Add classes

“An interdisciplinary research and teaching unit that offers a variety of programs … designed to broaden our knowledge and understanding of Latinos in the United States and Latin American Civilization.” (Taken from the pamphlet NIU/Center for Latino and Latin American Studies). I wish the minor in Latino/Latin American Studies lived up to this expectation. One of the main reasons I came to this school was because of the minor being offered. My fall semester was great. I got off to a great start. But that’s as far as I got. What about the Spring of ‘92? Only six courses are being taught this semester in the minor. Two of which were taught last semester. In addition, they all focus on Latin America. What happened to “variety”?

What about the “Latino” experience in the U.S.? I know for a fact this is not just my concern. Of the 37 courses supposedly “offered” through the minor, only 3 focus on the Latino experience in the U.S. But even with the Latin American emphasis, the only literature course taught was FLSP 322: Masterpieces of Latin American Literature. How can the Center boast such a minor to attract students and not even teach the classes? How can the Latino NIU student body hope to become educated about their culture’s unique experience in the United States with such a situation? How can we expect others of different cultural backgrounds to understand the Latino experience if the proper channels of education are not present?

Furthermore, the one qualified professor who could teach Latino studies has been ousted from the Center! Undoubtedly, this has a negative impact on the minor, for any advancement that had been made in Latino studies at NIU is now lost by such an action. Shall we now refer to the minor as: Minor in Latin American Studies? And the Center as: Center for Latin American Studies?

Elizabeth Monge


Communications Major

Latino/Latin American Studies Minor

“El Pueblo Unido” member