CORVALLIS, Ore. – Student writers are invited to submit essays for a contest being held by the Oregon State University Office of Community and Diversity to generate ideas for making OSU the “destination of choice for people who are committed to diversity.”

“This is My OSU: A Destination of Choice Diversity Essay Contest” is open to all currently enrolled OSU students, and the prize for the winning entrant is one that would be attractive to almost any student: one year of in-state, undergraduate tuition.

According to Community and Diversity Director Terryl Ross, the contest reflects OSU’s desire to build on the momentum of efforts that were recently recognized by Minority Access Inc. as among the nation’s best practices for enhancing campus diversity.

“We at Oregon State are headed in the right direction. If just a few more people get actively involved in our diversity effort, we believe a tipping point will be reached, and a whole new wave of students, faculty and staff will join us because of what we are doing,” said Ross. “OSU, in fact, will become their destination of choice.”

Students are asked to write a one-page essay that presents their best idea for making OSU the destination of choice for people who are committed to diversity. Entries must be post-marked or hand delivered to the Community and Diversity office by 5 p.m. on Feb. 27.

The essay contest is one of many ways that OSU students can involve themselves in making their campus a more welcoming and inclusive community. In addition to the six cultural centers at OSU, there is a quarterly diversity book club, a monthly showing of the documentary series The Voices Project and a number of events where students can learn about each other’s cultures.

Also coming up this term is a student diversity summit, being held at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on Feb. 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees will enjoy dinner together and participate in a world-café style discussion about what is important to them as the campus moves forward with diversity efforts.

According to Amalia Martinez, one of the student organizers for the event, “This is a great opportunity for student leaders to let their voices be heard in regard to what they think needs to be improved on campus.”

For details on the essay contest, the student diversity summit and other diversity efforts at OSU, visit or call 541-737-4381.

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Terryl Ross,