Political science major Fatima V. Preciado Mendoza is the director of the Associated Students of Portland State University’s Multicultural Affairs Committee.
Her goals include providing academic support to first generation college students and connecting with the various cultural resource centers on campus.
“I really want to continue to support the cultural resource centers as Multicultural Affairs Director,” Preciado Mendoza said. “I was a little bit overwhelmed to be at such a large institution, and sometimes these spaces are not designed to cater [toward] first-generation students.”
One of the Multicultural Affairs Committee’s current projects is to help create the Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian student center. “A main focus is to make sure we have the proper funding for the MENASA student center and to ensure they have their full time director,” Preciado Mendoza said.
The various cultural centers on campus are funded by the Student Fee Committee. The SFC is made up of seven members in charge of allocating the student incidental fee and the student building fee, according to the ASPSU constitution.
“Most of the work has been student-led and student organizers have been putting in hours to bring more awareness to [the MENASA student center],” Preciado Mendoza said. “They have presented at the SFC, so we’ve been really pushing the SFC to make sure they get the funding they need.”
Preciado Mendoza is also the director of DREAM PSU, a newly recognized student organization for self-identified undocumented students, and serves as a student admissions representative and student ambassador coordinator.
Preciado Mendoza said she sees overlap in her leadership roles in DREAM PSU and ASPSU. “We’re putting up events and providing resources for students. We’re bringing an awareness about the undocumented experience, and I feel like a lot of that ties into my work as Multicultural Affairs director.”
Preciado Mendoza was elected as a senator in June 2018 and appointed to her current position by ASPSU President Luis Balderas-Villagrana. This is Preciado Mendoza’s first year with ASPSU.
Preciado Mendoza said she intends to spend this year reaching out to the student body in order to amplify their voices and ensure they are represented by ASPSU.
“When you’re engaging on different topics and different things that come up, other students will start to notice,” she said. “I want ASPSU to connect with students in a way where we don’t have to be asking what do our students need. We should already know that.”