Latin@ center opens, promotes students’ academic success

New resource for all student to engage in Latin@ culture


Rhiannon Ripley

Student sign grand opening poster and visit the new facility.

Sonni Simmons, News Editor


After roughly five years in the making, CSUSM has opened the doors of a center with the objective of stimulating the academic success of students on campus.

On Sept. 17, the grand opening of the Latin@ Center took place in the University Student Union. President Haynes attended the opening and performed the ribbon-cutting outside of USU 3300A after the Grammy-winning band, Quetzal, played a set in the USU amphitheater. Following the performance, many students lined up outside of the center for their free t-shirt and a tour.

“[Latina and Latino students] now have a center for academic and personal success,” said Maria Mendoza-Bautista, Associate Director of the Latin@ Center. “We’re looking to create Latina and Latino scholars.”

Mendoza-Bautista said that CSUSM’s student population is now 39 percent Latina and Latino. The number of students who showed up to the grand opening assured her that there is a need for this center on campus. Along with providing an all-inclusive space where students can focus on school work, receive mentoring and get academic advisement, the Latin@ Center provides social justice advocacy and hosts conversations critical to educating the campus on an array of topics relevant to the Latin@ community.

“One of [our] goals is to help students to know there are resources to our success,” said Mendoza-Bautista.

This goal serves as the driving force of the Latin@ Center, and is the reason this center has come to be. The Campaign for College Opportunity released a report in April stating that, despite the Latin@ population being the largest in California, it is severely underrepresented. In California, 31 percent of residents have a Bachelor’s degree while that figure drops to just 12 percent for the Latin@s in California. Because of these figures, the Latin@ Center has made its mission to show the Latin@ population that there is help available when it comes to developing goal-setting, leadership and academic skills to ensure success in both a personal and professional setting.

The Latin@ Center is not exclusive to Latin@ students. All members of the CSUSM student population are welcome to visit the center to study or do homework, and are welcome to attend events. With the addition of this center, CSUSM is better able to serve the needs of its diverse population and ensure the success of every group of students on campus.

“I want the center to inspire students on campus,” said Deyanira “Deya” Hernandez, a Peer Coach and student assistant at the Latin@ Center. “We encourage students on campus to come and engage with the community and interact with each other.”

All students are welcome to attend discussions and events held in the Latin@ Center. The center’s objective is to get all students engaged in developing an understanding of the Latin@ culture

For more information on the Latin@ Center and upcoming events, visit