Multicultural Student Services Center records
Scope and Contents
This collection contains annual reports, program files, publications, student files, correspondence, memos, and memorial materials. The material dates from 1962-2016. These records represent the range of programs, initiatives, events, and administrative work of the Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC). This includes Educational Opportunity Program records; Black People's Union files; and the posters and materials are related to a celebration and memorial to the LGBTQIA+ and Latinx victims of the Pulse Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016.
- Creation: 1969-2016
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-1990
Conditions Governing Access
Access to student records is governed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records. Student records in Series 1 are closed for 100 years from date of record creation. All other records in Series 1 are closed for 25 years from date of record creation.
Researchers should contact Special Collections to request boxes from this collection and include specific folder numbers, so staff can review them for restricted content. Please allow additional time for staff to fulfill the request.
Restrictions on Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
The Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC or “The Center”) is an office at The George Washington University that addresses the needs of underrepresented undergraduate students. The Center also has a physical space, located at 2127 G Street NW. From the MSSC website: “The Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) focuses its work on underrepresented undergraduate students who are racial-, ethnic- and identity-based minority students.” The communities and identities they specifically provide outreach to includes: Asian and Pacific Islander; Black; Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transgender, Intersex, and Asexual; Latinx, Native American; Religious and Faith; and South Asian (MSSC Website, 2020).
The Multicultural Student Services Center was created in 1989 to better address the needs of minority students and supplement the services provided by the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) (The GW Hatchet, July 13, 1989). Founded in 1969, the Education Opportunity Program provided funding and support to Washington, DC-area high school students who otherwise would not have attended college. The EOP itself grew out of concerns and efforts from the Black Peoples' Union at GWU. The EOP worked closely with the Admissions Office and the Financial Aid Department. Students were required to participate in an eight- to ten-week Precollege Enrichment and Review Program (PREP) course. Early Directors of the EOP included Yvonne Thomas, Ronald Whitmore, and Valerie Epps. When the MSSC was created, Valerie Epps became its first Director. As of 2020, the Multicultural Student Services Center is now part of the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) in the Office of the Provost. The Director of the MSSC reports to the Vice Provost, ODECE. Previously, the MSSC Director reported to the Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services.
Through the Center, students receive orientation to the various University resources, and are made aware of the many cultural activities and programs that exist on campus and in the greater Metropolitan area. Throughout the year, the MSSC hosts a wide range of events and opportunities to enhance the multicultural ideals, cultural heritage, racial understanding, academic excellence, and continuous personal development for all students. There are a number of “Signature Events” hosted each year, like the MSSC Block Party at the beginning of the Academic Year. The MSSC Graduation, which began in 2008, is now a part of the official GW Commencement Weekend. (It was added to the official program in 2011.) The MSSC also collaborates with other departments on campus to host events. The Interfaith Baccalaureate during Commencement Weekend is a partnership with University Events, while King Week is co-developed with the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.
The Center provides professional and peer counseling; course advising; tutoring referrals; internship and career help; and campus and community mentoring programs. MSSC Staff also can provide training to the GW faculty, staff, and students on diversity and inclusion issues and skills. The MSSC also houses the LGBTQIA+ Resource Center.
(Originally written in 2005, Updated 2020.)
21.25 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC or “The Center”) addresses the needs of underrepresented undergraduate students who are racial-, ethnic- and identity-based minority students. This collection contains annual reports, program files, publications, student files, correspondence, memos, and memorial materials, which document the wide range of programs, events, and activities administered by the MSSC. The material dates from 1962 to 2016, with the bulk of the material dating from 1980-1990.
Organized in three series: Multicultural Student Services Center, Brochures, and GW memorial materials related to Pulse nightclub shooting, 2016
Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These records were transferred to the University Archives by the Multicultural Student Services Center.
- Guide to the Multicultural Student Services Center records, 1969-2016
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English