I would like to bring attention to the fact that, after various meetings with University faculty and administrators and a committee review, my independent concentration proposal for Latinx Studies was rejected. This only adds to the mounting body of evidence, including the report by the Latinx Collective, the Princeton Latinos y Amigos and the Asian American Student Association report and a report by the Latino Coalition of Princeton, pointing to Princeton University's lack of dedication and insufficient allocation of resources for initiatives that promote a more inclusive Princeton experience and improve the experiences of students of color on campus.
Not only were their reasons – insufficient faculty support and course requirements – unfounded, but their response entails a standard answer to all concerns regarding Latinx Studies that have been brought to the administration’s attention. The go-to response has been directing the student to the American Studies Task Force, which is not the same as the Latino Studiescertificate. Even if American Studies is reformed to be comprehensive, it would not change the fact that there is no space for Latinx Studies space at Princeton. "Not enough resources,” as cited in the committee’s response via email, has come to connote "we're not going to fix it." This decision makes evident that even when students go through University channels and "play by the rules," Princeton is unwilling to make space for necessary changes.
What are the "factors" and "adjustments,” as demanded by the committee, considered necessary for Princeton University to finally start caring about Latinx Studies and Latinx students?
Once again, the University continues to surprise me with its lack of support and consideration for students of color. Over the past year, various students have expressed serious concerns with the current state of the Program in Latino Studies on campus, pleading with the University to make improvements to the lack of sufficient course offerings (that are not solely cross-listed courses), faculty hiring practices, research funding, etc. When faced with an opportunity to improve the situation through the allotment of an independent concentration in Latinx Studies, Princeton, once again, fails to make the right decision.
You can take a look at how individuals at Princeton and beyond feel about the issue at the following link:http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/latinx-studies.
Hoping for a better Princeton,
Arlene B. Gamio Cuervo '18