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Be Empowered

Multicultural Student Life (MSL) is dedicated to promoting a welcoming and inclusive campus environment while advocating for traditionally marginalized students by providing academic support, multicultural education, identity exploration, leadership development, and diverse and innovative programming through collaborative partnerships. We strive to assist in the retention and graduation of students who are empowered to positively impact a global society.

MSL offers a variety of programs that bring in notable personalities in the arts, politics, activism, and sciences for the enrichment of the students, staff, and local community, as well as countless opportunities, to get involved and receive support.

Tanisha Jenkins, director of MSL

Tanisha Jenkins, director of MSL

“MSL serves as an essential resource and support system for marginalized students,” says director of MSL, Tanisha Jenkins. “Not only do we provide educational and cultural programming for the campus community, but we also strive to help students realize their full potential while working to create a campus community where everyone believes that they matter and belong.”

Multicultural Student Life has been an integral part of the university for over 40 years and stands as a testament to the university’s commitment to diversity and appreciation of differences in its student, faculty, and staff populations.

Join the Multicultural Mentoring Program (MMP)

The MMP provides personal support, assistance, social guidance, and positive campus survival skills to first-year students of color by developing activities and interactions with upper-division students to address personal needs, thus contributing to their academic success, and enhancing UT’s efforts in recruiting, retaining and graduating students of color.

The MMP mentor will help you succeed in your first year by strategic and consistent contact, and by providing you personal and professional

A male student smiles during the Multicultural Student Life Celebration even.

A male student smiles during the Multicultural Student Life Celebration even.

enrichment opportunities Your MMP mentor will act as a referral agent for academic support services available at UT. You and your mentor will be encouraged to attend programs in which you can create a deeper connection to the university and form new friendships.

“Honestly MSL has really opened up opportunities for me to explore and take part in conversations and communities that I don’t find anywhere else on campus,” says Ben Chumney, MMP mentor and diversity educator. “Through my time with MMP and Diversity Educators, I have met many incredible people and had the opportunity to engage in dialogue across campus about things that are important to me, especially relating to social justice and diversity & inclusivity. MSL has given me hope for change in our campus community through all of its members, the organizations they foster, and the programs they hold. It is by far my favorite place on campus and I always know I have a second home in their office!”

Check Out the Book Loan Program

Students attending the annual Black Issues Conference

Students attending the annual Black Issues Conference

The Book Loan Program was created to help all students subsidize the costs of purchasing books. The program allows students to borrow two books during the semester free of charge and return the books to the Frieson Black Cultural Center at the end of the semester.

The Book Loan program offers a large and diverse number of textbooks and books. Textbooks from the 100 level to 400 level, with topics such as English, Sociology, Psychology, Foreign Language, Biology, Chemistry, and Math are available. Additionally, there are several study books that you can borrow to prepare you for the GRE, LSAT, and MCAT.

Here’s how to find out if the books you need are available and apply for the Book Loan Program:

  1. Check the availability of the desired book.
    1. Go to this website (One Search link opens in new window.)
    2. Type “BLP” in the Course Reserves search box.
    3. All the books listed are a part of our library loan system. Go through the books to see if the ones you need are available.
    4. Some may be listed as “Available at Black Cultural Center (UT) Book Loan Program” even though they are already put on reserve for someone who has filled out an application. Therefore, you MUST fill out an application, and the ASU office will get back to you on its availability.
  2. If the book you desire is available, complete a Book Loan application.
  3. The Academic Support Staff will process your application and send you an e-mail regarding the status of the request within three business days.
  4. If your textbook is available, you will receive a notification through your UTK email address. This email will provide information on days of the weeks and times that you are able to pick up your textbook(s) from the Frieson Black Cultural Center. In order to pick up your book(s), you will need to bring your Vol Card & have confirmation that you received an email from an MSL staff member.

Sign Up for Tutoring

Students in the FBCC Library

Students in the FBCC Library

The staff in Multicultural Student Life are here to ensure that you succeed academically! The Academic Support Unit in MSL is committed to providing quality tutoring for a variety of undergraduate courses. We provide both individual or small group tutoring to fit your needs and hire quality tutors with the ability to combine their subject area expertise, communicate with you, and work towards creating self-motivated independent students.

Assistant director Ronni Williams shares, “Multicultural Student Life’s Academic Support Unit is a great way to invest in your academic career as you start your journey here at UT!! Our Tutorial Program and Book Loan Program are here to help you succeed academically! These resources are free and easy to access. Both aim to provide equitable resources for all UTK students throughout the duration of their time at UT and ease the financial burden.”