IMDiversity.com: Rick Lopez '93 and Ilan Stavans on Latinos in College
Navigating Higher Ed for Latinos
IMDiversity.com, May 2007
"Amherst College, in Massachusetts, is an elite institution with one of the highest academic reputations in the country. Although Latino enrollment is only 6%, Hispanic Business magazine named Amherst third of 25 top post-secondary schools recommended for Latinos. The college has a Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies and extensive course offerings in Latin American and Latino-American history, literature, culture and language.
Reflecting on the Latino experience at elite schools, Professor López observes that it’s important, “particularly for working class students,” to maintain cultural ties, and he points to two student organizations at Amherst that do just that—the literary group, La Causa, and the Chicano Caucus.
Both Rick López and another of Amherst’s noted Hispanic intellectuals, Ilan Stavans, Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture, fault the school for not reaching out to more Hispanics and other minorities, more students of any background from poorer socio-economic backgrounds as well. “Amherst has remained a place of class privilege,” says Rick López,, “and I would look forward to seeing Amherst bring in students who will break down these barriers.” "