Not only does she focus on keeping the program running, but she also makes sure that students are doing well. From either academic or social aspects she is always there making sure that the students' needs are met.
An outsider's perspective
From an outsider's perspective one is not able to digest the amount of work that is done by the LatinX program. Due to immense amount of students in the program, there are many things that go on throughout the week. They do accomplish a lot of work from creating programs, but the primary goal that I'm able to depict is that they seek to create a sense of belonging. Simply stated by Crystal Garcia “the concept is also important because of its connection to positive student academic outcomes including academic motivation, attendance, and persistence.”(Garcia, 2018). A sense of belonging is a critical aspect needed on a college campus as it drives student success. Research shows first-generation students are more likely to feel out of place in a white-dominated campus, thus leading to feel lonely and helpless. From a first-hand account, I have dealt with the idea of not admitting my problems and refusing to seek help or simply just advice. Many students in this era are very stubborn and simply just require a simple push towards the right path. Arroyo is actively seeking to keep students on track because as shown throughout history many first-generation students are unable to succeed as they feel that they are unable to and will not be able to live up to many expectations people have of them.
An insider's perspective
In retrospect, from an insider's perspective the work done by the LatinX program is stunning. Student's see Magdalena and Diana as friends and not just as staff. The difference between the insider and outsider perspective is that there is a difference in how much people appreciate the work they are able to do/accomplish. From an outsider's perspective they are unable to detect the countless late nights done by Arroyo in order to accomplish a certain project. Student's inside of the program are able to validate that as they are the ones who help her. A primary value that Arroyo is able to teach many of the student's in the program indirectly is the idea of persistence. With great persistence they are able to accomplish great things. Coming into a white-dominated campus, many view themselves as if they are already at a disadvantage.
Current first-generation students are unable to experience everything that is to be offered to them as many campuses have not sought out ways to serve the different diversities that come to the campus. In article by Marcela Cuellar ,“Understanding Latinx College Student Diversity and Why It Matters” she implicitly states “Understanding such diversity informs how institutions can intentionally serve Latinxs. Disaggregating this monolithic group in institutional analyses, for example, is critical to exploring the range of student experiences and outcomes.”(Cuellar, 2018). Understanding the diversity present in many campuses allows for not only the students to thrive, but also the culture present on college campuses. If they are able to embrace the diversities that lack recognition, students will be able to be more successful. However, due to a lack of data, many people are unable to determine what could happen with every college following the full emersion viewpoint. The ability to create an empowering community becomes one of a college campus' greatest strengths.
Sense of belonging – crucial to a student's success?
A sense of belonging goes hand in hand with the idea of inclusion on a college campus. Hispanic-Servicing Institutions have continued to be on the rise over the years. A trend to serve first-generation/Hispanics students is becoming more popular as they are seeing the potential that many first-generation students contain. As mentioned by Marla Franco and Susana Hernandez “For an institution to be considered a HSI they are to be able to date back and denote the history of the institution and whether it followed more inclusion or exclusion patterns”. (Franco and Hernandez, 2018). Determining an institutions previous collegiate patterns on their college campus allows them to determine what needs to be done to immerse diversity onto their campus. As diversity increases nationwide many campuses are having to shift their views and patterns in which they manage their campuses. As shown through research the amount of LatinX/First-generation students attending college to pursue a secondary education has increased over the years and many campuses have to change many things in order to accommodate for those aspects. Sense of belonging is highly critical in a students well-being, as well as their success in the future. If students are unable to feel welcomed and feel that they belong they will continuously feel out of place, which will lead to the decline of their well -being and academic success. If students are the primary concern of college campuses
Every college campus has present subcultures. From either Greek life subcultures to simply just video game subcultures. Rather than subcultures many people refer to them as clubs or registered student organizations(RSO's). RSO's on the UARK campus have become very diverse in ways that students have opportunities to join over 100 of them. The UARK campus is a prime example of universities increasing their diversity. Diversity is what drives sense of belonging. Appreciating the work that many RSO's do on campus is not highly recognized especially for the LatinX program. Many students simply just see them as just another student organization, but many do not realize that a program such as the LatinX program is what makes the UARK campus the UARK campus. The diversity, the organizations, and the students is what composes the campus and what makes it unique.
An outsider's perspective is very biased. The importance of inclusion does not have a variation, but rather an ultimatum in the success rates of LatinX students. The success rate of many LatinX students is driven by the diversity on the campus environment. If the environment is leaning towards whiter-more domination, the students will feel powerless and feel as if they have no one. The power of involvement and dedication is not very well taken into account. For example, the LatinX programs creates many programs such as the “Dia de los Muertos Altar” as it showcases many student's cultures and they feel the need to showcase the diversity present on campus. Not only is the LatinX program doing everything they can to show their presence around campus, but the university itself has acknowledged the diversity present on campus. An example of this would be the flag room inside of the Union. Inside of this flag room contains many of the flags from countries that the students currently attending are from. They view this as a showcase of diversity inside of the university and the presence of a diverse culture. The diverse culture on campus allows for students to thrive and be themselves.
A primary problem observed by many people is that students are unable to express themselves which leads to the decline in success. If students are not able to do as they wish and be themselves they are being taught to be followers. The LatinX program on campus teaches the value of knowing when to choose to become a follower or a leader. A leader is primarily what they wish for the student's to be and many have reached that point. However, a prime aspect of being a good leader is the idea that they must know when to delegate power and when they need to step down in order to let new ideas in. This primary viewpoint was most likely followed by the University of Arkansas, as well as many universities nationwide as this allow for an entirely new perspective to come in and allow for new ideas to flow in, in order for the diversity of students to show itself.
Are universities tricking students?
Many people view that the idea of increasing and showcasing the increase of diversity on a campus is a big stereotype. They view it as a maneuver to bring in new students thinking that there is a full immersion of students on campus and in the end they are lying and are just simply wishing to get the students money. In plain sight, many universities recruit athletes with sex and drug backgrounds in hopes of attracting more students(Craig). However, they are not just creating tactics to recruit students through sports, they use technology. “Last week, the Wall Street Journal profiled East-West University, a private not-for-profit on the South Side of Chicago that recruits low income students to programs with a 9% graduation rate and where former students make less than high school dropouts. Until last August, the university offered students an iPad if they could convince their friends to enroll.”(Craig). There are more examples cases such as this occurring worldwide. However, one that affects students more directly is “Then there's the “bait and switch,” as recently reported by The New York Times: financial aid awarded to freshmen is often reduced in later years. Pine Manor College was specifically called out for significantly reducing aid to sophomores. According to one observer, “it felt like it was a marketing tool. They needed to fill their freshman class.”(Craig.) Retroactively, this may have been done by a few universities in the past, and some in the present. Any universities are striving for achieving full inclusion as well as no trickeries. They are rewiring their programs in ways that affects the student body in a positive manner. The population nationwide is increasingly becoming more diverse. Some people many not want to believe that fact, but in reality it is increasing at a fast pace. This increase of diverse requires for universities to act fast to increase their diversity in order to welcome new students that are pursuing a degree. In reality there will continue to occur the mindless tricks and ideas popped into your head by universities, but overall they will decrease as many are being seen of what they are capable of doing in order to bring in more people and in the end meaning more money.
The true meaning behind the LatinX program
The LatinX program on campus is not widely seen as a widely popular program, but in all truthfulness it is very helpful. They are able to aid students when they need it and also bring in many guest speakers. For example, recently they brought an entire graduate school workshop on campus which was open for students. They know the difficulty that is brought upon when arriving at college, thus they are attempting to improve their experience by lowering their stress and allowing them to succeed. In reality, an outsiders perspective the LatinX program is just another Hispanic-driven program that allows for inclusion of all types of backgrounds. From an insiders perspective, it is a family. It is a home away from home. A family that you can rely on and truly believe that they have your back. In a culture of not knowing who to trust, the LatinX program has created an environment that lets those fears dissipate as they are no longer there. A family that is there for you when you need it. A family that supports your through your successes and failures. The work that is done by the LatinX program has gone underappreciated for a very long time, and now is the time to showcase all the work they do and the immense perseverance they showcase.
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