Hermanx Unidas de Cal Poly Humboldt is a student run/led club that started over a decade ago. The club has a history at Cal State Universities which began almost three decades ago, originally called Hermanas Unidas starting at University of California, Berkeley.
In 1994, HaU de UC Berkeley’s founding mothers: Zuleyka Jinks, Ricki Akiwenzie, Erica Solorzano, Amelia Schutz and Bernadette Vargas recognized the limited support and resources for Latinas/Chicanas on university campus and wanted to resolve this issue. There are now 18 HaU chapters at California Universities.
“This club is important because it provides a community to help anyone trying to find a home away from home,” said club member Guadalupe “Lupita” Juarez.
It’s a non profit organization to recruit underrepresented minority students: focusing on the Latina community, to help gain a higher education and increase graduation rates.
In Fall 2019, the use of “Hermanx” replaced “Hermanas” to be more inclusive and accepting of people however they may identify. Anyone that’s a Cal Poly Humboldt student or alumni may join the club.
“As steering here, our chapter here, we decided to make a stepping stone to have an open door policy and accept anyone however they identify themselves,” said club co-chair, Yulie Nazario in an interview on Nov. 19. “So, it’s not just Hispanic/Latinx, anyone regardless of the background can join us.”
Club members had grown in recent years, but did drop since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Currently the club has 25 members, during an interview with Nazario in November, it was 15.
Now, club members believe there needs to be more members to support the club. It’s been difficult to get good turnouts for their meetings and events since the pandemic. However, with more in person events being held, more club members are optimistic they will gain more members.
The club has a weekly newsletter for those who signed up as part of the club and its former alumni, which informs members on upcoming events. Currently, community service events which usually include beach cleanups and park cleanups are on hold.
Social events for the club include wine and cheese night, rookie night to welcome new members, veterana night for upperclassmen and seniors, senior brunch, senior sunset, general body retreats and other traditional events Hermanx holds.
There is no pledging or rush for the club. And there are a number of positions open for the club’s steering committee including a treasurer, academic chair, secretary.
“It felt like a good support system to have during college and it felt like it was something that I needed,” said club member Veronica Amezola. “It sounded kind of like a sorority, but they emphasized that it’s not that strict and it’s not just girls supporting girls.”
Amezola mentioned that she knows of alumni who have identified as male and the club has supported them even when they came back to Humboldt. The club welcomes back all alumni with open arms.
“Coming into my fourth year here, I honestly don’t think I would be the person I am right now without having been a part of Hermanx Unidas,” said club member Melissa Torres. “It provided me with many resources and helped me get out of my bubble.”
For more information check out the club’s Instagram @haudecalpolyhumboldt for more information about the club.