As a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), Fresno State is hosting multiple events to celebrate its Latino/a students, staff and faculty for Hispanic Heritage Month.
In order to be designated an HSI by the U.S. Department of Education, a university must have 25% of its student population be Latino/a and/or Hispanic. Fresno State more than doubled that requirement in fall 2021, with 56% of students enrolled identifying as Hispanic and or Latino/a.
Faculty, staff and students celebrated the designation during HSI Week in its event “¡Adelante!: Envisioning Our Next Century of Service y Excelencia” on Thursday, Sept. 15. Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval opened the event with a speech.
“[When I came in 2000 to Fresno State] we were successful in telling our Latinx students, ‘We welcome you and you belong here at Fresno State. This is your university,’” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “Now [the challenge is how] we will retain you and then graduate you so that you can then go into these communities and become the leaders that we all desperately need.”
Students who missed “¡Adelante!” won’t have to wait long for another chance to celebrate.
La Bienvenida is the main annual Hispanic Heritage Month event celebrated at Fresno State, considered a “Fresno State tradition” by Fresno State News.
This year La Bienvenida will be held on Sept. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Memorial Gardens in front of the Kennel Bookstore featuring entertainment, DJ music and a resource fair including student clubs and organizations.
Attendees are encouraged to wear cultural attire to share their culture with other attendees and to RSVP now.
On Friday, Sept. 23, Latino/a Programs and Services and the Amendola Family Student Cupboard will present a “Salsa and Salsa” event from 2 to 3 p.m. in Family Food and Science Room 108, where attendees can take a salsa cooking class and explore salsa music from Latin America and the Caribbean. Those interested are encouraged to RSVP soon to reserve a spot.
Celebrations will continue in October with the events “Queering Mariachi” and “Decolonizing Your Diet: Embracing Latino Foods.”
“Queering Mariachi” is a virtual event presented by the Cross-Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC) that will be hosted on Oct. 6 from noon to 1:30 p.m. featuring two members of the first all- LGBTQ+ mariachi group in the world, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles. Attendees are required to pre-register for the event online.
Latino/a Programs and Services and the Amendola Family Student Cupboard will partner again to present “Decolonizing Your Diet: Embracing Latino Foods,” a virtual event, on Oct. 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. The event will include a “discussion on the decolonization of diet culture, reducing stigma and embracing traditional Latino foods,” according to its requested pre-registration via Zoom.