Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Undergraduate Student Life

Multicultural Affairs Advisory Council

***NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2016-17. Due September 14 for first year students; due September 16 for returning students. Applications are open to all undergraduate students from Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. ***
The Multicultural Affairs Advisory Council is an advocacy group comprised of a broad-representation of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering undergraduate students who work collectively toward continually enhancing the programs and services of the OMA, evaluating the needs of our diverse undergraduate student population, identifying relevant campus issues, and promoting a campus environment of inclusion, self-awareness, intercultural engagement, and social responsibility.  The MAAC is comprised of four collaborative but distinct advisory boards:

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MAAC's Mission

The Multicultural Affairs Advisory Council (MAAC) is a non-hierarchical, transparent organization, composed of Columbia College and School of Engineering and Applied Science students, working towards a more respectful, accountable, and socially just campus environment. In partnership with students, student organizations, Multicultural Affairs, and campus offices, we strive to continue creating a university community in which students of all identities are supported, valued, and celebrated. We seek:

  • To be an accessible and visible resource for the entire student community
  • To keep the University accountable and responsive to students and their concerns
  • To provide avenues for the administration to better understand student concerns
  • To hold ourselves accountable to students and be open to critique and challenge
  • To support efforts addressing bias and hate in the Columbia community
  • To provide and promote safe spaces for challenging dialogue about all students’ experiences and concerns related to identity
  • To better enable varying communities to connect, collaborate, and  recognize common ground
  • To ally with and support students in marginalized communities
  • To support and connect with groups whose missions include anti-oppression education and awareness
  • To recognize students’ simultaneous connections to multiple communities on campus

We commit to the above to better enable the Office of Multicultural Affairs to fulfill its goals and its work with campus partners. 

(Written by Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board student members, September 2012)

MAAC's Relationship to the Advisory Boards

MAAC is the conglomerate of the four advisory boards. While each board has separate meetings and projects throughout the year, all four boards come together to form MAAC. As MAAC, they meet at least once a semester, namely for a joint weekend retreat and planning meeting at the beginning of each semester.

MAAC -- whether as a whole group or having representatives from each board -- can also be called upon and convened when complicated and/or intersectional campus issues need to be addressed. They also can serve as resources to each other for collaborations, consultations, and addressing shared campus issues.

While each board focuses on a particular communities needs and advocacy points, they approach their work with a shared understanding of their collective purpose, requirements, and expectations (outlined below).

Shared Functions of the Advisory Boards

MAAC's advisory boards focus on advocacy, rather than programming. While each advisory board has a unique community focus and ways in which it enacts its work, they all share these common advocacy functions as they serve our undergraduate students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering:

  • Outreaching to and developing connections with relevant student communities and organizations
  • Understanding student experiences and identifying key issues within their focus community
  • Sharing information gathered with campus partners, including Multicultural Affairs
  • Working with students and relevant offices to develop recommendations for addressing identified issues
  • Providing critical feedback and suggestions to initiatives being developed and implemented by campus partners
  • Spearheading or supporting relevant advocacy projects and awareness campaigns on campus

Shared Expectations and Requirements of Advisory Board Members

As members of an advisory board within MAAC, students are required to:

  • Be a currently enrolled undergraduate student in Columbia College or Columbia Engineering
  • Be in good University and Community Standing
  • Be able to fully commit their participation in MAAC for the entirety of the academic year
  • Attend a weekend MAAC retreat and advisory board planning meeting at the beginning of each semester
  • Attend at least two hours of regular meetings within every two-week period

We expect for all members to be open in discussing challenging topics and campus issues, collaborative advocates, be willing to challenge and be challenged, actively contribute to meetings and activities of the boards, and be passionate about working toward a truly inclusive and just campus community. 

Multicultural Affairs


510 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-0720

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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