Latinidad at WPUNJ

Latinidad at William Paterson University acknowledges the dynamic diversity of our students whose origins are from Latin America, Central America, South America, and Caribbean islands of any race, any ancestry, and any ethnicity. Latinidad (solidarity) is experienced through language, music, art, customs, and traditions.

As a university, guided by our mission and commitment to further inclusive practices, we use the terms “Latina/o/x” and “Latinx”. Our goal in using these terms is to build a campus culture that is more inclusive of non-gender binary people and to give all students a means to express themselves. At William Paterson University, Latinx is an example of how people are using language to express the intersection of their gender identity and their Latinidad.  It is up to the individual to self-determine how best to identify themselves within the context of their own culture, gender, and other characteristics. 

We have provided some definitions that guide our work to increase Latinidad at William Paterson University.  In addition to these terms, many people prefer to identify themselves by their heritage or country of origin.  The Center for Diversity & Inclusion invites you to complete Latinidad at WPUNJ Survey to learn more about what programs and initiatives are important to you. Students of all identities including non-Latina/o/x students are encouraged to complete the survey.

Check out Pioneer Life for more information on upcoming events and programs.


Latina (adj.): a woman or girl who is a native, inhabitant of Latin America, or is of Latin American origin living in the U.S..

Latino (adj.): a man or boy who is a native, inhabitant of Latin America, or is of Latin American origin living in the U.S..

Latinx (adj.): Relating to people of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina). Supporters say it engenders greater acceptance among non-binary gender Latinos. Critics say the term is ungrammatical and disrespectful toward the Spanish language. The “x” in Latinx replaces the male and female endings “o” and “a” that are part of Spanish grammar conventions. The main goal of this new identity term is to be more inclusive.

Hispanic (adj.): The United States Census Bureau uses "Hispanic or Latino" to refer to "a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race” and states that Hispanics or Latinos can be of any race, any ancestry, any ethnicity.  More broadly, the term Hispanic is more broadly used to refer to the culture, peoples, or nations with a historical link to Spain, particularly the countries of Latin America which were colonized by Spain. The Spanish language is the main cultural element shared by Hispanic peoples.