Letter from Latin@ Students

Dear Wake Forest University,

We have been silent long enough.  It is time our voice is heard too.

As Latin@ students at Wake Forest University, we feel that a lot of things have not been considered in respect to our navigation on this campus.  We as a population are growing, and we now comprise around 6% of the total population of Latin@s here at Wake Forest campus.  In order to reflect this growth and consider the current and prospective students of Latin@ descent here, we feel that Wake Forest University should listen to our list of 10 things we’d like to see change in respect to our growing Latin@ population on this campus.

Wake Forest University must live up to its motto “Pro Humanitate” and consider the diverse aspects of our humanity including our latinidad.  In order for Wake Forest to push for diversity and inclusion, they must follow the steps other similar institutions of higher education learning such as University of Pennyslvania (La Casa Latina), UC Santa Cruz (El Centro) and Yale University (La Casa Cultural) have made for their Latin@ students.

As a diverse and important part of the community here, we demand that Wake Forest University:

  1. Actively recruit and hire diverse faculty and staff, specifically Latinos/Hispanics who contribute to our university’s academic rigor, but also non-Latino/non-Hispanic faculty who engage in issues related to the Latino/Hispanic community. Create some kind of initiative and plan to hire more Latino/a faculty, staff, and administrators.  Visibility is of utmost importance and seeing more of a Latino/a presence on campus affirms our existence in these spaces.  Also ensuring that these faculty have a retainment plan is essential.
  2. Provide Latinos/Hispanics on campus with a visible space that helps create awareness, support, and a sense of empowerment for students who identify as Latino/Hispanic, as well as those interested in our community.
  3. Understand that the Latino/Hispanic Population on campus is not monolithic by any means and we differ based on our culture, values, and traditions.  International and U.S born Latinos differ and should not be assumed to have the same traditions and values. We ask that the administration recognize these differences based on race, class, gender, and location.
  4. Request that Aramark and Wake Forest itself increase pay for its labor workers, who are majority brown and black, to an acceptable living wage such as 15$ an hour.  And that a break room or lunchroom is created for them so they can enjoy their meals in a room that is not referred to as the “No Friend Zone” by many in the WFU community.
  5. Create more linkages and connections with local Latino and Hispanic populations residing within Winston-Salem, including creating partnerships with local Latino organizations such as Hispanic League and Mi Casa.
  6. RE-establish a program similar to MOSAIC to provide visibility to Latin@ students and prospective students; a program that allows for Latin@ prospective students to create connections and support systems with Latin@ students on campus.  Relatability is of extreme importance and to see people like yourself thriving in this campus environment is essential.
  7. Provide an awards/recognition ceremony for faculty, staff, administration and students of color to recognize their achievements within the community and beyond.
  8. Provide printed materials in Spanish to increase comprehension and understanding for parents and students who feel more comfortable and affirmed navigating in the Spanish language.
  9. Provide a need for Spanish translators who are important for parents and campus tours so the parent can understand a part of the Wake Forest Experience. Providing bilingual services to parents and prospective students that are interested in attending Wake Forest University.
  10. Recognize that Wake Forest University acknowledges the Latino/a presence on campus and that there is a need for change within all communities of color, so we can all feel safe, accepted, and affirmed on this campus.

Signed,

The Latin@ Students at Wake Forest University

 

  • Dean Franco

    a) yes! and b) students might be interested in my spring ’17 class English 357–Studies in Chicana/o literature.