SDSU’s Latinx Resource Center commemorates its grand opening

The Latinx Resource Center celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony

%28From+left+to+right%29+Erik+Esqueda+Sanchez%2C+Andres+Aguilar%2C+Sharon+Sabino+Galicia%2C+Maricruz+Carrillo%2C+Michael+Dominguez%2C+Adela+de+la+Torre%2C+Luke+Wood%2C+and+Renzo+Lara+cut+the+ribbon+to+open+the+Latinx+Resource+Center+at+the+Love+Library+on+Nov+29.

Photo by Michael Hayes

(From left to right) Erik Esqueda Sanchez, Andres Aguilar, Sharon Sabino Galicia, Maricruz Carrillo, Michael Dominguez, Adela de la Torre, Luke Wood, and Renzo Lara cut the ribbon to open the Latinx Resource Center at the Love Library on Nov 29.

by Ryan Kehl , Staff Writer

San Diego State University’s Latinx Resource Center has come a long way since its founding organizations: Central Americans for Empowerment, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan, Education Without Borders, and the Association of Chicana Activists, which began advocating for its establishment nearly seven years ago.

Founding student member of the Latinx Resource Center (LRC) Maricruz Carrillo discusses the efforts made to achieve the creation of the LRC at SDSU in the Love Library on Nov 29. (Photo by Michael Hayes)

Staff from the LRC welcomed everyone to the newly renovated space on Nov. 29 at the Love Library and had SDSU Provost Hector Ochoa, President Adela de la Torre and student leader Cassandra Hernandez as keynote speakers at the ribbon cutting. 

Luke Wood, vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, welcomed everyone and kicked off the ceremony packed with students, faculty and staff.

The grand opening gave the Latinx community and supporters at SDSU the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and a sense of community.

Renzo Lara, director of the LRC, led the grand opening ceremony and recalled participating in a protest against an SDSU admission policy that impacted the Latinx community, which accounts for 31% of the student population.

“I mentioned these stories as one of the reasons to talk about counter-narratives,” Lara said. “Narratives to recognize community members’ perseverance and resilience to make this place a reality.”

Lara centered on the stories that led to the creation of the LRC and the passionate discussions that took place within the founding organizations about validating external space. 

“Advocating for equitable higher education practices that take into account systemic issues led to the establishment of the Latinx Resource Center,” Lara said. 

He discussed how the center values intersectionality, equity and racial justice. 

He also said that the LRC promotes academic, social, and overall success by giving students a safe place to be themselves and have their experiences recognized and heard.

The LRC focuses on building community by promoting well-being across a large and diverse group. Collaboration, knowledge, trust, an understanding of Latinx history and relationship building are also key guiding principles, according to the Latinx Resource Center website.

Those who have recently been to the LRC in the Love Library’s Room 182 by the Chicana and Chicano collections, may have seen the stylish murals inside the new and unique space.

Back in Feb. 2020, the LRC cut a ribbon in the exact location, only for the COVID-19 pandemic to slow the center’s progress, making this particular grand opening all the more meaningful. 

Michael Domínguez, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at SDSU, discussed the institutional investment and the imprints of many people’s contributions to the LRC over the years. 

“I think that what this shows is that what we’re seeing is hopefully an investment not just in superficially supporting but in deeply embracing and building Latinx support as central to this university,” Domínguez said.

Domínguez also discussed the LRC’s influence on campus culture and the meaning of its mission in the SDSU community.

SDSU students, faculty, and community members queue for food during the celebration of the opening of the Latinx Resource Center in the Love Library on Nov 29. (Photo by Michael Hayes)

“We want to see our Latinx students so they can feel at home, but we also want our other students to see what this community is like,” Domínguez said. “With that sense of embrace in everything we have to offer and what this space means to the campus.”

For more information on upcoming Latinx Resource Centers’ weekly programming and special events, such as the mural unveiling this spring, visit @sdsulrc on Instagram.