Making the Past Part of Our Future

Student research displayed at the U-SU

Carlos Gomez, Web Editor

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On Tuesday April 4, students from Professor Christopher Endy’s class displayed their research on the history of Cal State LA in the San Gabriel room of the University Student Union.

“To experience research as a community process, they were working side by side with each other to learn how research is done as a team,” said Professor Endy. “We want our guests to interact, and rather than have a one-way flow of information, we want guests to have conversations with other students and learn together.”

Students and faculty were presented with several display cases and tables with archived sources, a slideshow featuring old photos, and a table with cookies and candy for guests. Endy’s students, who conducted the research, were available to speak to those interested in learning more. Sources and photos cited in the display were all collected from the Special Collections and Archives in the CSULA library.

Nancy Escalante, one of those students involved with the display told the University Times, “I have a lot of passion for Cal State LA…based on the campus’ past, there is significant potential for the present as well as the future in terms of progress.”

Apart from the documents that were being displayed, which included the first issues of the Los Angeles State College Newspaper (now University Times), the students and faculty could look at old Cal State LA yearbooks with the Diablo mascot on its covers. The Diablo mascot was replaced by the Golden Eagle mascot in 1981.

Nancy pointed out one particularly unusual event that she found in the yearbooks. “There was this thing called Men’s Week,” she said. “This was in the 50’s, and basically it was men dressed in drag saying that women were the root of all evil.”

Jacob Yanit, another undergraduate History major who was displaying his research, spoke about the importance of students coming to the event. “To really know where the campus is today, you need to know the history. My research was on the faculty here on the campus, since they also had a role on the campus.”

Professor Endy also wanted to give a big thanks to Azalea Camacho, the Director of Special Collections and Archives, for allowing original copies of documents to be displayed outside of the reading room. Special Collections and Archives is located on the second floor of the library in room 2079, and contains many important documents from Cal State LA’s past.

Although the history of the University is unchanging, the future is very much moldable based on the actions of current students and faculty. The decisions made by students today will undoubtedly determine the fate of Cal State LA. Joining campus organizations and excelling in courses will transform Cal State LA into a force for progress.

Students should go ahead and take photos of big campus events and daily activities because they may eventually be archived in the University Library years from now. If you would like to visit the Special Collections and Archives department to learn more about the history of Cal State LA, it is located at the library in the center of campus. You can also visit their website,, in order to learn more information about what they do.

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Making the Past Part of Our Future