Cal Poly’s Latinx/Latine Center for Academic Success and Achievement, or LA CASA, is now open and operating.
Located in Room E-22 of Building 51, LA CASA joins six other centers for Student Diversity and Belonging on campus, a new collective formerly known as the Cross Cultural Centers.
The community celebrated the opening of the new center on Nov. 10 with speeches from faculty, a mariachi band, a photo booth and lots of food.
“LA CASA is a home away from home for so many students,” said Daisy Paniagua-Uribe, Cal Poly’s Latinx Initiatives Coordinator. “Regardless of where their family and supporters may be, they can find family here at Cal Poly, amongst students, amongst faculty and staff.”
According to Paniagua-Uribe, the new campus resource is another step towards building a culture of care at the university. Despite having 24% Hispanic and Latinx undergraduate enrollment, Cal Poly is notable for being the only Cal State university that is not a Hispanic-Serving Institution, as defined by the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities.
LA CASA provides academic and professional resources to Latinx students in a comfortable and vibrant space. The opening of the center has been particularly meaningful to first-generation college students like Sophia Garcia, an agricultural science junior.
“I’ve been so like, excited for this moment, just because I am a Latina, I’m first gen and [I’m] seeing that there’s a welcoming space for the community,” said Garcia. “Not just for the ethnic people, but people, all backgrounds and different cultures.”
Garcia is looking forward to the connections and memories she will make at LA CASA, and said that this resource is a welcome addition to a predominantly white university like Cal Poly.
“When you can go together and meet someone like, hey, let’s go study, small things like that. It’s just something that makes a big difference,” said Garcia. “And this is gonna be a core memory that we’re gonna take with us, especially at a P.W.I.”
More information on LA CASA can be found on Cal Poly’s webpage for Student Diversity and Belonging at culture.calpoly.edu.