The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

First-gen students celebrated at campus events

First-gen students celebrated at campus events - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Biology senior Natalie Medrano, gets her photo taken during the First Gen Photo Booth event at Texas A&M University-San Antonio on Nov. 5, 2019. Photo by Victoria Martinez

Students still have plenty of time to participate in the First-Generation Student Celebration at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

Originally limited to just one day, the celebration has been a part of A&M-San Antonio since 2017; this year is the first time it will be a weeklong celebration. 

First-generation students are the first in their families to attempt higher education. This also applies to students attempting higher education who might have family members who have been through school, but they themselves don’t receive any help while navigating the university systems.  

“We feel it’s important to recognize these students, just like we recognize military affiliated students and transfer students,“ said Mercedes Torrez, coordinator of the Academic Learning Center. 

The week aims to bring awareness to the large first-gen community on campus. According to the university, 78% of A&M-San Antonio students identify as first-generation students. 

The celebration is a collaboration between the Academic Learning Center, Student Academic Success Center, First Year Experience, Military Affairs and Student Transition and Family Engagement.

Jaguars still have opportunities to be involved in First-Gen week:

  • Wednesday Nov. 6:
    Donuts with First-Gens from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. in Parking Lot 3.
  • Thursday Nov. 7:
    Community Collaboration Board from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Central Academic Building.
  • Friday Nov. 8:
    First-Gen Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Ceremony Room of Patriots Casa.

Throughout the week, popups around campus will give away limited edition buttons and stickers as well as food.

“I was a first-gen student. I remember going through the entire process and not really knowing what was happening,” said Torrez. “You kind of feel like you’re left out in the ether, trying to figure out where to go. I felt a little disadvantaged as a first-gen student.  Hosting this event will help us better understand this population. We want to show who can be an ally and who can offer support.” 

About the Author

Aaron Campbell
Aaron Campbell
Aaron Campbell is a communications senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He is an experienced massage therapist with over six years working at Massage Envy. When not at school or working, Aaron appreciates taco trucks, old movies and the occasional live show. He plans on pursuing a career in media design before taking over the world.

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