Hispanic student enrollment has increased by over 100 percent since 2010 at the University of Oklahoma resulting in Hispanics being the largest minority group at OU today.
In 2005, the Hispanic population at OU was 1,050. The first significant increase in the population happened in 2010 with 1,432 students identifying as Hispanic enrolled.
Since then, there has been an upward trend of Hispanic student enrollment at the University of Oklahoma. In 2012, Latinx students became the largest minority group on the OU campus.
In 2005, Hispanic students were the smallest minority group recorded at the University of Oklahoma. Something happened around 2010 that caused more Hispanic students to enroll at OU, but what was it?
Matthew Cancio, the Latino Student Life advisor at OU, says he believes there is a movement in U.S. higher education that is intentionally working towards inviting the Latinx community to college and creating a space for them on campuses. Cancio said that at the Oklahoma City Community College where he used to work, Hispanics are becoming the majority population on campus.
Cancio also said organizations both on and off campus are working to get more Latinxs into college. Cancio said the Hispanic American Student Association of OU and Latinos Without Borders, which target high school students, are groups that helped achieve this increase of enrolled Hispanic students at the University of Oklahoma.
OU also hosts public events intended to celebrate Latinx culture on campus such as Latino Flavor and the Day of the Dead Street Festival. These events feature the music, food, and culture of many Latinx communities.
Juan Gonzalez, a sophomore finance major, says that more opportunities are opening up for Latinxs. Gonzalez says that many students are first generation Americans, but others have first generation parents or older siblings who had the opportunity to go to college which made it easier for them to do so too.
Alex Rodriguez, a junior economics major, says the growth of the Hispanic student population is related to the growth of the general population. He says the Hispanic population in general is growing, which results in the Hispanic student enrollment to grow as well.
Enrollment for White and Indigenous students has declined in recent years. There were nearly 3,000 less white students in 2017 than there were in 2005. Meanwhile, Black and Asian enrollment has been fairly steady.