As the Latinx community continues to grow and diversify at the UO, the Office of the Provost has launched a new webpage dedicated to the Latinx community on campus.
Patos Unidos is a space for Latinx information, support and connection, and for members of the community to share, celebrate and find one another. The site serves as a collection of Latinx academic programs, research, resources, events, communities, stories and leaders at the UO.
“We learned that there is quite a bit happening at UO, but it is kind of a jigsaw puzzle,” said Laura Pulido, a professor of Indigenous, race and ethnic studies and geography. “People didn’t understand how all the pieces fit together, or who exactly does what. People wanted a place where we could ‘find each other.’”
Pulido convened a committee of diverse campus stakeholders, including faculty and staff members and students, which met over the summer to brainstorm resources and topics and to provide guidance for creation of the site.
The launch of the new webpage coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
Latinx enrollment has increased steadily at the UO in recent years, with 15.3 percent of the undergraduate student population identifying as Hispanic or Latinx.
In response to that growth, the College of Arts and Sciences has launched a cluster hire initiative to add Latinx studies tenure-track faculty members in six departments: anthropology, English, history, linguistics, political science and sociology.
Pulido said cluster hires are an effective tool to recruit and retain underrepresented faculty members. Currently, her department cannot offer enough sections of introduction to Chicanx/Latinx studies to meet demand, “so this will definitely help us meet our students’ needs.”
“For many students, seeing someone who looks like them or has a similar experience is not only affirming, but we know that students tend to seek out such faculty members for mentorship and support,” Pulido said. “Not only does it allow students to learn diverse perspectives, but it enables majority students to see people of color in a range of positions.”
Patos Unidos is intended to be an ongoing project, and members of the community will be able to share resources, news, events, services and opportunities that can be added to the site.
—By Tim Christie, Office of the Provost