Past cases of racism at CSUSB Breeza Rodriguez

“I guess there’s this thing about Mexicans having big families, they assumed I was the one with four kids," said Victor Corona, referring to the time he felt discriminated against.

CSUSB's Diversity

California State University, San Bernardino prides itself on being a diverse campus, with over 60% of students identifying as Hispanic, 13% White, 5% African American and 5% Asian.

Director of Human Resources, Stacey Barnier, 36, explained that CSUSB also does a great job at recruiting employees that are diverse.

Many students love the diversity, and admit that they haven't heard or experienced anything close to racism on campus.

A collegue of Barnier and Human Resources Manger, Shawna Holmquist, said that although it isn't heard or doesn't mean that something doesn't occur.

That rings true to many students of CSUSB, as they haven't heard of racism on campus, yet two students share their experiences.

California State University, San Bernardino, located in San Bernardino, Calif., shows students and community members events happening on campus on their electronic sign.

Map of CSUSB.

Students' Experiences

Two students, current and alumni, shared their experiences with racism in interviews

Victor Corona, 21, a current student at CSUSB, was a freshman his communications class when he experienced what he feels is discrimination for being Mexican.

Corona explained that his class split into smaller groups to do an icebreaker activity, and he was in a group of predominately White students.

"I have four kids," read the icebreaker that someone in Corona's group had written down.

According to Corona, his group members immediately thought it was his icebreaker, lightly mocking him for it. In that moment, he admits he felt stereotyped for something he couldn't control but is proud of being, Mexican.

"I guess there’s this thing about Mexicans having big families, they assumed I was the one with four kids," said Corona.

Polet Milan, 27, Diversity and Inclusion Resource analyst at Human Resources, said that there are dangerous stereotypes in the world and that people alike should learn to dismantle them.

Corona wishes he had done something about it, but at the time he reacted by laughing, even though it offended him, and to this day he chooses to move past it.

He also didn't know that he could report it at the time, and he also didn't know the proper place to report it to.

When asked, other CSUSB student's didn't know where to report incidents of racism either. Daisy Vazquez, 20, current student said, "I would think campus police handled those things."

If students or faculty ever have an experience with racism, they can report it to members CSUSB's Human Resources office.

First photo: Human Resources receptionist, Baneza Garibay, speaking to a members of HR [out of shot]. Second photo: Business cards of all current members of HR, that anyone can contact.

Barnier explained that there is a formal way of reporting these incidents, and they are all handled the same way, by filing out Executive Orders 1096 or 1097, where it will be decided what further actions should be taken.

Sadly, Corona wasn't the only student to face discrimination on campus.

Carmen Rojas, 24, an alumni of CSUSB admits that she felt discriminated by another student her freshman year.

Rojas said her experience occurred her freshman year, when an older, White student attempted to flirt with her. She recalls speaking Spanish amongst her friends when he interrupted to complimented her hair.

The student asked Rojas for her phone number, she didn’t want to give him it, that upset him and he said, “you’re just like every Latina, you’re feisty!”

Current student Cynthia Duran, 20, said she’s tired of the sexualization and stereotypes Latin(o/a)s face, from film to real life encounters.

First Photo: Example of a sexualized Latin Lover that Latino men face. Second Photo: Stereotype of a maid that Latina women face. Third Photo: Stereotype of a "feisty" Latina. (Images found on Google™)

Duran shared similar feelings to Rojas, but also admits she wouldn’t know what to do in a situation where she was actually stereotyped.

Rojas, at the time, felt her situation didn’t need anymore attention than it already received, so she let it go, not thinking much of it. After a few academic quarters she enrolled for a race and racism class on campus, where she learned about micro-aggressions.

Rojas understood that what she experienced her freshman year was just that, a micro-aggression, fueled by a stereotype.

She explained that she didn’t report it for a couple of reasons, the biggest was because she didn’t feel like anything would be done, in regards to consequences.

Rojas said that a proper consequence – if not already in place – could be making whoever was racist to take a workshop or even the race and racism class offered at CSUSB.

Current student Dan Haro, 21, offered his own form of racism prevention.

Haro stated that, “if we had something similar to the Title XI online program all students have to take every year, but for racial discrimination, that’d probably reduce whatever racism we do have on campus.”

According to many students, including Corona, Rojas and Haro, CSUSB does not have a racism problem, in fact, students explained how much they admire the diversity and how the campus celebrates it.

A range of students studying and relaxing before their next Summer class inside the San Manuel Student Union at CSUSB.

Duran mentioned an event for intersectional women in higher education, where a panel of women of color spoke on their struggles with discrimination by colleagues. She explained it was a great way to speak on racism within higher education.

Holmquist said that although she is new to the campus, she loves that students and faculty alike have access to over 150 clubs/organizations on campus that celebrate diversity, like the Cross Cultural Center, Black Student Union and many more.

Several of the many clubs and organizations found inside the San Manuel Student Union, at CSUSB.

“We get emails constantly from the school reporting any crime and issues on campus, and I’m so glad we’ve never received on about racism on campus, because that would be truly shameful,” said Corona.

Sticker found on campus, depicting the intolerance for racism many of the students/faculty feel towards racism.
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