UCLA Dedicates Dorm Floor to First Generation Students
LYILLI DUONG STAFF WRITER
UCLA’s latest effort to support its students lead them to create a new dorm floor dedicated to first generation students. First generation students are students that are the first of their family to go to college. According to CNN, 32 percent of undergraduates from UCLA are first generation students.
Violet Salazar, a UCLA student, was the one who came up with the idea of a dedicating a whole dorm floor to first generation students. In a CNN article, Salazar, a first-generation college student, shared that in her dorm, she would hear privileged students, whose parents were doctors and lawyers, talk about the nice weekend getaways that she could never have. It was hard for her single mother to afford those vacations. During her junior year, she proposed the idea of having a dorm floor dedicated to first-generation students. When the UCLA housing officials took it to action, she cried tears of joy.
“I would consider living in a dorm [dedicated to first generation students] because I would be more comfortable living with and around people who are in a similar position, junior Leslie Torres said.
On move-in day, there was a reception with sandwiches and merchandise. Mario Martinez, one of the many new students that has a dorm on this floor, said that his parents are Honduran immigrants that stopped their education at elementary school. His family pushed him to go to college. He is gay and considered living with LGBQT students, but enjoyed the close company of others with similar backgrounds as him.
“It has positive and negative aspects. Positive because it might help create a sense of community but could also be isolating,” English teacher Rachel Farfsing said.