Student Engagement

Odyssey Class of 2027 Retreat at the Joyce Contemplative Center


Odyssey is a transitional program for first-year students who are first-generation to college, BIPOC, or eligible for the Pell Grant. The program occurs in August, in the days leading up to new student move-in and Gateways Orientation. Students who participate in Odyssey build lasting relationships with their peers, connect with faculty and staff, engage in identity development workshops and activities, and learn about campus resources and the local community. Learn more about Odyssey.

The Mentor Program

The Mentor Program is designed to support students with their transition to Holy Cross. Students invited to participate in the Mentor Program include, but are not restricted to, first-year students of color, first-generation students, students eligible for the pell grant, International students, Passport and Odyssey students. The JEBI Office offers this program in collaboration with the Office of Academic Services and Learning Resources (ASLR). Learn more about the Mentor Program.

Multicultural Peer Education

Multicultural Peer Education is based on the premise that effective change occurs most consistently when people have opportunities to develop respectful relationships. Our multicultural peer educators (MPEs) are specially trained Holy Cross student volunteers who assist in programming, work with staff and residence assistants, and informally engage other students on topics of diversity. MPEs are committed to:

  • Opening up people’s minds and hearts by their own examples.
  • Championing the belief that human differences matter.
  • Educating themselves and their peers about the most honest and effective ways of openly discussing human differences.
  • Encouraging others to share their stories – and to reach out and form genuine relationships.

How can we learn to listen better, speak more openly and honestly, and develop real and genuine relationships with each other? When it comes to our human differences, the College of the Holy Cross actively engages in confronting silence and segregation on campus. The MPEs, co-advised by the JEBI Office and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), promote affirmationawareness, and action as the fundamental means to changing ourselves, our campus culture, and the larger society to be more understanding and inclusive of differences as we work for social justice.

We all deserve better! In the MPE program students develop cultural dexterity skills via:

  1. Working on issues of trust building through the use of supportive, active, reflective, and confidential listening skills

  2. Working together across lines of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, etc., to develop leadership skills that challenge the silence and segregation that are so much a normal part of life on campus

  3. Challenging themselves and others to examine both personal and Holy Cross norms and values regarding diversity, and to search for a common understanding

  4. Networking locally with consortium colleges, and nationally via CHAS, SJTI, and NJSLC conferences and training institutes

  5. Collaborating with orientation leaders (OLs), resident assistants (RAs), and multicultural student organizations (MSOs) to offer programming throughout the academic year

MPEs acquire skills at developing open lines of communication and genuine relationships across human differences and become:

  • Better prepared to provide leadership in an increasingly global community

  • More capable of developing and sustaining healthy personal relationships

  • More attractive to future employers in the global marketplace, having studied and worked with multicultural issues and been a leader in developing cross-cultural relationships

To schedule a training or workshop with the MPEs, email

First-Generation Students

First-generation (or first-gen) college students are students whose parents did not graduated from a four-year college or university. First-gen students face unique challenges in applying, enrolling, and succeeding in college. We are committed to supporting first-gen students socially, academically, and financially — before arrival on campus to graduation and beyond. Visit the First-Generation Students website.

LGBTQIA+ Community

The JEBI Office offers an affinity group called SPECTRUM for BIPOC LGBTQIA+ students. This group meets without faculty and staff, so students can feel comfortable being their authentic selves in community with their peers. The student co-chairs of SPECTRUM meet regularly with the JEBI team to plan discussion-based events, social activities, and other programming for the affinity group.

Holy Cross offers a variety of programs and resources that are available for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic, and other underrepresented sexual orientations and gender identities. To learn more, visit the LGBTQIA+ Community website

Multicultural Student Organizations

At the College of Holy Cross, multicultural student organizations (MSOs) are a foundation of identity for numerous self-identified groups. These student groups are offered through the Office of Student Involvement. The JEBI Office maintains a connection with MSOs to offer additional support, guidance, and advisement. OSI and the JEBI Office convene the MSO Council, where representatives from each MSO and the Student Government Association (SGA) come together in community to discuss relevant topics and support each other's efforts and programming.  

List of Multicultural Student Organizations (MSOs)
Arab Students Association
ASIA (Advocating Student Interest in Asia)
BSU (Black Student Union)
CASA (Caribbean African Student Assembly)
DESI (Developing and Educating South Asian Ideologies)
Feminist Forum
HCF1RST Scholars
Hellenic Society
LASO (Latin American Student Organization)
Latinidad Identidad
MEPA (Movimiento Estudiantil Progressive Action)
Pinoys of Worcester

Cultural Heritage Months and Holidays

The JEBI Office celebrates cultural heritage months throughout the year to highlight the rich diversity of our campus and the world, raise awareness for communities, and foster a sense of belonging among cultural groups on campus. Below is a list of cultural heritage months celebrated at Holy Cross with events, programming, and educational offerings for the whole Holy Cross community. 

Cultural Heritage Months and Holidays
Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)
Indigenous Peoples' Day (October)
Native American/Indigenous Heritage Month (November)
First-Generation College Celebration Day (November 8)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January)
Black History Month (February)
Women's Herstory Month (March)
Pride Month (April*)
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month (May)
Juneteenth (June 19)

*We celebrate Pride Month during April so students can participate, as students are on summer break in June when Pride Month is celebrated nationally. 

Lending Library

The Lending Library was created to serve students in need of assistance with the cost of textbooks. The books are donated by Holy Cross campus partners and students. The Lending Library houses over 1,500 books. If you are interested in borrowing books for the semester, please fill out the Lending Library Book Request Form

Note: you will need the book title, author(s), ISBN number, and edition. Please allow three business days for a response. 

Bishop Healy Committee of the Holy Cross Alumni Association

The Bishop Healy Committee of the Holy Cross Alumni Association links alumni in outreach to students of color through recruitment, campus programming, and channeling alumni resources and support. The Bishop Healy Committee has an ongoing, visible presence on campus and works directly with us in achieving its goals. The committee is one of the few alumni support groups established by a college alumni association to work specifically toward promoting a warm and receptive campus environment. Learn more about the Bishop Healy Committee of the Holy Cross Alumni Association.

Consultation and Collaboration

Individual students, student groups, and faculty and staff who advise student groups can contact the JEBI Office for consultation related to justice, equity, belonging, and identity. Our team can offer support, guidance, and best practices, as well as workshops and training sessions for student groups. Our offerings are tailored in collaboration with the requestors to ensure we can meet students' needs.

We collaborate with campus partners to offer programming and events that foster a sense of belonging among students and contribute to student success, empowerment, identity development, and connection to resources and support.

To request individual consultation, a group workshop, or to collaborate on programming, please email us at