Office of Latino/a Student Initiatives
Aurora University is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning. For more than 10 years, our concentrated efforts have strengthened the presence of AU within the Latino/a community. Today, as a result of those efforts, AU is recognized by the United States government as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). This means we celebrate diversity and serve as a national model for private universities.
AU serves many students from primarily Spanish-speaking households, and we understand the crucial role that families play in the success of our students. That’s why we strive for our students to feel a sense of home and family within our community. We accomplish this by acknowledging the cultural ties and family values that are important ingredients to students' college success.
The strength of America’s education system is undoubtedly connected to the academic success of Latinos.White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
The Office of Latino/a Student Initiatives embraces the transformative college journey. It is our priority to ensure that students encounter opportunities that meet their needs for leadership engagement, service to the community, and career development.
AU has a robust offering of resources and services for Latino/a students. They include:
- Educational, social, and leadership programs that promote self-awareness and validation of the Latino/a experience.
- Referrals and connections to wide-ranging campus support services.
- Guidance in the development of success plans and the achievement of long-term goals.
- Intentional support to first-year students with a focus on academic, financial, and social needs.
As a member of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), I helped plan more than 60 events for students – in just one year. I grew more confident in my skills and have impressive experiences that I can share with potential employers.Hernan Ramirez, ’19, History/Secondary Education Major
We are proud to provide our AU community with access to Latino/a-serving student organizations that provide special enrichment and experiences.
The main group serving Latino/a students is the Latin American Student Organization. LASO provides an important outlet to help form new friendships and greater awareness of Latin American cultures on campus. This group promotes the pursuit of leadership opportunities, networking skills, academic success, and community service.
The student organizations that are Latino/a-focused include:
- Helping Others Prepare & Excel (HOPE)
- Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority
- Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority
- Latin American Student Organization (LASO)
- Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity
In Our Own Words: Latino/a Student Initiatives Director Mariza Rocha on creating opportunities for students
At AU, Latino/a students are encouraged to learn about their culture and history in a way that aligns with their professional aspirations. The Office of Latino/a Student Initiatives is actively engaged with students to encourage growth and provide mentorship.
At AU, students have the opportunity to engage with civic and business leaders in the Latino/a community. In February 2020, more than two dozen AU Latino/a students attended the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute's (USHLI) national conference in Chicago, the premier Hispanic leadership conference in the country. Most conference participants are or will become the most influential Hispanic leaders of their generation and will help govern cities, schools, and states.
Mariza Rocha G., Director of Latino/a Student Initiatives
Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action