An Overview of Chicano/Latino Student Affairs
In 1969 the Mexican-American Studies Center was established as a result of Chicano student struggle. The Council of Presidents designated the Center as a Central program in February 1969. The Center included both an academic and a student affairs component. The first director of the Center was Ron Lopez who had oversight for the faculty and staff, and Augustina (Tina) Lopez Snideman, was appointed dean of students with responsibility for the student programs. The first Center was located in a small house on Dartmouth and 11th Street.
In the fall of 1971 the Mexican-American Studies Center became the Chicano Studies Center. Funding was on a year to year basis. Ed Quevedo, the second director, provided the leadership and guidance that firmly established the Center. One notable trend is that throughout the 1970’s there was a significant increase in the enrollment of Chicano students. As the student numbers increased so did the activities and student programs in the Center. In response to this, an additional program coordinator position was recommended for the Chicano Studies Center. By 1973, the Center was housed in the basement of McAlister Center.
In 1980, the student affairs component and the faculty were officially established as individual departments. The student component became the Chicano Student Affairs Center, and the staff included a director/dean as the chief administrative officer, an assistant dean and an administrative assistant. The academic component became the Intercollegiate Department of Chicano Studies (IDCS) with a faculty chair.
In 1998, under the CUC leadership of Mr. Mitch Dorger, the Center was moved from the basement of McAlister Center to a new location on the corner of 7th Street and College Way. The Student Deans Committee (SDC), in conjunction with the Council of Presidents of The Claremont Colleges, endorsed the focus on academic support and retention as the mission for Chicano/Latino Student Affairs (C/LSA).
CLSA moved to the Smith Campus Center in the summer of 2004, and was housed there for one year, while its permanent home was under construction. During the 2004–2005 academic year, CLSA went through an extensive program review process. The review resulted in a new direction for CLSA that emphasized more social/cultural programming. CLSA added a significant number of social/cultural activities through the Latino Heritage Month celebration and the Cesar Chavez Commemoration program. The CLSA Sponsor Program, lectures, alumni sessions, workshops, community lunches and leadership development programs highlight the program offerings. CLSA moved to its permanent location in the summer of 2005, and it is housed on the second floor of the Tranquada Student Services Center.
Since its establishment in 1969, Chicano/Latino Student Affairs has played an integral role in the lives and experiences of Chicano/Latino students in Claremont. Chicano Latino students comprise a thriving and vibrant community that reflects the diversity of the fastest growing group in the U.S. CLSA promotes the concept of “Familia” within the Chicano/Latino community, and encourages the educational goals of students.