ALANA Student Center

alana student graduation canisius
(Formerly the Office of Multicultural Programs) Established in 1989

Our area provides African American, Latinx American, Asian American and Native American (ALANA) students with various services that help students to succeed at Canisius and after they graduate. We strive towards the campus community goals of fostering, respecting, and exploring cultural differences.

We assist the college in enhancing services for ALANA student communities, and we introduce the entire student population to issues involving cross-cultural patterns, participation in the life of the college, and self-concept concerns. While most services provided are co-curricular, we also serve as a referral and support unit regarding academic, financial, personal, and social matters. The more students are committed to their course of study at Canisius, the more assistance we can provide. 

Location & Contact Information

ALANA Student Center | Richard E. Winter Student Center 003

Phone: (716) 888-2787   Fax: (716) 888-3103

ALANA: What Does It Mean?

"The term AHANA [ALANA] is not degrading, inaccurate, or stereotypical. It is creative, unique, and symbolic of pride. AHANA [ALANA] was not developed to segregate its members from the remainder of the Campus community. It was developed to unite its members for the good of all and to inspire cultural awareness and destroy the void among students of different racial backgrounds. We do not want to feel 'minor'."

The above words and feelings were presented to the Boston College Board of Trustees [in 1978] by several undergraduate students arguing that "minority" was an offensive and unacceptable term when applied to people of color. Dr. Donald Brown, then-director of the Office of AHANA Student Programs at Boston College, developed the acronym AHANA. At Canisius University, with the substitution of "Latinx" for Hispanic, AHANA became ALANA. This change resulted from the fact that many people consider themselves Latino/a rather than Hispanic.

To date, over 50 American colleges and universities have adopted the AHANA or ALANA acronym.

Above information from then-Black Issues in Higher Education, article by Dr. Donald Brown, April 1989.


bennie williams canisius

Bennie D. Williams
Assistant Dean of Students

ALANA canisius graduate assistant

Dorcus Nzayisenga
Graduate Assistant





dennis assiam canisius

Dennis Assiam
Graduate Assistant