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Phiota featured in Harvard Educational Review

Wednesday, February 17, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alberto Elvira
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Journal Article
Existentialism at Home, Determinism Abroad: A Small-Town Mexican American Kid Goes Global

Existentialism at Home, Determinism Abroad: A Small-Town Mexican American Kid Goes Global

JournalHarvard Educational Review
PublisherHarvard Education Publishing Group
ISSN0017-8055 (Print) 1943-5045 (Online)
IssueVolume 79, Number 4 / Winter 2009
Online DateFriday, January 29, 2010

Joe Robert González1

1 Harvard Graduate School of Education


In this essay, Joe Robert González describes the process of his own growth as a Mexican American from Brownsville, Texas, who attended Villanova University. He helped found a Latino fraternity on campus, Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity.  Coming from a majority-minority town, González identifies the importance of safe spaces for Mexican American youth, many of whom doubt their own potential to thrive within university settings. He laments the current push for cultural organizations on college campuses to educate the broader student body as well as the general inefficacy of these organizations due to the limited scope of their mission. At the same time, González celebrates the opportunities that his university gave him to interact with people from a variety of different cultures who hold different opinions about the world. Thinking about his friends from home, he laments the way that homogeneous experiences can nurture stereotypes and fear. González concludes by suggesting that college campuses must provide students with both safe spaces and opportunities for growth.

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