Why is San Diego State University such a popular academic destination for many Chicanos (also known as Mexican Americans) across the United States? Find out as we list off twelve of the best reasons why Chicanos love attending San Diego State University!
1. Academic Courses
There exist rigorous academic courses that are steeped heavily in Chicano literature, history, ethics, language, and identity. SDSU has become a hub for Chicano Studies, Latin American Studies, and Indigenous studies! The identity and reevaluation of Mexican American heritage is a highly regarded field in this school.
2. Historical Significance
San Diego State University is a haven for Mexican American history and records, given its approximate area and a large percentage of Chicano students. The countless contributions made by Chicanos in service to the school is an astounding history that its attendees preach with pride.
Whether it was providing funding for new buildings or the creation of student organizations, Chicanos have had an important role in molding the face of what is SDSU today.
3. Close To Home
Chicanos are a people of two worlds. We come from Mexico and the United States. Many Chicanos choose to reside in San Diego county to remain close to the international border for the homeland. We Chicanos sure do get homesick, so SDSU has become a great destination to pursue higher education while sticking close to home.
Mexican Americans are a traditionally family-oriented culture, so leaving out of state for college at eighteen years isn’t the most common thing for us. San Diego State University offers us that compromise of attending a high standing university while staying near our roots!
4. Mexican Restaurants
The number of Mexican restaurants and eateries near the San Diego State campus is enough to imitate a certain lifestyle Chicanos are accustomed to. No, we’re not talking about Taco Bell or Chipotle, here. It is not equivalent to have Mexican-themed restaurants. SDSU has access to actual Mexican eateries, like Trujillo’s Taco Shop. Chicano students are lucky to have access to restaurants nearby that can still provide a homecooked authenticity for them.
College is costly, especially for Chicanos, a historically disenfranchised minority group. Luckily, San Diego State University is relatively cheap (as a college can be) in terms of tuition and finances. Per year, the average tuition fee is nearly $8,000. Again, this is relatively low considering the larger American college perspective.
SDSU also provides numerous scholarships specifically for Mexican American students that aim to lessen their tuition costs. This school accommodates for grants, scholarships, and financial leveraging for Chicanos more than one may think.
6. Old Friends
Going back to the idea that many Chicanos attend SDSU to stay close to home, apply that same method a hundred times over and people will bound to reunite with their high school friends and classmates!
This statement is especially true considering SDSU partners with the Sweetwater Union High School District to provide the Compact for Success program. This program aims to provide guaranteed admission to South Bay students, which are predominantly of Chicano heritage.
7. The Mascot
Now hold on! We know that the San Diego State mascot, the Aztec, has been challenged by post-modern views in recent times. The assertion that the school’s depiction of the Aztec is culturally insensitive is a view shared by many Chicanos, while other Chicanos find inspiration and pride in its merit. No one people will universally agree on everything.
Thankfully, the controversy has been mitigated to change the mascot into a Spirit Leader, while still retaining the Aztec name. Thus, it goes to show the efforts Chicano students have made all comes from a deep love and admiration for their school.
Events are hosted almost every week at San Diego State University! The Chicano, Latin American, and Indigenous departments are big enough to bet on them always hosting or making festivities tailor-made to enrich the SDSU student body with cultural awareness. Many of these events cater specifically toward Mexican Americans, with panels and presentations from Chicano talent all over the world!
9. Proactive Social Awareness
The new millennium and the rise of the internet have made way for an age of social awakening stirring across American soil. San Diego State University has not been left at the wayside of this change, fortunately, thanks to the myriad efforts of Chicano activists.
Americans have grown more conscious of the social, economic, and ethical correspondences between minority groups, and that growth can be seen in Chicanos’ love for activism at SDSU.
Given its location at the heart of San Diego, SDSU has come to hold a vast Chicano community, pulling together Mexican Americans from all across the United States. Thus, SDSU has become a safe and sympathetic environment for Chicanos to share their unique experiences.
This conglomeration of Mexican American and indigenous people from all over America explains the many architectural styles and artistic layers SDSU has become known for. Whether they are academic, sports, or club-oriented, Chicanos have carved many spaces out for themselves at San Diego State.
11. Make Your Family Proud
At a certain point, San Diego State University has become a tradition to attend for many generations of Chicano families. In the years since its construction, the school has become well-known amongst Chicanos of the San Diego area for its inclusiveness and diversity. Generational stories of parents and grandparents attending have become stories Mexican American families have told their children wishing to receive a safe, familiar education.
12. Chicano Artistry
Ever take a good look at what decorates the hallways, buildings, and structures of San Diego State? Dozens of Mexican and indigenous-influenced art patterns themselves across the campus! From Aztec-inspired paintings to Haitian murals to barrio-styled graffiti art! SDSU has it all! There is an undoubtedly indigenous hand at work here helping to shape the identity of this university.