IISPS - An Overview:
As in other aspects of life at Millsaps College, an individual's freedom of choice is highly valued. The college's long tradition of advancing social justice and encouraging diversity has helped students, faculty and staff to recognize that belonging to a national or ethnic group does not necessarily imply unanimity to a prescribed set of beliefs or interests among its members. A significant factor in the richness of Millsaps’ student life is the cooperation between racial and ethnic groups and subsequent awareness of the wider population. Within the office of IISPS, MCA Diversity Group, Black Student Association, Millsaps International Buddy System, The Asian Student Organization, all work together to serve this important ideal and function. Everyone is welcomed to attend and/or join all IISPS programs.
Our Best Start (during freshmen orientation)
As a component to freshman orientation, MCA provides a program entitled "Our Best Start," created to provide a place to discuss college life with concerned student leaders, staff, and faculty members in a smaller arena. This program offers a comfortable environment where minority first year students in particular, in addition to other anxious though eager freshmen, can meet and interact in a more defined and relaxed manner with these key people. The expected program result is that these freshmen, because of this more personal interaction, will feel more relaxed, having met plenty of friendly people even before classes begin. It's a great way to start the school year, meet new people, and show support for diversity at Millsaps.
MCA Diversity Meetings (every Tuesday while classes are in session, 12 p.m.)
The MCA Diversity Group meets each week to discuss diversity issues that concern individuals personally, the campus community, and the society at large. Meetings are conducted in a relaxed, non-confrontational manner, and are designed to challenge individuals to look inward regarding their own attitudes in order to help make a significant difference and positive impact on how they operate in the world. The MCA Diversity group has a student leadership group that very effectively serves to identify the concerns and sentiments of students on campus, and topics for these open meetings have included such issues as same-sex couples and homophobia, local events where racism was prominent, racism on campus, stereotyping political correctness, the Rebel flag, group self-segregation, interracial and interreligious marriages, and more. Everyone is encouraged to attend!
Passages, Poetry & Pastries (once a month while classes are in session)
Students, staff, faculty, and sometimes special guests from the community are invited to share some of their favorite writings, earmarked to evoke a thoughtful contemplation of one's own voice and the voice of others. This monthly theme-based program focuses on the work of select renowned writers, amateur writers, and also the work of current students. Delicious pastries are available during intermission, and participants are encouraged to meet and get to know others in attendance. Former themes have included "The Beauty and Power of Accents and Languages."
MCA Festival (an annual event in the fall semester)
A week-long festival event that invites the entire campus to participate, the MCA Festival features such activities as: cultural presentations, exhibits, dance, bands, ethnic cuisine, fashion, crafts, prizes and more. Though the theme of the Festival is different each year, the Festivals really are about the basic theme of celebrating and appreciating diversity. The festival site is usually located in the campus bowl.
Sexuality Awareness Week (during the month of October)
This week is dedicated to educating the campus community about issues surrounding sexuality. The schedule of events has a variety of activities, which often includes a related "Passages, Poetry & Pastries" event, a film showing, workshops and trainings, and many other interesting and educational experiences.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program (an annual event in the month of January)
To honor the great works and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we host an annual breakfast, community service opportunities, cooperative efforts with Tougaloo College, and other activities and programs.
Black History Month Events (during the month of February)
A variety of events are hosted by different groups and organizations to honor and celebrate Black History Month. Events address issues related to music, politics, history, and more. Be sure to check out all the programming opportunities to learn, have fun, and make connections with your fellow Millsaps community members.
Secret Struggles Awareness Week (during the month of February)
This week is meant to bring light to issues, conditions, and situations that are often overlooked, misunderstood, or considered taboo. Those who struggle with these things often feel forced to suffer silently and alone. Issues such as depression, suicide, disordered eating, self injury, and relationship and sexual violence are just some of the many secret struggles members of our community face every day. We hope by exposing these struggles, we can all grow and become stronger together.
UMMC MEDCORP (every summer)
The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) offers the Medical Cooperative Program (MEDCORP) as a summer enrichment program for pre-freshman and pre-sophomore students who are disadvantaged/underserved and who are looking for an advanced math and science curriculum to help prepare them for the field of health professions. More information on this program is available through the MCA/ISP office here at Millsaps.