Updates on the Office of Intercultural and International Life

4 March 2021

Dear Carleton community,

The Office of Intercultural and International Life (OIIL) plays a key role in affirming, supporting, and engaging both students of color and international students at Carleton. OIIL has fostered a strong peer leader program, offered events and opportunities to bring students together to discuss critical issues and current events, and cultivated a sense of belonging at Carleton. But as time and circumstances have changed, so too have the needs of our students, and today, I write to share the blueprint of a new organizational structure that will be better suited to a new generation of Carls.

Two distinct offices will take the place of one: the Office of Intercultural Life (OIL) and the Office of International Student Life (ISL).  Since the time when BIPOC and international student support were combined under one office in 2008, the BIPOC population at Carleton has increased by 52%, while the international population has grown by 58%. This notable growth signals a need for more specialized resources focused on serving the direct needs of these groups. Now is the time, as we seek new leadership for these critical functions, to reimagine a more meaningful structure.

The new Office of Intercultural Life will continue to offer its distinguished peer leader program and signature events, such as OIL talks, the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, and the OIL retreat. In addition, the office will continue to advise the cultural houses (Asia, Freedom, and La Casa del Sol) and the intercultural center (Stimson House). Future programming will expand the scope of educational opportunities and resources for BIPOC students, drawing upon themes of cultural education, cultural engagement, and cultural development. A search for a new Director of OIL will begin immediately. Associate Dean of Students Sindy Fleming will serve as interim director until a new director is named and starts work. OIL will remain in its current location, Sayles Hill 201.

The Office of International Student Life (ISL) will continue to support ongoing traditions, such as International Student Orientation and International Festival. Furthermore, ISL will create a new peer leader program led by international students, who will serve as a source of support for individuals as they prepare to study in the United States and will lead programs for the international community. International students will have an opportunity to have an OIL peer leader or an international peer leader. Both peer leader programs will work on programming for their corresponding areas while collaborating with each other. This office will also continue to provide important visa support and other guidance for international students and scholars.

Liz Cody, current assistant director for OIIL, has been promoted to serve as inaugural director of ISL. Liz’s time at Carleton and her previous work at New York University have been marked by effective community-building and support for international students. ISL will make its home in Sayles Hill 051, alongside the Student Activities Office. 

Dean Fleming and Liz Cody will work together and with members of the Carleton community to ensure a thoughtful and seamless transition for all involved.

Carolyn Livingston

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