Office of Multicultural Affairs
Unity + Diversity = University | Multicultural Affairs
The Office of Multicultural Affairs at Rider University seeks to complement and support the university’s efforts to reach and foster the understanding and appreciation of different cultures and ways of life that are shared by diverse groups of people through programming, policies and best practices.
It supports all of the cultural-based organizations on campus. They include:
Asian Students at Rider (ASAR)
Asian Students at Rider is dedicated to represent, promote, and strengthen the awareness of Asian cultures to the Rider community. As proud individuals, we are committed to promote and educate our peers at this institution. The club is open to all members of Rider University in which all backgrounds and nationalities are welcome.
Black Men Unified (BMU)
A cohesive group of black males and supporters of different backgrounds on campus who are banded together to create a safer environment where they have the opportunity to express their views and share their stories. There will be a focus on empowerment and its pillars of leadership, social justice, collaboration, and service. Furthermore, this organization will invest in its members through round table discussions, workshops, and inclusive events.
Black Student Union (BSU)
The purpose of the Black Student Union is to stimulate the intellectual, political, cultural, and social growth of Rider University students through enriching programs and community service in hopes to educate its members and the Rider community in order to bring awareness, spark action, and ignite change that will benefit the African-American and multicultural student body.
Catholic Campus Ministry
Created to address/meet the needs of Rider’s Catholic students.
HILLEL (Jewish Student Organization)
Hillel is a student run Jewish organization on Rider University's campus. We plan 3 to 4 events a month for Jewish or non-Jewish students to attend. These events range from religious, cultural, social, and social action. Our goal is to foster an environment that students can come to continue living their Jewish lives or to learn more about a new culture.
Japanese Pop Culture Society (JSPC)
Through media, JPCS explores life in classic and contemporary Japan. They explore Japanese culture, music, philosophy, sociology, cinema, fine art, dance, food, advertisements, technology, literature, and anime (Japanese cartoons). JSPC regards themselves as "more than JUST an anime club." Through media, JPCS explores life in classic and contemporary Japan.
Latin American Student Organization (LASO)
Created to address/meet the needs of Rider’s Spanish/Latin American students.
LOCKS (Loving Our Curly, Kinky, Straight Hair Club)
The purpose of this organization is to empower individuals addressing the roots of issues regarding self-esteem and self-image due to their hair. This organization will educate participants on how to keep their hair maintained and how to rebuild their confidence in their unique beauty. Our mission is to reach a broader community while promoting an important message.
Multicultural Student Leadership Institute (MSLI)
MSLI provides an environment for discussing issues related to the transition of first year students and incoming transfer students from diverse backgrounds to Rider University, a predominately suburban private institution. Through a series of open-ended seminars and meetings, future Rider student leaders receive guidance from and interact with Rider faculty, staff, and alumni. Issues discussed include college survival strategies, self-exploration, and cross-cultural communication.
Muslim Student Association (MSA)
MSA aims to distinguish the media perception of Islam from what it truly is, and through a series of discussions, meetings, collaborations and celebrations, educate students and the broader Rider community, in order to dispel common misconceptions.
Rider African Student Association (RASA)
The purpose of Rider African Student Association is to expose the Rider University community, products of and or interested in the culture and history of people that make up the African Diaspora and to provide a social outlet for the discussion and enrichment of the African experience. RASA is responsible for sponsoring a yearly event that promotes the growth of the African nation as a whole by providing assistance towards increased vitality to at least one African Country and or region. Anyone who interested in learning about the African culture is welcomed to join RASA. You do not need to be African to learn about the African culture.
The River LAW-InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Created for the purpose of giving a space to Rider’s Christian population.
Rider International Student Association (RISA)
Rider International Student Association is an organization for all Rider students to learn about different cultures. We are an organization which aims to help International exchange students feel welcomed at Rider University. We hope to give our exchange students an understanding of the American culture, whilst also connecting these students with others within the Rider Community. We aim to be a safe, yet fun organization for those studying here at Rider, or for any who wish to learn more about other cultures.
Rider Organization of Caribbean Affiliated Students (ROCAS)
The purpose of ROCAS is to educate its members along with the Rider community on Caribbean culture, history, and issues both past and present. ROCAS aims to be a resource and outlet for both Caribbean students and those wanting to learn more about the Caribbean. ROCAS is open to the entire Rider University community. All students enrolled in the institution are eligible to be both on the general board and executive committee of ROCAS. The Rider Community is encouraged to attend both the meetings and events hosted by ROCAS.
Rider Women United (RWU)
Rider Women United formed with the intentions of educating and involving the rider community in issues dealing with women. The Rider Women United club attempts to heighten awareness of all gender issues to promote change and activism within the Rider community. By doing various activities where students are given opportunities to interact with one another, Rider United Women hopes to show the Rider community that issues concerning women do not exclude men and that both genders are an integral part in making the organization one that educates all.
Spectrum Pride Alliance
Spectrum Pride Alliance is the LGBTQ organization on Rider's campus. They act as a safe space for members of the community, as well as discussing different aspects of the community. They encourage people, who are not a part of the community, to come to meetings and learn more about different aspects of the LGBTQ community.
Some campus-wide events/programs supported by the Office of Multicultural Affairs are:
A Diverse Welcome Reception
In the fall semester of each year, all diverse students are invited to a welcome reception highlighting the diverse clubs and Greek organizations on the Rider campus. An alumnus/alumna is invited to speak briefly to the students about their experience at Rider as a diverse student. Food and refreshments are served. This is a collaborative event between the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the cultural clubs and organizations on the Rider Campus.
Student Voices: Meaningful Conversations
Dialogue among students, faculty and staff in better understanding the challenges faced by events in the media describing racism in America. Also, these conversations, held at various times in each semester, address the negative experiences faced by diverse students on both of Rider’s campuses. They are:
CONVERSATION CAFÉ: What’s on your mind?
A series of conversations on current issues that may affect our lives, usually hosted and moderated by Rider students and hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
Open Door Conversations
A forum for students to voice their concerns and promote dialogue among students on campus.
Each year we have a Unity Day celebration here at Rider University to support awareness and understanding of social justice issues that affect our lives in this globally diverse world. Unity Day is the main kick-off activity that sets the tone for the school year, wherein our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and outside constituents come together to also celebrate the diverse elements that make up the Rider community. The students, faculty and staff are invited to participate on the planning committee.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Throughout the month of November, the Office of Multicultural Affairs supports Latin American organizations in heightening the awareness of the accomplishments and contributions of Latin Americans to the American and global society. We are planning to revert to celebrating this important holiday on September 15, when it is celebrated nationally.
HIV/AIDS Awareness in Commemoration of World AIDS Day
On December 1 (World Aid's Day), this is a day to educate and instill awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic into the Rider student body. The student-made HIV/AIDS Awareness Quilt is on display from 9 am to 9 pm. When possible, a speaker is invited to educate the students on the importance of this subject. Condoms and other health information are also made available.
Celebration of Lights and the Lighting of the Library
These events always occur on the Friday prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday. It is the kickoff of the holiday season on the Rider campus and cultural traditions. Celebration of Lights highlights Three Kings Day, Eid, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Diwali, among others.
Black History Month
During the month of February, the Office of Multicultural Affairs supports initiatives to heighten awareness of the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans to the American and global society.
National Coming Out Day
Annual civil awareness day to recognize and provide solidarity to members of the LGBTQ community.The Office of Multicultural Affairs is happy to support this day on the Rider campus whenever needed.
Women’s History Month
A cultural celebration celebrated in March designed to heighten awareness of the accomplishments and contributions of women to American and global society.
Asian Heritage Month
The Office of Multicultural Affairs supports the programming which takes place to heighten awareness of the accomplishments and contributions of Asians/Asian Americans, to American and global society.
Rider Cultural Fest
A proposed town and gown event to be held on the first Friday in May, or last Friday in April, depending on how it falls within a calendar year. It is intended to be hosted by Rider and partnered with the Township of Lawrence and the Chambers of Commerce. It will be primarily a food festival which is intended to showcase culinary cuisine from the region’s diverse dining community, along with vendors/artisans, who sell wares (e.g. jewelry, adornments, clothing, etc.) representing various cultural sectors.
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