FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – The Bienvenida Thursday kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month at Fresno State.

The annual event is designed to welcome incoming Latino undergrad students to the university.

Bienvenida is organized by Fresno State’s Latina/o Faculty and Staff Association, the Latino Programs, and Services of the Cross-Cultural and Gender Center, and Student Involvement.

Their goal is to connect the students to Latino clubs, organizations and campus programs.

According to Fresno State’s preliminary fall 2019 enrollment data, more than 13,600 students are Hispanic, which accounts for 56.2% of the student body.

Iran Barrera is the President of the Latino Faculty Staff Association. He said this event is put on every year.

“Every year we do a bienvenedo which means a welcome to all students,” said Barrera. “The basic goal or the general theme is to welcome students to the new semester.”

Barrera spoke about the importance of holding events like this. He said more than half of the students attending Fresno State are Hispanic.

“This gives them some awareness,” said Barrera. “But, also let them know we are here for them throughout this learning journey.”

Soon Fresno State will join other CSU campuses in providing free immigration legal services to their students and staff.

Yolanda Doub is a Spanish Professor at Fresno State. She said many of her students simply do not know all that is offered to them.

“Students may not be aware of all of the resources we have,” said Doub. “So many opportunities here and support for students but getting people to the office that best suits their needs is half the battle really.”

So, by showcasing the different resources available is another way Fresno State shows they are providing for their students.

Miguel Sanchez is a Fresno State Student. He said having events like this is key to success.

“Everybody is different and if people were to join organizations that they are comfortable with they would feel more accepted,” said Sanchez.