Kaitlyn Waller, Staff Writer
A resource page for Latinx students was officially launched last week. The page, called Nuestro Espacio or Our Space, connects Latinx University of Missouri–St. Louis students to on- and off-campus resources.
Neustro Espacio directs students to the Writing Center, Student Social Services and Multicultural Student Services, among other resources. The page also lists scholarships available through UMSL and scholarships available specifically to Latinx students from outside sources. Another link takes students to a list of Spanish-speaking churches in St. Louis, Latinx radio stations and newspapers, Hispanic career and health services and Mexican restaurants near campus. Nuestro Espacio also links students to the Hispanic and Latino Student Organization website and lists upcoming events. Also included is a list of friendly faces at UMSL identified as Spanish-speaking and as supporters of Latinx students and families.
The website was created by Luimil Negrón, the coordinator for Latinx Recruitment and Retention, and John Perez, a senior academic adviser in the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office. Tim Wombles, digital content specialist, assisted with web design, content and organization.
In 2015, UMSL created a graduate assistantship to recruit and retain Latino students, and Nuestro Espacio is an extension of this project.
“Luimil has been working on Latinx recruitment and retention since 2015 and I have become more involved trying to help her,” said Perez.
Perez marked Nuestro Espacio as a “resource page for any and all students interested in Latinx heritage and culture on campus and in the community.”
“We just saw a need,” said Perez. “If you look at most university websites, including UMSL’s, it is hard for prospective and current Latinx students to find resources so we just wanted to put something out there that hopefully fills that need.”
The website’s welcome page announces to students, “We at Nuestro Espacio want to create a space on our campus to connect students to the resources at our university so that these students feel safe and supported. We in Nuestro Espacio not only see ourselves as points of contact for the Hispanic community; we also advocate for the welfare of our students. As part of our mission, we help create a warm and welcoming environment on our campus.”
The welcome page is currently in both English and Spanish, but Perez says the goal is to eventually have the entire site in both languages.
Students can request for resources to be added to the page if they feel something is missing.
“As stated on the site, we are always looking to grow and had no intention of leaving anything or anyone off of the list, so everyone should contact us if they want anything added,” said Perez.
Although the website is in its beginning stages, it is a valuable resource for Latinx UMSL students and for any UMSL students who desire to delve deeper into Latinx culture on- and off-campus.
“As far as usage and fulfilling its purpose, it’s too early to tell,” said Perez. “But we are hoping, through resources like The Current, to get the word out.”
Nuestro Espacio can be found on the UMSL main page A-Z index under L (Latinx at UMSL) and under N (Nuestro Espacio). It can also be found directly at the following link: https://www.umsl.edu/latinxs/index.html.