Cal Poly to Open New Latinx Center in Fall 2022
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly plans to open a new Latinx Center during fall quarter 2022, with a tentative grand opening ceremony and celebration slated as part of Latinx Heritage Month in September.
The new center is intended to create an environment that fosters belonging, empowers Latinx students to thrive, and provides them holistic support. In turn, the center will offer Latinx students the opportunity to gather and build community while exploring their cultures, histories and traditions. Open to all students, the center will feature an accessible computer lab, lounge space and culturally relevant workshops and collaborative programming.
The Latinx Center will be the newest addition to Student Diversity and Belonging (SDAB), a collective of campus resource centers within Student Affairs that aim to provide a home away from home for underrepresented students at Cal Poly.
“It brings me great joy to announce the establishment of the Latinx Center on our campus after deep conversations with our campus community,” said Keith Humphrey, Cal Poly’s vice president for Student Affairs. “This center will serve as a place for students to build community and lifelong bonds and participate in cultural traditions and learning that expand their personal and professional development.”
The Latinx Center will host Heritage Month programs, including the State of Latinx each fall, as well as dialogue, panel and speaker series throughout the year that are rooted in the diverse needs and experiences of Latinx students. Educational experiences such as these will provide everyone in the Cal Poly community opportunities to learn about the Latinx student experience.
“As Cal Poly continues its journey to becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, it is imperative to establish this center so that our Latinx students can feel welcome, have their culture recognized and see Cal Poly as their university, too,” said Jamie S. Patton, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion.
Patton said that Daisy Paniagua-Uribe will serve as the center’s coordinator. Paniagua-Uribe joined SDAB in December and currently oversees Latinx initiatives. She is passionate about educational equity and committed to supporting and empowering students along their educational journey and beyond.
“I honor and appreciate all of the individuals -- students, staff, faculty and community members — who have advocated for the creation of a Latinx Center on campus,” said Paniagua-Uribe, a Santa Maria native and first-generation Latina graduate and who holds degrees from UCLA and Brown University. “I am looking forward to a space where we can engage in intentional, intersectional work that celebrates our culturas (cultures), supports and empowers our Latinx students, and strengthens our comunidad (community) at Cal Poly.”
Griselda Elizabeth Medrano, a second-year agribusiness student from Bakersfield, California, and one of four inaugural student assistants who have been working to make the Latinx Center a reality, added, “I am grateful that we’re creating more spaces at Cal Poly that celebrate our culturas; however, it is important to acknowledge that this need has existed for a long time. There has been a collective effort for many years from students and other campus members to empower and support our Latinx-identifying students. There’s power in comunidad, y estamos aqui para cambiar el futuro (There’s power in community, and we are here to change the future).”
In addition to the new Latinx Center, SDAB’s Pride Center and the Men and Masculinity Program will transition to expanded spaces in the University Union this summer.
“With the Men and Masculinities Program moving to the University Union, it enables us to synergize our services for our sexual orientation and gender identity student community,” Patton said. “The expansion of the Pride Center will now provide space for larger group discussions and multiple access points that aid with privacy concerns. The goal is to continue to expand our cultural footprint on campus, and these transitions help move us in that direction.”
For more information about Student Diversity and Belonging centers and programs, visit https://culture.calpoly.edu.
Contact: Diego Abeloos
April 26, 2022
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