El Centro: Rebranding of the LCAE

The change from LCAE to El Centro makes the space that much more welcoming

Formerly known as the Latinx Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE), it was decided this semester that the name of the office would be changed to “El Centro”. According to Fernando Paz, the coordinator for El Centro, what prompted the change in name was the inclusivity factor. The purpose of the cultural centers on campus are for people to find community, but each of the centers should be generally welcoming to anyone. The term Latinx was not very inclusive to the vision for the space as a whole. 

“It was empowering but also dis-empowering,” said Fernando Paz. “We wanted to provide resources for students to help them find their identity, rather than tell people how to identify.”

The idea of a name change came to be about a year ago when the center reevaluated the term Latinx and what it truly meant. What they found was that not everyone identifies with the term Latinx. Paz explained that they wanted to change the center’s name to be something that reflected more of their vision.

Students and faculty in El Centro.

“This space was not really being true Mexican-centric,” said Nathaniel McGuigan, a student that frequently spends time in El Centro. “The main purpose behind the name change was that we wanted to focus on other broader cultural communities.” 

El Centro, the African American Center for Academic Excellence, the Multicultural Center, and the Asian Desi Pacific Islander Collective are the some of the main cultural groups on campus. These cultural centers have become spaces where people connect and build community on campus among students, faculty, and alumni. Understandably so, some people connect with one particular group and some people identify with a combination of them all. 

“Identity is so complex, you know, there are so many things that you could be mixed with,” said Christian Trujillo, another promoter for El Centro.

College is a time where people find their true identity, and having cultural centers like there are on campus is a huge developmental factor for students. It shouldn’t matter how far you’ve traveled to get to Humboldt State University, having community is what makes the process that much smoother. 

“With a name like ‘El Centro’, it generally sounds more welcoming,” said Ritz Garcia, the communications liaison for El Centro. “People will feel more willing to come in and check out the place.”

Although it may take a little while to get used to a name change, the main motive of El Centro will always remain the same. Students have several places on campus where they can come together and meet new people, and that should be the general motive for all the cultural centers on campus. The name change for El Centro has been and will continue to be accepted with open arms. 

“Honestly, I prefer it,” said Aliah Bueno-Strong, promoter of El Centro. “For one, it’s less of a mouthful, but with a name like ‘El Centro’, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from- it’s a place to be.”

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