Using the label “Latinx” may still be difficult for some people to get used to. We’ve been using “Hispanic” and “Latinos” for so long that making the change to “Latinx” will take some time of adjustment. But in order to make that shift happen sooner, and for all Latinx to feel included, some institutions are making those changes right now. UC San Diego has announced that they will officially change all “Latino” wordage out of their communications and education materials, and change it to Latinx.
“This is about making the university more inclusive,” Becky Petitt, UC San Diego’s vice chancellor of equity, diversity and inclusion, told The San Diego Tribune. “We’re meeting students where they are.”
The university is launching the Latinx/Chicanx Academic Excellence Initiative which is a program on campus dedicated to attracting and supporting a diverse faculty, staff and student community. The Tribune also reports that other higher education institutions have also already made the change from Latino to Latinx including Grossmont, MiraCosta colleges, UC Irvine, and the University of San Diego.
“At the heart of the Latinx/Chicanx Academic Excellence Initiative is an acknowledgement that student success is not just about academic success,” the school said in a press release. “It is about affirming identity, celebrating culture and recognizing diverse backgrounds—all of which contribute to a positive college experience. UC San Diego has made significant advances in the development and expansion of programs and services to increase Latinx/Chicanx student access and success, from summer transition programs and campus community centers to student success coaches and tailored academic resources. Through programs like the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program—55 percent of whose recipients identify as Latinx/Chicanx—more students have access to higher education.”
People have praised the school for making that important shift, and we can only hope other schools make the change as well.