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Chicanx/Latinx Community

El Centro Study

Here at UCSB, we take pride in our strong commitment to the success of our Chicanx/Latinx communities. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, we continue to strive to provide our students with the essential tools and resources needed to accomplish great feats during and after their time at UCSB. Get involved with El Congreso, a Latinx activist organization, one of our many professional organizations like Los Ingenieros, or just hang out at El Centro where you can learn about these orgs and many more! This community has helped me grow positively and I will forever remember the amazing times at UCSB.
Alexis M., Class of 2020

Point of Pride

El Centro: In 1969, the Chicano Coordinating Council on Higher Education met at UC Santa Barbara to draft El Plan de Santa Barbara, a document that served as the foundation for educational curriculum and and community organizing  across California. Another outcome was the formation of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA). 

Featured Event




Yesika Salgado is a Los Angeles based Salvadoran poet who writes about her family, her culture, her city, and her fat brown body. She has shared her work in venues and campuses throughout the country. 

Salgado is a two time National Poetry Slam finalist and the recipient of the 2020 International Latino Book Award in Poetry. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue, Univision, CNN, NPR, TEDx, and many digital platforms. She is an internationally recognized body-positive activist and the writer of the column Suelta for Remezcla. Yesika is the author of the best-sellers Corazón, Tesoro, and Hermosa, published with Not a Cult.


Student Organizations

Chicanx/Latinx Student Organizations

Brazilian Student Association (BRASA UCSB)
BRASA UCSB aims to promote the Brazilian culture to the UCSB community by organizing social events and meetings. The organization encourages students, alumni, faculty members and staff to take on issues related to Brazil ranging from politics and economics to art and culture. If you are passionate about Brazil and would like to participate in a cultural organization and learn about Brazil's biggest facets, join BRASA! For more information about BRASA, visit our website

Chicanx Latinx Graduation (CLG)

The Chicanx/Latinx Graduation, also known as CLG, is a student run organization that funds for its own graduation by coordinating fundraisers, finding generous sponsors, and collecting member fees. CLG is different from the official university graduation in which the graduation itself is hosted in both Spanish and English, Latin American flags are placed by the stage, graduating seniors are given a few seconds to give thanks and more upon receiving their certificate, members receive a CLG sash, there is no limit to how many guests one brings, cultural entertainers such as mariachi and Danza Azteca will perform during the graduation, there is a reserved time for org shout outs, and more. CLG is a very special ceremony for the Chicanx/Latinx community as an underrepresented group, especially due to the fact that a large portion of graduating students within this community are first generation college students. We want to make this graduation as special as possible by touching base on the cultural aspects. Aside from the mariachi and Danza Azteca, we would like to incorporate a tamborazo since the ceremony is as much for the graduates as it is for their family. Furthermore we also want to design a more culturally appealing banner that future CLG members will be able to use for future graduating classes. Culture plays such a large role in the Chicanx/Latinx community, thus we want to incorporate as much of it as we can during this special ceremony.

Colectiva: Latinx Graduate Student Association (Colectiva)

The Latinx Graduate Student Colectiva seeks to build community among Latinx Graduate students and the larger Latinx Isla Vista communities. We aim to serve as a resource to both academic and non-academic Latinx communities in and around UCSB. We strive to provide mentorship and emotional support for undergraduate Latinx students, to work on retention of Latinx graduate students, to develop strategies to navigate academia and to engage with the larger Latinx Santa Barbara community.

Cotillion Dance Club (Cotillion Dance)
Cotillion Dance Club is a student organization at UCSB that teaches Ballroom, Latin, and social dancing, and many other forms of partnership dancing, in addition to providing opportunities for social dancing and performative art. We have weekly meetings which include beginner friendly dance lessons and social dancing. We also have competition practices geared toward improving styling and techniques for those who enjoy a little friendly competition. No partner or dance experience is necessary! We dance a lot, and we socialize a lot. So come on in for a lesson and some dancing!

Decolonizing Our Lives Project (DOLP)
DOLP will promote the cultural, social, political, and intellectual development of peoples affected by Euro-western colonization while developing methods and structures to promote decolonization in our lives.

Destino (Destino)
We exist to raise up a generation of Latinx leaders to change the world. The world is a pretty messed up place. You don’t need anybody to prove that. Wars. Disease. Poverty. Divorce. Addictions. Tragedies and injustice all around us. A lot of people want to change the world, but sometimes it’s hard enough to even change our own lives. We think Jesus was on to something when he said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” DESTINO is a movement of college students that wants to change the world, one life at a time, with the only One who can do it.

El Congreso (Congreso)
An activist Chican@/Latin@ student organization and recognized official M.E.Ch.A. Chapter at UCSB, comprised of committees which address various areas of interest. Through its workshops, programs, and conferences, El Congreso strives to empower, defend, and support the needs of Chican@/Latin@ students and the local community. We are a diverse community of people (indigenous, immigrant, mixed race, etc.) actively working against homophobia, racism, sexism, and the many other oppressive "isms" that exist today. We continue on with the struggle, keeping the legacy of the Chican@ movement alive.

Hermanas Unidas Inc. (HaU)
Hermanas Unidas Inc. (HaU) of UCSB aims to provide a familial network for Latinas/Chicanas through participation in academic, community service, and collegial networking events which impact our women as well as our surrounding community. We emphasize the importance of hermandad and support for each other in our individual quest for success and in our transition to and from college.

Hermanos Unidos (HU
Hermanos Unidos (HU) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1999, that promotes leadership development at the center of the Chicano/Latino community at the UCSB. HU aims to shed the stereotypes placed on Chicano/Latino men through our pursuit of “El Nuevo Hombre.” Hermanos Unidos was founded on three pillars: Academic Excellence, Community Service and Social Interaction. Our members go on to part take in undergraduate research, entrepreneurial positions, and are involved in recruitment and retention at UCSB.

Latino Business Association (LBA)
The Latino Business Association of the University of California at Santa Barbara was founded in 1983 as a student chapter of the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We are affiliated with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and are a subcommittee of El Congreso. Our organization is one of several branches of the United Latino Students Association (ULSA) which serves as an umbrella organization for Latino based organizations in universities across Southern California. ULSA creates a network of opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to effectively communicate between CSUs, UCs, and private universities. Our UCSB chapter’s mission statement focuses on highlighting three pillars: Professionalism, Community Service, and Social. Our membership is comprised of individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds, as well as academic disciplines who are interested in building their Professional skills and preparing for their career of interest. Together, the members of the Latino Business Association strive to learn the imperative responsibilities that are inherent within the working world, by emphasizing in academic, communal, and corporate networks. The goal of the Latino Business Association is to prepare students for the world after graduation by offering professional development workshops as well as creating a fun and safe environment to meet fellow classmates with the same aspirations and mindset. We actively seek internships and employment positions in the careers corresponding to Business Law, Marketing, Advertisement, Accounting, Finance, and any other opportunities that may interest our members. As a student-run, non-profit organization, we thrive on a variety of activities to complete and fulfill our goal. In doing so, we have built a firm foundation through various careers exposition, leadership conferences, community involvement, excellent guest speakers, and fundraisers.

Los Ingenieros (LI)
Los Ingenieros is dedicated to promote the advancement of Latin@ students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Our organization offers activities and events that fall in the following four areas: Academic Excellence, Professional Development, Leadership and Community Outreach.

Making Adventures Possible for All Students (MAPAS)
To create and promote underrepresented and diverse communities to participate in outdoor activities to engage future generations of marginalized people in the outdoors. Through promotion of accessibility, knowledge, and exposure.

Mujeres Unidas por Justicia, Educacion y Revolucion (M.U.J.E.R.)
M.U.J.E.R.(Mujeres Unidas por Justicia,Educación y Revolución) is a womxn's support group and political action organization that provides support and advocacy for Latina/Chicana womxn and marginalized genders and promotes cultural and gender awareness on campus and in the community. YOU DON'T JOIN M.U.J.E.R., YOU ARE M.U.J.E.R.

Salsa Bachata Kizomba Club At University Of California Santa Santa Barbara (SBKLUB @ UCSB)
SBKlub is a student run organization that focuses and provides a fun, social environment to learn the salsa, bachata and kizomba Social Dances. We practice these skills, engage with others in a positive and Healthy way. We meet weekly and foster dance, the arts, community building, respect and physical social interaction. No partner or experience necessary!!

Society for Advancement of Chican@s/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science Graduate Student Chapter (SACNAS Grad Chapter)
This organization is dedicated to enhance the experience of and appreciation for STEM graduate students of diverse backgrounds including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region.

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
We are the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) chapter at the University of California, Santa Barbara. SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. SACNAS achieves mission impact through outcome-based programming and initiatives.

The Latina/o UCSB Network Association (LUNA)
The Latin@/x UCSB Network Association (LUNA) focuses on providing activities and opportunities to assist in the retention, professional development, and promotion of Latino/a faculty and staff at UCSB. LUNA serves as an organization that promotes respect and understanding of Latina/o cultures in order to recruit, retain, celebrate, and value Latina/o faculty and staff.

Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (ΓΖΑ)
Founded at California State University, Chico in 1987
Colors: Silver, Black and White
Symbol: The Iguana
Philanthropy: California Academic Decathlon, Day of Service, GANAS Scholarship and Youth Conference

The mission of Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a non-for-profit corporation built on the
foundation of respect and brotherhood, is to establish and promote the nurturing environment at the university level and beyond, through Academic Excellence, Community Service, and the Celebration of the Diverse Latino Culture.
Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. (ΛΘΑ)
Founded at Kean University in 1975
Colors: Burgundy and Grey
Symbols: La Perla (pearl), La Dama (lady), La Concha (shell), La Luna (moon), y La Palma (palm tree)
Philanthropy: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

The idea of bringing Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus began in the spring of 2004 when a group of strong and independent women came together, believing there was a need to establish an organization that would cater to the needs of Latina women.

The organization has cater to the campus and the community by holding various outreach programs and bringing awareness of different subjects. Delta Theta Chapter has been on campus for 11 years and is a proud member of the HBLGC council at UCSB.

Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc. (ΛΘΝ)
Founded at California State University, Chico in 1986
Colors: Silver, Burgundy and White
Symbol: Silver Rose

Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc. mission is to promote and foster Latina leaders through educational and professional development, relationship building and community involvement. Our intent is to provide our members exposure to resources for continued growth.

Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (ΦΙΑ)
Founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1931
Colors: Gold, Navy Blue, Red, White
Symbol: Lion
Philanthropy: UNICEF

Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity's roots extend from the late 19th century to the first Latino fraternity and the first Latino student organization in the United States. Our brotherhood is composed of university and professional men committed towards the empowerment of the Latin American community. We do this by providing social, cultural programs and activities geared towards the appreciation, promotion, and preservation of Latin American culture.

Phi Lambda Rho Fraternity, Inc.
Founded at Cal State University, Stanislaus in 1993
Colors: Brown, Ivory, and Forest Green
Symbol: An Ivory Rose
Philanthropy:  Manos Ayudando Manitas

The purpose of Phi Lambda Rho Sorority, Inc. is to provide a lifelong sisterhood based on facilitating the advancement of women of color through higher education. Our mission is to give back to our community, especially our marginalized youth, while celebrating and promoting the Chicana/Latina culture.
Sigma Delta Alpha Fraternity
Founded at San Jose University in 1992
Colors: Forest Green, White, and Maroon
Philanthropy: Men's Health

Brothers of Sigma Delta Alpha (ΣΔΑ) are university men who embody the spirit of brotherhood to assist each other in achieving their academic goals. We are a proud fraternity that acknowledges a shared cultural heritage. We represent our people in the world of academia and we are determined to be positive role models to the youth in our communities.

Brothers of Sigma Delta Alpha direct their actions to achieving our five Purposes:

1) To support each other academically, socially, and personally.
2) To encourage the promotion and retention of all underrepresented groups at institutions of higher learning.
3) To work with other organizations and our community.
4) To promote all underrepresented cultures and traditions to the community.
5) To conduct ourselves so as to cast a positive light upon the Fraternity, ourselves, and our community.
Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity (ΣΛΒ)
Founded at the University of Iowa in 1986
Colors: Royal Purple and Pure White
Symbols: White Stallion Mustang and Skeleton Key
Philanthropy: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, CPR Awareness Day, Latino Vote USA

To nurture and further a dynamic, values-based environment which utilizes our historically Latino based fraternity as a catalyst to better serve the needs and wants of all people.

Sigma Omega Nu Latina Interest Sorority, Inc.
Founded at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1996
Colors: Black, Burgundy and Gold
Symbol: The Sun
Philanthropy: Isla Vista Youth Projects Inc.

We invite you to take a glimpse as to why Sigma Omega Nu has captured the hearts of many and continues to flourish in Sunnie Santa Barbara. The Gamma Chapter of Sigma Omega Nu was established at the University of California, Santa Barbara by six Founding Sisters on March 22, 2002. We believe in fostering each others' well-being and providing a tightly-knit support system that will last beyond our undergraduate careers. We are leaders on and off-campus, have diverse backgrounds and have a commitment to our community!
Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority, Incorporated (ΛΣΓ)
Founded at California State University, Sacramento in 1986
Colors: Green, White and Red
Philanthropy: California Head Start Program

The purposes of Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority, Incorporated is to instill the desire for self improvement, scholastic excellence and the cultivation of civic responsibility; also to promote unity and higher education amongst women.
Sigma Alpha Zeta Sorority Inc.
Founded at California State University, Fresno in 1992
Colors: Hunter Green, Navy Blue, and White
Symbol: Diamond & Dolphin
Philanthropy: Love Shouldn’t Hurt (Domestic Violence Awareness)

Sigma Alpha Zeta stands for the empowerment of women through education, sisterhood, diversity and community service. 
Our purpose is to enhance personal growth, create networks, strive for excellence and support the upward mobility of womxn. 
Our goals are to maintain academic excellence, engage in campus activities, foster sisterhood, and provide community service. 
We are a unique group of womxn who pride ourselves on diversity, culture, personalities and interests. We offer an array of opportunities through extensive networks, and gain a more in depth experience by providing exposure to all aspects of campus life. We cultivate long friendships and open up doors to help achieve future goals.
Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. (ΣΛΓ)
Founded at the University of Iowa in 1990
Colors: Shocking Pink and Majestic Purple
Symbol: Purple Panther
Philanthropy: Breast Cancer Awareness, TRiO Programs

Sigma Lambda Gamma strives to be the premier organization committed to providing a mechanism of empowerment to all women.
Theta Nu Kappa Multicultural and Academic Fraternity
Founded at UC Santa Barbara in 2007
Colors: Kelly Green and Heather Gray
Symbol: The Wise and Noble Owl
Philanthropy: Mental Health Awareness

Theta Nu Kappa Multicultural & Academic Fraternity was founded on the glorious day of November 20th, 2007 at the University of California, Santa Barbara by 8 ambitious men. Since then, our brotherhood has grown to forge 100+ men into leaders of tomorrow. Our founders came together with the purpose of creating an organization that truly embraces and promotes diversity and fosters academic excellence. By upholding the pillars of Brotherhood, Leadership, Scholarship, and Prudence our brothers strive to improve themselves as individuals, while working to improve our community, one NessKuh at a time.

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Student Services

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies

The Chicana/o Studies Department engages students in the interdisciplinary study of Chicana and Chicano history, culture, and politics. Our students explore Chicana/o experiences in their most broad, comprehensive sense, informed by several philosophical and theoretical schools, historical and political scholarship, literary and religious traditions, artistic movements, mass media, and video and film. In partnership with affiliated faculty across campus and feminist and Black Studies Ph.D. emphasis programs, the B.A./Honors/M.A./Ph.D. programs in Chicana and Chicano Studies challenge students to link theory with practice, scholarship with teaching, and the academy with the community.

Chicano Studies Institute

The Chicano Studies Institute at UC Santa Barbara facilitates interdisciplinary and field-specific research as scholars and students from all disciplines pursue work that helps policy makers, fellow researchers, educators, service providers and the interested public better understand the most pressing issues pertaining to Chicana/o and Latina/o populations.  Addressing topics such as community formation, academic achievement, health education, cultural literacy, and math/science proficiency from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, the rich collaborations at the Institute cultivate a better understanding regarding the ways that local, state-wide, national and international forces interact, often times with profound impact.  Of crucial importance is the Institute's role in training future generations of scholars equipped to tackle these fundamentally important issues.

 Chicanx/Latinx Cultural Resource Center

The Chicanx/Latinx Cultural Resource Center (CLCRC) provides a culturally enriched environment where students, faculty, and staff of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds can learn about a diverse culture. Our objective is to educate and unify the UCSB and Chicanx/Latinx community through the mediums of art, language, people, food, and traditions. At the Chicanx/Latinx Cultural Resource Center (located in the Student Resource Building) and El Centro Arnulfo Casillas (Building #406), the UCSB community can develop an understanding and appreciation of Chicanx/Latinx cultural heritage and history.

California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (Chicano and Latino Collections)

CEMA was established in 1988. Since that time, numerous organizations and individuals have committed to establishing their archives, papers, and other holdings in this program.

Information about finding aids may be found by connecting to the link to that collection. Some of our collections have links to guides in the Online Archive of California (OAC) or guides in PDF format.

Career Services (Chican@/Latin@ Career Resources)

Career Services is committed to ensuring students, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, citizenship, or differing abilities, get access to whatever jobs match their goals and desires. These are the resources designed to assist Chican@/Latin@ students in their career development.

Opening New Doors to Accelerating Success (ONDAS)

In 2014, UCSB was recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education, making the campus eligible for new federal funding to develop new capacities and programs. The ONDAS Student Center (OSC) is funded by a Department of Education Title V HSI grant that supports these purposes The ONDAS Student Center at UCSB promotes the success and retention of first-generation college students with an emphasis on the first year transition and underrepresented student experience. We provide mentoring and academic support in a learning-centered space for students to connect with faculty, staff, and peers in order to grow personally and excel academically.