El Centro to host launch event Monday


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State

El Centro is located in Martin Hall.

Mike Brown

After multiple moves in its history, and briefly becoming a storage space for Latinx student groups, El Centro is returning to Iowa State as a space for Latinx students to build community and become connected to clubs and resources on campus.

On Monday, El Centro will be officially reopening its doors to students with a launch party from noon to 2 p.m. Food will be provided and students will have a place to interact and become familiar with the space.

El Centro is an affinity space and will function as a space for all of Iowa State’s students to find information on Latinx clubs around campus and learn more about Latinx culture. El Centro has partnered with Latinx student organizations across campus, as well as the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and the Iowa State department of residence, to provide outreach to Latinx students around campus.

An affinity space is defined as a place where students have an identity-driven community to foster relationships, as well as access resources to ease the transition of becoming members of Iowa State’s community.

El Centro is located in Martin Hall, room 2110. The event will also act as a casual forum for students and faculty in attendance to hold a dialogue and share ideas to further the future of El Centro, and provide ideas for El Centro’s role on campus moving forward.

Graduate hall director and graduate student completing his masters of education and student affairs, Samuel Morales-Gonzalez, worked to head the revival of El Centro, seeing it as an important space for Latinx students who he believes will benefit from having an identity-based community space to build relationships on campus.

Morales-Gonzalez acquired the space, and ensured the student groups who previously used the space still had accessible storage space.

Morales-Gonzalez wants El Centro to be a space for students to build into whatever they envision it to be. He hopes for students from different backgrounds, including first generation students and students who may find themselves far from home, to be able to build a family within El Centro.

Morales-Gonzalez believes this is only the beginning for furthering a sense of community among Latinx students on campus. After his graduation, Morales-Gonzalez believes El Centro will act as another starting place on campus to increase awareness and exposure of Latinx students at Iowa State.