The Office of Intercultural Student Engagement promotes a welcoming and inclusive campus environment that supports the leadership development, social experiences and academic persistence of students from traditionally under-represented groups on campus. We offer educational and co-curricular programs that help raise cultural awareness and appreciation for students of diverse backgrounds.
OISE supports these UNE Core Values:
- Student Centered
- Integrity and Ethical Behavior
- Global Community and Diversity
- Health and Wellness
UNE’s history of support for traditionally under-represented students is long and reflects the demographics of our students over time. Following recommendation from the President’s committee on diversity, a single staff member was hired in the mid-2000s to support students of color in their academic pursuits. Shortly after, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity was founded, with an expanded mission of support for LGBTQ+ persons. The office and Cultural Exchange Lounge were originally located in the lower level of Decary Hall on UNE’s Biddeford Campus, but now call the Campus Center home. Over time, additional staff were hired, the scope of the office expanded to formally include religious and spiritual education and services have grown greatly. Today, we provide support services to students, staff and faculty on UNE’s Biddeford and Portland campuses.
In the summer of 2015, we changed our name to Intercultural Student Engagement to reflect changes in universities throughout New England and to better describe our work: learning and understanding across cultural divisions and differences.