Latina/o/x Graduate Student Association Calls All Graduate Students
Written by Camberyn Kelley on April 24, 2021
Photo Courtesy of ISU Latina/o/x Graduate Student Association Facebook Page.
NORMAL, Ill. – Latina/o/x Graduate Student Association got started due to the lack of spaces for graduate students and specifically for students of color.
One of the founders of the organization, Omar Gómez says the foundation of the organization is attract graduate students who are getting their masters or doctoral degree that identify as Latina/o/x.
“ISU previously didn’t really have that. So, there is a club, ALAS for undergrad students who identify as that—but it’s really, I think targeted to like the undergraduate experience. Whereas graduate students I think we have sort of like a different need. We really needed I think just a group where we could rely on each other and support one another,” said Gómez.
The faculty advisor this semester for LGSA is Maura Toro-Morn, who is the Director of Latin American and Latino/a Studies.
Founders Jennifer Garcia, Sandra Gonzalez and Omar Gómez debuted their organization in late October of 2020. The group did not get to do much due to Covid, which changed many things to virtual interactions.
“Essentially the organization is to help others find their community within ISU—so for other graduate students that identify or have this same identity. We also want to provide professional development opportunities and bring in speakers who also identify as Latina/o/x. To talk to us about the job search or potential opportunities after graduate school or even after you earn a doctoral degree,” said Gómez.
LGSA is also a organization on campus for graduate students to discuss and bring awareness to social issues. The group wants to be more active in the community next semester.
Gómez is in his last semester of graduate school but he says the group will continue to meet next semester. Gonzalez has multiple ideas for the fall semester to get more students involved.
“We welcome anyone. Anyone who may identify or may not identify. This is really just a space for us to connect,” said Gómez. “When you come to ISU it can be very isolating and it can feel like that. So, more than anything like we just want them to know that they have people that they can come to. A community that they can join where they can find the support they may need.”