. We seek to enhance personal development, build understanding through dialogue of diverse experiences, and equip students with tools to become socially conscious citizen leaders. Through these efforts, the Multicultural Student Center hopes to inspire cultural fluency and the sense of responsibility necessary to ensure the dignity and respect of all individuals.
Contact the Multicultural Student Center: 434.924.9250
The LGBTQ Center supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Opened in 2001, with generous financial support from the Serpentine Society, the LGBTQ Center works to raise awareness and inclusion of sexual and gender minorities as important contributors to the broader University community.
Contact the LGBTQ Center: 434.982.2843
MSS Support and Resources
- Asian/Asian Pacific American (A/APA) - A/APAs at UVA comprise approximately 18% of the overall student population. There are 40+ student-led organizations (CIOs) that are geared towards the needs and interests of A/APA students. MSS supports student-run programs and initiatives such as the Peer Advising Family Network (PAFN) peer mentoring program, leadership retreats and development programs, and APA Heritage Month Festivities.
- Hispanic/Latinx - There are numerous CIOs here at the University seeking to connect Hispanic/Latinx students to each other and the wider University community. Sponsored programs include the Peer Mentoring Program (PMP) and the Latino Heritage Month.
- Middle Eastern - There a number of Middle Eastern student organizations on Grounds which serve as a wonderful resource to students who identify with being of Middle Eastern, North African, or Central Asian descent. Through MSS, students can participate in the Middle Eastern Peer Mentoring Program (MEMP) and bond with the community through events like “MELC Fridays” on the Lawn. For students of Islamic faith, the Muslim Student Association has prepared this list of resources (pdf).
- Native American - MSS regularly collaborates with university faculty and staff, members of the surrounding Virginia Indian communities and tribes, and the Native American Student Union to support our current Native American students and to help increase Native American representation in higher education. The Native American Student Union (NASU) is made up of a diverse group of students, Native and non-Native, who come together to explore common interest in Native American culture. The organization strives to provide an environment where all students can freely explore issues of identity, heritage and community.
- International Students - UVA is proud to have more than 10% of the total student body made up of international students. MSS seeks to work with other units, including the International Studies Office, in creating a supportive environment which promotes international students' full engagement with the University's extracurricular life and enhances the sensitivity of the larger community to the needs, interests, and cultural traditions of our international students.