Campus Offices

Multicultural Affairs The Office of Multicultural Affairs provides programming, support services, and advocacy for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) student body, with a particular focus on underrepresented communities. The Multicultural Affairs page includes information on affinity student groups, current and past events, and resources for students, faculty, and staff.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Academic Affairs The overall focus is to infuse equity and inclusion in the academics of the School. This strategy includes working closely with individuals and departments who seek to foster and implement programs that build on creating spaces where we can learn and develop as a community of artists and designers. 

International Affairs The Office of International Affairs houses both International Student Services, providing advising and resources to our international student population, and Study Abroad/Off-Campus, assisting students in pursuing wide-ranging educational experiences outside Chicago.

Disability and Learning Resource Center The mission of the Disability and Learning Resource Center (DLRC) is to support a universally accessible educational community that fosters full participation and contribution of every member. The DLRC carries out its mission by delivering innovative and high-quality services to SAIC students with disabilities and by facilitating and advocating for reasonable accommodations so that students have equal access to all programs, activities, and services of the institution.

Wellness Center The Wellness Center supports students of all cultural backgrounds who are struggling with physical or emotional needs during their education. The Wellness Center provides support to students through three distinct services: Counseling Services, the Disability and Learning Resource Center, and Health Services.

Policies and Procedures

The Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy can be found on pages 17–22 of the Student Handbook. This section outlines the definitions and procedures for resolution of any student claim: 


Restroom Inclusion Policy SAIC recognizes the human dignity of all its students, faculty, staff, and visitors and is committed to providing equitable access to campus restrooms. SAIC values gender as being broader than a female/male binary and is inclusive of multiple gender identities. Individuals are allowed to access restrooms in alignment with their gender identity. In addition, gender-neutral restrooms are open for people of all identities and expressions, as well as people who have ability, sensory, and privacy needs.

Human Resources Employees seeking assistance with claims or harassment, discrimination, or retaliation are encouraged to contact Human Resources at 312.629.9420 to speak to the Director of Employee Relations.

Non-Discrimination Statement The Art Institute of Chicago, including both the School and the Museum, is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for its students, visitors, faculty, and staff, and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on an individual's abilities and qualifications. The Art Institute of Chicago does not tolerate unlawful discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or former military status, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, in its programs and activities, public accommodations or employment practices.

Academic and Faculty Resources

Research Guide Compiled by the Faculty Senate Diversity Committee, this guide contains important writings on diversity issues. Use this resource to broaden your understanding and research of historically underrepresented ideas and communities. If you do not find a resource in our library's collection, request it and help us to create a more inclusive collection.

Suggestions for the First Day of Class‌ [PDF] To promote inclusiveness in the classroom, SAIC faculty have submitted some suggestions for first day of class activities. The goal is to establish a respectful classroom community from the initial class meeting onward that promotes discussion of identity, difference, and diversity in our school community.

The Diversity Infusion Grant awards eligible faculty $1000 to modify an existing course syllabus to include more diverse reading selections, a greater variety of global images, guest speakers on the topic, and diversity related project assignments. Grantees will be asked to participate in a public discussion about the modifications and syllabi will be posted publicly for the benefit of the whole SAIC community: 2020-21 DIG GRANT

Non-Binary and Transgender Support Resources

SAIC is committed to transgender inclusivity. Specifically, our campus currently has gender-neutral restrooms in all of our buildings, numbering 27 in total, and our plans to increase that number are undeterred by this recent federal action. Gender-neutral restrooms are just one of the Transgender Resources offered at SAIC, which also include the ability to declare a preferred name, health benefits, and TransLife Center training for faculty and staff. 

Please see the Multicultural Affairs website for additional LGBTQIA related resources. (link)

Preferred Name Self-Service & Articard Office

  • On your SAIC “Self-Service” you are able to change and add a preferred name. Once this is done, you are able to have your preferred name reflected on your Articard. Note that your “legal name” will be placed on the back of your card.

Registrar Name Change

  • In order to have your name changed on official documents such as transcripts, you need to provide legal or court documentation that verify this change. Please see the for information pertaining to the legal name change process in the state of Illinois. (link)

Terminology and Identity

  • The language and terminology individuals and community use to self identify is ever evolving. Please use this resource as a great guide to understanding terminology but not as an exhaustive and definitive list. (link)

*Disclaimer: This video was produced and created by a 3rd party organization called Minus 18. The video is meant to provide a basic understanding of trans and nonbinary identity.

Health & Community Care

Howard Brown Health

Howard Brown Health was founded in 1974 and is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) organizations. With an annual budget of over $59 million, the agency serves more than 27,000 adults and youth each year in its diverse health and social service delivery system focused around seven major programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health, research, HIV/STI prevention, youth services, elder services, and community initiatives. Howard Brown serves men, women, trans and gender non-conforming folks, infants, youth, and children through a multi-site operation based in Chicago that includes a main health and research center. (link)

Chicago Women’s Health Center  

Chicago Women’s Health Center facilitates the empowerment of women and trans* people by providing access to health care and health education in a respectful environment where people pay what they can afford.

CWHC provides care and services that people in Chicago need, but often cannot find anywhere else. Since we opened our doors in 1975, CWHC’s programs have been shaped by our clients’ needs for accessible, high-quality health care. We provide services to more than 6,000 clients through our programs annually. (link)

Undocumented Student Support

Our institutional commitment also includes strong support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides certain protections for eligible undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. President Elissa Tenny joined more than 575 other college and university presidents as a signatory of a petition calling for DACA’s continuation and for leaders in other sectors to show their support for the vulnerable among us.

As part of our commitment to Undocumented Students:

  • We do not and will not voluntarily provide information regarding citizenship status to federal authorities;

  • We do not allow immigration enforcement activities on our campus unless compelled to do so by law;

See full letter of commitment by President Elissa Tenny (here)

The above document shares recommendations on what to do should you or your family have an encounter with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.*‌

*Disclaimer: These resources are written and provided by CASA of Maryland, Detention Watch Network, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild. Other resources include Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, National Immigrant Justice Center and the Resurrection Project. SAIC is not providing legal advice and the contents of this booklet do not constitute as legal advice. Readers are highly encouraged to consult an immigration attorney for legal support. 

American Indian Center-Chicago

From the beginning, AIC has been a brave experiment in community self-determination. We envision the American Indian Center as the authentic primary resource for urban American Indian culture and a welcoming home for all American Indians. 

Learn more about their work and events they hold here