UCSD must take action to retain Latinos

    A report card recently released by UCSD’s Chicano/Latino Concilio found that Latino students and staff find a hostile on-campus environment and administrators who ignore their academic needs.

    Edgar Quintana/Guardian

    The percentage of Latinos enrolled as freshmen has remained at approximately 10 percent over the last five years, although Latinos make up more than 30 percent of parts of San Diego County.

    But the concerns of Latino enrollment numbers should not be seen as a problem that is limited to UCSD. Although in a school with a surrounding community that has a large Latino population, the small number of Latinos in college is a more glaring problem. The low graduation rate among Latinos is a nationwide issue. Across the country, retention rates have been lower for Latinos due to lower economic resources, sociologists say. But the fact that this is a nationwide problem shouldn’t prevent UCSD from actively attempting to remedy the situation.

    Before changes can be made, the problem has to be understood and research must be conducted.

    This report card probably came as no surprise to Latino students. At least this report indicates that the administration is trying to understand the concerns of a specific campus community.

    The survey is positive in that it shows a genuine interest on behalf of the administration to understand the feelings of UCSD’s Latino community. Hopefully, that concern will translate into a response that generates incorporation of more Latino-related issues into the curriculum and a faculty more able to address the Latino population’s needs.

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