OMD After the Protest

Maria Guess-Cousins

Last week, many students rallied in a silent protest on the front of Buchtel Hall’s steps. Students of many backgrounds shared similar interests as they stood with their mouths duck taped.

Prior to the protest, students were sent an email in reference to the Office of Multicultural Development’s (OMD) potential closing.

Despite the request to deter the protest, many students still showed up in support, which gained widespread attention on campus and throughout the Akron community.

The OMD has been fluid in improving the graduation and retention rates for students who utilize the offices services. Many students tend to be accepted into the honors college at UA, along with being admitted into top law and graduate programs.

UA leaders stated that a portion of OMD’s services were a method of segregation and that it takes grit and iron to graduate. The plan is to make the office a place for underrepresented students. University leaders also stated that OMD’s name would change and that services will remain the same but staff may be cut.

Director of Diversity at the University of Akron, Michael Davis, is among many students that have asked for answers and the requests have just been shut out. According to Davis, the students asked for statistical data to support the claim the changes would be made successful. That request was also denied.

“If the administration keeps the name and services, but fail to fill vacant spots within the office with qualified persons, provide adequate space (admin did not mention if OMD would stay in its current location), and a staff who truly cares for underrepresented; graduation rates can get worse”, says Davis.

To keep up with this issue, contact the Office of Multicultural Development located in Simmons Hall, or visit the website at