Chicana/o Studies – Publishing an Alternative View Since 1970 – CSU, Northridge


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El Popo Staff has 176 articles published.

Chicano Icon Passes Away

in The Word is Text by

by Alejandra Iglesias and Alejandra Rodriguez

Image of Bobby Verdugo
Bobby Verdugo

Bobby Verdugo was a mentor for many. It began during the 1968 Chicano student walkouts in East Los Angeles. Verdugo walked out to protest discrimination and dropout rates among Mexican American students. He was born to Chicano parents in Lincoln Heights, California. On May 1, 2020, he passed away at the age of 69. Daughter, Monica Verdugo, alongside wife and family, announced the news on Facebook that her father had died. Verdugo, Rios and other Latino students organized peaceful walkouts of schools across Los Angeles. The police reacted violently to these events and they would beat these high school students who were just seeking fair treatment. Eventually, the schools ended the punishment of speaking Spanish and later introduced bilingual education classes only years later.

According to a Los Angeles Times article, Verdugo’s experienced with the following: “They subjected him and others to paddlings in front of fellow students for speaking Spanish in class, incidents that he bitterly remembered decades later.” Wife, Yoli Rios, who went to high school with Verdugo mentioned to ABC News, “He tried to make a joke about it when it happened, but I know it was painful.” These students’ experiences were highlighted in the 2006 HBO movie, “Walkout” and actor, Efren Ramirez played Verdugo.

In 1995 he co-founded Con Los Padres which helped young Latino fathers. He explained that many young fathers received backlash telling them they had ruined their lives. Verdugo recalled his teacher from high school Sal Castro, who was there for Verdugo when he was a student and pushed him to stand up against teachers who were mistreating him. He reminded the young fathers to feel good about themselves and there were people like himself that cared about them just like Castro had done for him in his high school years.

At the age of 40, he decided to attend California State University, Los Angeles to earn his degree to help in outreach and become a social worker. He noticed that there were limited resources for young-at-risk men that weren’t punitive which lead him to co-founding Con Los Padres. This innovative program counseled teenage Latino fathers. The Los Angeles Times talks about that in the following: “He connected with them by organizing circulos: talking circles that modeled on Mesoamerican traditions in which his young acolytes could drop their machismo and freely discuss their feelings while reconnecting with their roots.”

Verdugo surely made an impact from the walkouts up until his last moments on Earth and he will be greatly missed in the Chicanx community.

MataCare Emergency Grant

in The Word is Text by

by El Popo Staff

Due to a change in processing of checks during this time, it may take 10-14 days to receive grant funds from the time we receive your application. However, your application will still be reviewed within 3 to 5 days.  Applications continue to be accepted via mail.

The deadline for Spring 2020 is May 6th.

For information about other resources please visit

The MataCare Grant exists to help students with unexpected urgent financial needs. The MataCare Grant Fund was established through generous contributions from alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the university who want to assist in removing unanticipated financial roadblocks to student degree completion and well-being.  The Grant is not a loan and does not need to be repaid. 

Matriculated CSUN students in good standing can apply for a MataCare Grant up to two times during their career at CSUN.  These grants are meant to address urgent one-time needs.  Students with ongoing issues should meet with a financial aid counselor to develop long-term solutions.  The Financial Aid and Scholarship Department is located in the first floor Student Lobby in Bayramian Hall.

The amount of a MataCare Grant depends on the nature of an individual request, documentation provided and the availability of funds, however the average award amount is $550. Most applications will be reviewed and receive a decision within 3-5 days.  If approved, funds will usually be issued within a week of submitting your application.  Applicants will be notified of the outcome by email.  Sign up for e-refund on your portal to have funds deposited directly into your checking account.

To be eligible to receive a MataCare Grant a student must:

  • Be enrolled in required minimum of units (6 units undergraduate and credential; 3 units for graduate, certificate)
  • Have paid all outstanding charges to the university in full or be up to date on payment plan
  • Be able to demonstrate an urgent financial need (Providing supporting documentation where appropriate)
  • Have exhausted all sources of financial assistance and aid, including Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Be in good conduct and academic standing (2.00 GPA. undergrads; 3.00 GPA credential, graduate, certificate)

Applications must include documentation that supports the request, if appropriate.  Documentation can include receipts, bills, leases, police reports, pay stubs, letters, news reports, obituaries, etc.  If documentation is unavailable, attach a statement that explains why there is no documentation.

If you have any questions about the MataCare Grant Program; the process, the application, your situation, please see our FAQ’s or contact

MataCare Grant Application  – click here for the application form and submit along with a signed statement and supporting documentation.

Submission: We do not currently have an online submission option for MataCare.  Please submit your complete application to the Financial Aid Office either by mail to 18111 Nordhoff St. Northridge, CA 91330-8307 or by fax to (818) 677-6787.

However, some students are using web services such as, or mobile apps such as Fax Burner and FaxFile to email their applications to our fax machine so we’d like to share those options as a possible way to submit your application online.

All documents submitted will be kept private and will not be shared with any other department or government agency.

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