CSUMB celebrates HSI Week 2022 with fun and intention

Latinx Grad holding diploma at the 2022 Commencement | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias

September 7, 2022

By Walter Ryce

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and that commemoration is joined by Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Week, which brings awareness of what it means to be an HSI Institution. 

The federal government defines an HSI as an institution of higher education that has at least 25% Hispanic undergrad enrollment. 

Most CSUs are HSIs. CSUMB has been an HSI since 1998, and that allows the university to qualify for many types of funding and grants, and enhances academic offerings and programs for Hispanic students and low-income individuals. 

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Latinx Grad at the 2022 Commencement | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias
Commencement 2022 | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias
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Latinx Grad at the 2022 Commencement | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias
Commencement 2022 | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias
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Latinx Grads holding the Mexico flag at the 2022 Commencement | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias
Commencement 2022 | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias

METAS, MAESTROs, Transfer Student Success Center and UROC are programs supported from such funding. 

But there’s more to it than that. 

“We want to be proud and uplift [CSUMB’s] Latinx and low income students, and be a place that feels like home,” said Valarie Maestas-Chapel, METAS grant coordinator and CLC coordinator. 

CSUMB is celebrating HSI Week Sept. 12-16 with events and programming for students, staff and faculty that impart fun, engagement and community, but also elaborates more about what it means to be an HSI.  

One of the first and most visible events will be the HSI Pachanga party with music, games, and resources for Latinx student community success, 1 - 3 p.m. Monday on the Main Quad. 

“I am excited to participate in the kick-off Pachanga, to see all the community coming together and celebrating CSUMB as an HSI,” said Margaret Dominquez. 

She is the MAESTROs project manager and E&L clinical coach, and helped plan HSI events with co-organizers Maestas-Chapel and Betsaida Solis. Last year they handed out pan dulce on the Main Quad. 

“Student's faces lit up when they saw the pan dulce. You could hear them say ‘omg is that pan dulce?’” said Maestas-Chapel. “And other students were excited to be exposed to a small part of another culture.”

One of the more purposeful events for students is UROC’s “Demystifying Research: Combating Imposter Syndrome at an HSI” talk 2 - 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Library, suite 2150. 

The OC3’s Curanderismo, a traditional Mexican American healing practice, is billed as “Hxstory and Rituals to stay well and remove bad energies.” It happens 12 - 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Otter Student Union, room 310.  

That’s followed by one of the big signature events, a workshop and talk about HSIs by one of its leading scholars and author, Dr. Gina Ann Garcia. 

Betsi Solis, the outreach, engagement, and student transition coordinator for MAESTROs, said of Garcia’s visit: “It's important for all stakeholders at CSUMB to understand all aspects of what it means to be an HSI, and how to effectively and collaboratively lead organizational change towards equity and justice.”

The workshop, "Transforming Hispanic Serving Institutions with Dr. Gina Ann Garcia," runs 2 - 4 p.m. Thursday at the OSU Ballroom, with 100 available spots. That's followed by the keynote "Dr. Gina Ann Garcia Transforming Hispanic Serving Institutions" 4:30 - 7 p.m. in the same venue.  

“Dr. Garcia [will help] campus constituents to think about long-term organizational change towards equity and justice, including mission, purpose, curriculum, programs, services, governance, leadership, and external partnerships," said Dominguez. 

Maestas-Chapel concurred, saying that Garcia's “Becoming Hispanic Serving Institutions” has been a great and empowering read.

Many organizations and people collaborated to put on CSUMB’s HSI Week.

“They all came together to support, organize, offer their time, host events, etc.,” said Maestas-Chapel. “We have received so much love and support and are excited to celebrate HSI week!”

See the full schedule of HSI Week 2022 events at the OSU webpage.