Hispanic Student organizations guide students throughout college journey

On-campus Hispanic organizations allow students to build communities of support as they face challenges

Communications+Board

Natali Gonzalez

Communications Board

by Natali Gonzalez , Contributor

Student leaders from Hispanic organizations on campus emphasized the importance of forming connections to help face the challenges that come with navigating college. 

“A lot of us came to college without the guidance of our parents, siblings, or friends,” said  Joshua Vidal Robles, vice president of the Hispanic Business Student Association (HBSA). “We had to learn how to file our FAFSAs by ourselves, how to explore our college options, and how to take advantage of all the resources available on campus.” 

Student leaders explained that students do not have to continue figuring things out on their own. By having others to rely on, the burden of these challenges can be eased. 

“One’s success is everyone’s success,” Robles said.

Members of the Hispanic Business Student Association (Picture Provided By: HBSA)

There are a number of Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano student organizations on campus that provide opportunities for students to form connections.

One is the Latinx Student Union, which aims to unite, educate, and empower Latinx students on campus. Athziri Flores, the President of the organization, originally got involved because she wanted to meet other Hispanic students, especially as she was experiencing culture shock after moving from her Los Angeles town.

As president, her goal is to create a safe space for others. “I want us to be a familia,” she said.

For the upcoming year, Flores is looking forward to hosting another Latinx speaker series. Last year’s guests included Adriana Herrera, a best selling author, Karamo Brown, who stars on the Netflix Show Queer Eye, and Claudette Zepeda, a Top Chef contestant. 

Another involvement opportunity for students is MEChA, which stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (Chicanx Student Movement of Aztlán). This organization aims to support students in learning leadership skills, building community, and keeping their education at the focus of all they do.

Sharon Sabino Galicia, MEChA’s chairperson, knew she wanted to be a part of the group from the time she attended MEChA de SDSU’s 48th high school conference as a sophomore. She is excited about building an amazing high school conference this year and also hopes to foster a strong bond between members by helping them create new memories and grow as people.

It is especially helpful for Hispanic students to connect with others going into the same field they are. Jaime Isaiah Cervantes, the President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), thinks that while it is not impossible for Hispanic students to enter their desired field, it is still challenging as they are a minority in both their university classes and in the workforce.

“Being able to surround yourself with others that not only understand your background, but have the same goals and mindset as you is priceless,” Cervantes said. 

Dr. Lourdes Cueva Chacon, advisor for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and a professor of journalism, agreed, adding that Latinx students can help guide each other to success as they understand and share the same struggles. 

“They are part of communities that, historically, have been marginalized, invisibilized and underserved by local, state and federal governments,” Cueva Chacon said.

Through their shared backgrounds, Hispanic students can support each other in achieving their professional goals.

Hispanic professional organizations on campus include groups for students in social work, engineering, finance, science, journalism, and business. These groups aim to empower and promote Hispanic students in these areas. 

They provide their members with support, resources, professional development, and career opportunities throughout the academic year. Last year’s events included socials, workshops, professional panels, heritage celebrations, service projects, high school conferences, and guest speakers. 

For the SHPE, Cervantes is most excited for the upcoming SHPE Posada, the organization’s holiday celebration. Cueva Chacon most looks forward to the NAHJ conference, which was a great experience for last year’s students who participated in workshops and began building a professional network. HBSA will also have networking opportunities for students who plan on entering the business world in their United Latino Students Association Weekender with ten other group chapters from around Southern California.

A list of Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano organizations can be found below along with their websites and social media pages, which detail events and opportunities.