LA CASA newest addition to SLU community
The first housing option created to support the University’s Latin American, Hispanic, and Latinx students will welcome students this fall. LA CASA – an acronym for Latin American Culture and Student Anecdotes – will be located on one side of the Jim and Eilleen Dicke House, one of the University’s Small Living Units (SLUs). SLUs provide themed housing opportunities for students interested in specific issues, such as the environment, social justice, or interfaith initiatives.
“I think that the most important aspect about the house is bringing the sense of family to the OWU community,” said Brayams Ayala Ramos ’20, who collaborated with Isabelle Rodriguez ’21 to propose LA CASA.
“The mission will be successful if, in the future, people know about Latin/ Hispanic culture and know that we can embrace different aspects from all over the world to create a better community,” Ayala Ramos said.
Ayala Ramos, who grew up in Jumiltepec Morelos, Mexico, is a triple major in pre-medicine, zoology, and Spanish. Rodriguez, of San Antonio, Texas, is a double major in neuroscience and pre-medicine with a minor in Spanish.
“It is our goal to bring together the students who come from LA CASA newest addition to SLU community different Latin American countries to promote inclusivity success within the community and to encourage each other personally, culturally, socially, and academically,” Ayala Ramos and Rodriguez said in the new SLU’s mission statement.”
Each year, all of Ohio Wesleyan’s small living units complete house projects and host events to share information about their focus issues, and its organizers plan for LA CASA residents to make a positive impact through activities such as cultural and educational programs, Spanishtranslation services, and related community service initiatives.
Hispanic/Latinx students represent the fastest-growing college student group in the nation; at OWU that group is close to reaching 8 percent of the total OWU student population, said Professor Juan Armando Rojas Joo, who will serve as advisor to the new SLU. “I believe the creation of LA CASA is a milestone in the University’s efforts to become more inclusive of our diverse student community,” said Rojas Joo, who also serves as OWU’s chief diversity officer and associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion.
Learn more about SLUs at owu.edu/small-living-units.