After a pandemic-enforced break, the CSUDH Male Success Alliance (MSA) held its first on-campus induction ceremony in four years this March. In all, 28 new MSA members were welcomed into the academic-focused support program for men of color.
“The induction ceremony celebrates and honors these young men from different backgrounds, binding them together for a mission and cause that’s bigger than themselves,” said MSA Director Hakeem Croom. “It charges our students to be conscious, competent, and committed, while striving for excellence in all their endeavors inside and outside of the classroom.”
The MSA was founded in 2009 as a resource to improve access, retention, and graduation for undergraduate men of color at CSUDH. Its mission has expanded over time, and the MSA has grown to prepare undergraduate men of color for professional, career, and graduate school opportunities.
The MSA Induction Ceremony celebrates the matriculation of students who have earned full/active member status into the program. A part of the induction ceremony process includes a suit fitting, in which each inductee is given a free tailored MSA suit that symbolizes their membership. During the ceremony, each inductee dons their MSA blazer for the first time.
“I joined MSA to have a sense of brotherhood, community, and camaraderie,” said newly inducted member Nascir Vasquez. “The induction was the cherry on top. After all the work I put into MSA, getting that suit felt like receiving a trophy. The ceremony was definitely a highlight of my college career.”
Fellow MSA inductee Dionn Canas Loeza agreed. He joined the MSA in 2016 as a middle school “seed student” as a result of the group’s outreach efforts. “This influenced me to want to become an MSA member when I got to college myself,” said Loeza. “I want to give back to the community in the same way MSA gave to mine when I was in middle school. The induction ceremony meant accomplishment – it’s proof that all my hard work paid off.”
“The induction ceremony means celebration and excitement,” said Croom. “It also signals that the real work is now underway. My goal is to give each inductee a transformative experience at CSUDH through the services and support our program provides. The ultimate payoff is when they walk across that stage at graduation!”