A Hispanic Heritage Month look back: LatinX Center to join new SMSU affinity center at CSUSB
Office of Strategic Communication
Editor’s note: As part of CSUSB’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the university is showcasing a number of earlier stories highlighting Hispanic and Latino students, alumni, faculty and staff, along with programs and grants for the university’s diverse populations.
This news release was originally published on Feb. 28, 2017.
The LatinX Center, the latest addition to the Cal State San Bernardino Santos Manuel Student Union Cross Cultural Center, will open its doors on Monday, Feb. 27.
“Having grown up in a school system that teaches you the very least about your culture, it is with great honor to open the LatinX center on campus where we can learn about different
Latino cultures and express our multifaceted identities,” said founding committee member and SMSU Board of Directors chair, Diana Hernandez Aguilar.
The grand opening of the LatinX Center will be held on the second floor of the student union, in front of room 202, the location of the new affinity centers. Open to the public, the event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Complimentary parking will be available in Lot D.
The center will act as a hub for the Latino community on campus, which is estimated to make up about 60 percent of CSUSB’s students. Located on the second floor of the SMSU, the center is based in room 202B.
“We want to create a welcoming environment that provides resources and information for everyone on campus and within the community,” said founding committee chair and organizer Mike Mejia. “It is our hope that through collaboration with the rest of the affinity centers and Cross Cultural Center, we will be able to create healthy dialogue and learn how to embrace each other’s cultures, beliefs, and views.”
The event will be co-hosted by students Krystal Lozoya and Mike Mejia. CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales and Vice President of Student Affairs Brian Haynes will make welcoming remarks, followed by keynote speakers Hernandez Aguilar and student founding committee member Ivan Gastelum.
The LatinX Center will provide a supportive and inclusive place for Latino/as and allies. It will foster leadership and build community through programs that enhance culture, advocacy and customs leading to the continued recruitment, retention and graduation of Latino/a students at CSUSB.
“The creation of our affinity centers LatinX, Pan-African, and First Peoples are a symbol of how CSUSB embraces diversity and is inclusive of all cultures,” said Rosemary Zometa, SMSU associate director of programs and communication. “I have been honored to work with a dynamic group of students that understand the importance of building a sense of community. In addition, I would like to thank Morales and Haynes for their leadership, support, and endorsement of the creation of our affinity centers.”
Funded by the SMSU, the center will offer students peer-to-peer advising and tutoring, internship resources, and scholarships.
The center will operate under the leadership of Zometa. Plans to hiring a designated affinity center coordinator and student assistants are in the works.
The SMSU is the focal point of the campus, creating a home for learning and leisure, as well as contributing to retention of students. Students’ overall university and life experience is enhanced through the celebration of culture and diversity. Student success is enhanced through meaningful and entertaining programs, enriching leadership and employment opportunities, quality services, and exceptional facilities.