The event encouraged students to show support for members of the first generation in their immediate family to attend a four-year university.
First generation students were happy to see that the university was taking steps to recognize students that face different challenges in every day life while in college.
“I feel a lot of responsibility being a first generation student and I don’t always feel comfortable on campus, but it is nice to see the school making some steps to recognize the struggles we face on a day to day basis,” said Evelyn Morales, a first generation student.
The event was a collaborative effort between the Department of Student Services, the Department of Student Development, and Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services.
According to the First Generation Foundation, nearly 50 percent of the student population is comprised of first generation college students and those first generation college students are less likely to graduate from their four year universities.
“We are trying to change the narrative around first generation students,” said Cynthia Montes, a faculty organizer of the event and head of the Department of Student Services. “Some students feel like it is a bad thing to be first generation, but we want to turn it into a celebration that the students can be proud of.”
According to organizers, this event was intended to act as a first step toward greater awareness of the challenges first generation students face.
“We hope to have many more events like this and create a group of first generation students who can find a place to help them succeed to the best of their abilities,” Montes said.