BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — According to fall 2020 statistics, California State University Bakersfield served a total of nearly 12,000 students. The 2019 Fast Facts demographic breakdown shows more than 60 percent of those students to be Hispanic.
The U.S. Department of Eduction designates any school with 25 percent or more Hispanic students as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. CSUB is honoring its designation as an HSI by celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
CSUB Provost Vernon Harper said the school was first designated an HSI in 1998.
“Being an HSI is a real pride point for this institution,” said Harper.
The university is celebrating students who identify as Hispanic through their own Latinx Heritage Month intended to show appreciation and recognition.
“We value you. We value who you are. We value your experience to bring richness into the diversity of what CSUB means and what CSUB celebrates,” said Cadota. “Without you, we wouldn’t be the university that we are.”
According to the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, CSUB is tied with CSU Dominguez Hills for 18th place in the rankings for top performers in social and socioeconomic mobility.
This part of the ranking is especially helpful to Latinx families, according to Claudia Cadota.
“For the students who are first-generation Latino students, who are entering the university, it’s really providing a path for economic mobility and improvement from where they’re coming from, and not only for themselves but also for the families,” said Cadota.
CSUB’s focus on Latinx students is one of the main reasons third-year biology major Yelitza Amador Orozco chose the college.
“When I used to think about going to college, I got impostor syndrome. It sucked. If I were to go to a predominantly white institution, I felt as though I would’ve been shunned and kind of felt like an outsider,” said Orozco. “So to come to CSUB which has so many Hispanic students, it’s just a sense of belonging.”
CSUB has a whole schedule of events planned for their Latinx Heritage Month, including book parties, paintings, film screenings, and even an expression night, set to take place on Friday at the Stockdale Courtyard. Tonight’s Latinx Heritage Month event involves slam poetry, singing, dancing, and more.
These events are just a part of the campus culture that students like Orozco appreciate.
“I love it so much. I love that CSUB always put an effort into making sure that the different cultural backgrounds that students come from are always represented, whether that be Latino Heritage Month, or whether that be with Black Heritage Month,” said Orozco. “I love that they always put an effort to make these events and stuff such a big part of CSUB.”
Stay tuned to 23ABC as we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.