RECORD NUMBER OF HISPANIC STUDENTS ON CAMPUS

YIGIT KACMAZ, TRUMPET NEWS WRITER

Wartburg set a new enrollment record with 72 Latinx students attending Wartburg in the 2020-2021 academic year. 

The previous record of Latinx students on campus was in the 2017-2018 academic year with 71 students.

“If you look at the trendline of our Latinx enrollment over time, it has just been growing steadily,” Edith Waldstein, vice president for enrollment management, said. “The more diverse our student body is, the richer it is, the more we learn from one another.”

While there were 21 Latinx students in 2006, the number increased regularly over years.

Although the number of Latinx students on campus fell after 2017 to 69 in 2018 and to 68 in 2019, the overall numbers are suggesting an increase in the Hispanic students enrolled at Wartburg.

“Wartburg should keep their retention level high too,” Jennifer Miranda, a second-year math major from Chicago and first-generation Mexican-American, said. Miranda said she considered transferring to another college due to microaggressions she faced. “Someone in my classroom said, even though they don’t think that way, immigrants are still taking their jobs.Why would you say that if you don’t think that way?”

Miranda said she suggests Wartburg recruit more diverse staff members and students as a part of the solution to microaggressions and to support to Latinx students.

According to Waldstein, Wartburg Admissions has placed three regional admissions counselors, one in Denver, one in Chicago and one in Des Moines to recruit more students. Those counselors are also paying attention to Latinx and Hispanic populations. Regional admissions counselors are in contact with community-based organizations to recruit more ethnic students.

Wartburg Admissions have been building good relationships with two youth development-based organizations, Guadalupe Center in Immokalee, Florida and Aguila Center in Phoenix, AZ.

“Their main goal is to break the cycle of poverty through education,” Gisselle Hernandez, a first generation Mexican-American and first-year business administration major from the Guadalupe Center, said. Guadalupe Center was a place for Hernandez to learn professional skills and improve networking for the last four years. 

Although Hernandez said she is happy studying at Wartburg because of its friendly environment and campus, she also had struggles being Hispanic at Wartburg. 

“I feel like people don’t understand where you are coming from and how hard you work for the position you are in,” Hernandez said. 

For more information about enrollment at Wartburg, contact Karen Miller at karen.miller@wartburg.edu to set up a meeting with Waldstein. 

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