The Impact of Disasters among Latinx Undergraduates in California

Due to the recent increase in disasters such as COVID-19, it has been established by many researchers that there is minimal research on the effects of disasters on college students (Copeland et al., 2021). However, there has not been a great number of disasters that have impacted college students. The most recent disaster, COVID-19 was very different from other disasters. It forced most institutions to continue teaching students remotely. Even though, there was no research on the implications that it would have on students, faculty, and other staff members. Thus, our work is to analyze the role that disaster capitalism plays and how does it impact Latinx undergraduate students. To work toward our findings, we will be using a phenomenological approach focused on how individuals experience or live through a specific phenomenon (Moustaskas, 1994). Phenomenology is used to reduce a person’s individual experiences with a phenomenon to a description of the collective (Creswell, 2009). The goal of phenomenology is to understand how participants describe “what” and “how” they experienced a common event, feeling, and/or state of being (Moustaskas, 1994).  Hence, our preliminary findings exhibit high levels of stress and depression when displaced. Also, there is minimal institutional support for students, which affects their ability to learn while remote. Furthermore, this study can contribute to an important understanding of institutions’ response to disaster and how to include Latinx undergraduate students within it.