Latinx Heritage Month 2019


Latinx Heritage Month 2019
Ser Latina on Campus
(Being Latina on Campus)
By Cynthia Aguilar-Arizmendi
Public Relations and Political Science Major
Class of 2020

I come from the smell of tortillas on the comal pan on Saturday mornings; the aroma of chiles burning on the stove suffocating the air around you to the point that you’re crying out loud. For years I dreamt about being where I am today, in college, giving it my all—echándole ganas.

But there are times where I have missed waking up on Sunday mornings to the music of Juan Gabriel and the smell of Fabuloso we use to clean. What I wouldn’t do for more simpler times. Being away from home can be hard sometimes. I have found it important to find things that bring me the comfort of mi casa.

The start of the academic year brings many things for everyone—new students, new friends—but for me, it means recognition and representation—Latinx Heritage Month. Brown people on the big screen, the music of my people—la música de mi gente, the colors of home, all harken me back to where I come from, de donde vengo.

During Latinx Heritage Month at the University of Oregon, mi campus feels like mi casa. Only this time, I didn’t have to travel miles to get back home.

UO Honors Latinx Heritage Month


2018-19 Hispanic/Latinx student enrollment at the UO
Increase in Hispanic/Latinx students at the UO since 2008-09
UO MECHA: Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán founded
New Latinx ARC Builds Community Within a Community

First-year students find personal and academic support as they transition to college

New for fall 2019 is Latinx Scholars, one of 15 academic residential communities (ARCs) at the University of Oregon. Located in Justice Bean Hall, the Latinx ARC is open to first-year students who identify as Latinx or as allies to the Latinx community.

Michael Hames-García
Michael Hames-García

“As is the case for all of the ARCs, having that smaller community with some shared interests can help make the transition into the university easier for students and improve retention,” said Michael Hames-García, professor of indigenous, race, and ethnic studies and faculty director for the Latinx ARC.

Michael Hames-García
Michael Hames-García

As part of his planning process, Hames-García called some of the student applicants last spring and interviewed them about their interest in living in the new community.

“Many said they were nervous about leaving home for the first time,” Hames-García said. “They may be coming from a heavily Latino community, and they’re hoping that being around people from similar backgrounds will help them feel more at home.

“There were also, though, some students who are coming from a small town, say in eastern Oregon, where they may be the only Latino in class, and they’re looking forward to finally having this opportunity for a sort of culture immersion.”

Hames-García added that some of the students are bilingual in English and Spanish, and they are excited about living in a space where they can use both languages on a daily basis.

Latinx Scholars ARC

As their name implies, a major focus of these communities is academics. Hames-García will be teaching a year-long undergraduate course tailored specifically for this ARC. His students will also take his course, Introduction to Chicanx and Latinx Studies (ES 254), in fall term.

Two students talking in a residence hall room

The remainder of the year will have students taking two other courses from a curated menu in Latinx studies, such as Spanish heritage, Latino literature, or music of the Americas.

“All the classes meet general education requirements,” Hames-García said, adding that his 31 incoming ARC residents encompass a wide range of pre-majors. “Even if they are a physics major, they will be satisfying requirements.”

Each term will include an immersive experience into a different aspect of university life and research, Hames-García said.

This fall his students will have a special dinner meeting with Helena María Viramontes—author of this year’s Common Reading book, “Under the Feet of Jesus”—when she visits campus in October.

“As it happens, she was a professor of mine at Cornell,” Hames-Garcia said, adding, “I had no part in the selection of her book for the Common Reading this year, but it was perfect serendipity.”


Latinx Resources

Ethnic Studies Courses

ES 254 Intro to Chicano/Latino Studies
Fall 2019 by Michael Hames-García
ES 254 Intro to Chicanx and Latinx Studies
Winter 2020 by Marcel Brousseau
ES 254 Intro to Chicanx and Latinx Studies
Winter 2020
ES 330 Women of Color: Issues
Fall 2019 by Ernesto Javier Martínez
ES 330 Women of Color: Issues
Spring 2020
ES 352 Social Equity and Criminal Justice
Spring 2020 by Michael Hames-García
ES 354 Environmental Racism
Spring 2020 by Alaí Reyes-Santos
ES 440 Religion and Culture: Caribbean
Spring 2020 by Alaí Reyes-Santos
ES 460 Race, Sex, and Latinx Literature
Winter 2020 by Alaí Reyes-Santos
ES 460 Eurocentric Coloniality
Spring 2020 by Michael Hames-García
ES 540 Religion and Culture: Caribbean
Spring 2020 by Alaí Reyes-Santos
ES 560 Race, Sex, and Latinx Literature
Winter 2020 by Alaí Reyes-Santos
ES 560 Eurocentric Coloniality
Spring 2020 by Michael Hames-García
SOC 545 Sociology of Latinos
Fall 2019 by Jessica Vasquez-Tokos

All Ethnic Studies Courses

Spanish and History Courses

SPAN 218 Latinx Heritage 1
SPAN 228 Latinx Heritage 2
SPAN 248 Spanglish as a U.S. Discourse Community
SPAN 308 Comunidades bilingües
SPAN 348 U.S. Latinx Literature and Culture
SPAN 428 Spanish in the U.S.
SPAN 448 Border Cultures and Identities
HIST 248 Latinx in the Americas

Spanish Heritage Language Program


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