The formerly known Center for Latin@ Studies has officially changed its name to The Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center after years of having an “outdated” name.
The center’s director, Sonia Trevino, made it her first priority when taking the role of director to get the center’s name changed. According to Trevino, the previous name used an outdated term, Latin@, that was originally a way to be inclusive to both Latinas and Latinos.
Trevino says that the term is no longer in the “vocabulary of our culture” and no longer represents what the center stands for.
“Our old name left a lot of confusion in the community,” Trevino said. “And the name wasn’t reflective of what we do. We don’t offer a major in Latino Studies, and we are not an academic department. The name Latin@ studies made it seem that way to the community.”
English senior Massiel Calderon is the special projects assistant for the Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center and has worked closely with Trevino during the name-changing process.
According to Calderon, the name change is a way to inform all members of the Ferris community that HLCC is an “inclusive space” and that anyone can visit. She explains how the former name pushed people away from visiting the center due to its negative connotation. This was the “driving point” for a new name.
“At orientations, new students and their parents wouldn’t even come up to the table because they were so apprehensive and would say ‘Oh, I don’t want to learn that,’” Calderon said. “They would think that our center was an area of the curriculum that we offer students when we are actually purely a programming and resource center for students.”
The decision to change the name to Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center was student-led according to Trevino, and was made via a survey that Trevino sent out to students asking for their opinions on the new name. Calderon said that the vote was unanimous for the name Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center.
Spanish faculty members have also been a part in the renaming of the center. Spanish professor Eric Warner was a part of the original founding advisory board during the creation of the center 10 years ago. He was then invited to the meeting of Spanish advisors who helped decide on the center’s new name.
According to Professor Warner, the new name uses “longstanding” terms in the Hispanic/Latino/a community.
“The terms Hispanic and Latino are words that will represent the community well and are still embraced as being identity markers, even throughout different generations and different experiences”
According to both Trevino and Calderon, they have high hopes for what the new name will do for the center. Calderon’s hopeful that this new name will further establish the center’s “inclusivity” and will help to draw students from all different backgrounds to their center.
Trevino also hopes that the new and improved name will help to reciprocate to students what the center really does, and reflect the work that they’ll do. She also describes this new name as “friendlier” and more welcoming to the Ferris community.