Dear President Michael V. Drake,
We, the brothers of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. along with other members of the Latino community and our non-Latino allies, believe that The Ohio State University must put forth a more concerted and discernable effort to represent us. We feel that the Latino population is unappreciated and underrepresented. We were grateful for the Latino Center, which was established earlier this year by the university, but were deeply disheartened that after only one semester the center has lost all of its support. With no resource center geared toward the advancement of Latino students on campus and with a student population of only 4 percent, it is difficult to feel as though The Ohio State University is working for its Latino student body. It is for these reasons and many other motives that we have taken the initiative to reach out to you with a list of demands, a response to which is vital to the advancement of a healthy Latino community here at The Ohio State University.
- Services for current and prospective Latino students, both documented and undocumented, must be improved to increase student access to resources and scholarships. This will help the retention of Latino students through graduation and will lead to continuation on to higher education programs.
- Revise admissions strategies to actively target Latino students for graduate and undergraduate programs, nationally and internationally.
- DACA support. To help these efforts, we demand that The Ohio State University support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. To create a simplified admissions process where students may select ‘DACA’ as an option when applying. To create an academic adviser position for these students with institutional support from an existing advising unit. To create an institutional scholarship for DACA students.
- Space for Latino Students on campus that’s staffed and open at any moment. The lack of any dedicated space for Latino students sends a strong signal to the Latino student body that we do not matter. The creation of such a space on campus for Latinos is an overdue necessity; the lack of a Latino-geared resource center diminishes the importance of our community on campus. This resource center — provided proper support from the university — would help manage some of the demands that we are bringing forward.
- Funding of Latino groups and organizations. These funds should be increased to help programming events that will expand cultural awareness in an enriched global institution.
- Latino Arrival Program. The brothers of the Psi Delta chapter of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. are interested in organizing, planning and implementing Ohio State’s first incoming Latino First-Year student event (Latinos Unidos). This arrival event would give incoming Latino students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with campus while creating a strong Latino community with each other. We envision this “Latinos Unidos” event as a singular day or possibly as a weeklong event consisting of a series of orienting activities, field games and workshops that will contribute to the level of involvement of Latinos on campus.
- Hiring and retaining Latino staff and faculty leaders who will enrich the cultural community on campus. Continuing to diversify the university’s faculty population with Latino members will lead to a greater integration between faculty and student body.
- Establish a Latino alumni network that is backed by the university. This network would provide resources and contact information, through a university-managed website, to facilitate the formation and maintenance of a worldwide Latino alumni community. This will allow for networking during the undergraduate and postgraduate facets of life.
- A short meeting with you, President Drake, in which we may discuss these matters in person.
During these times of discrimination, we ask that the leaders of an innovative and progressive institution such as The Ohio State University put forth marked and notable effort toward meeting the unique needs of its Latino community that is dedicated to finding ways by which to thrive. We’ve seen the pictures of Latinos on the brochures that portray OSU as a Latino-friendly campus, however, we the Latino student body believe that The Ohio State University has a tremendous amount of work to do for its Latino students. Through the accommodation of the demands we have listed, the representation and involvement of the Latino community on campus will be greatly improved.
We understand that you are a busy man, but if you would like to show your support for our community then we would welcome a response and a chance to meet with you to discuss these matters.
The Brothers of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc.