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New Mexico State University will celebrate National Hispanic-Serving Institution Week and National Hispanic Heritage Month beginning Sept. 20. Earlier this year, student organizations from Hispanic Council organized Latino Week, which included a salsa festival. (NMSU photo by Kristie Garcia) SEP17

NMSU Celebrates National Hispanic-Serving Institution Week, Focuses on Student Experiences

New Mexico State University Chicano Programs is teaming up with NMSU organizations to celebrate Hispanic-Serving Institution Week September 18-22. Their focus this year is to highlight the perspective of the Hispanic community at NMSU.

In order to be considered a Hispanic- Serving Institution, universities must have at least 25 percent Hispanic student enrollment. According to data from NMSU’s Office of Institutional Analysis, the Las Cruces campus serves 51.5 percent Hispanic student enrollment this school year.

The first event for HSI week will be a student panel, at which Hispanic students of NMSU will talk about their experiences at the university. Laura Gutiérrez-Spencer, director of Chicano Programs, said that the activities included in this year’s HSI week are focused on calling attention to the needs and perspectives of the Hispanic and Latino community of NMSU.

“Our Hispanic students bring increased prosperity to our university, and therefore, it is incumbent upon our faculty and staff to support these students’ academic success,” she said.

Because of NMSU’s HSI designation, the university is eligible to receive large federal Title V grants. Gutiérrez-Spencer said it is important to make an HSI Week observance every year because the funding, which benefits all students, faculty, and staff, would not be possible without NMSU’s high number of Hispanic students.

“This funding has enhanced student computer labs, faculty research facilities, the funding of student research programs and many other programs and infrastructure across our campus,” she said. “This designation also greatly increases competitive stance in applications for many other grants.”

Two events will be held as part of HSI week. The first is the student panel at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20. It will be held at the Teaching Academy in Milton Hall. Audience members must sign up to attend. There will also be a lecture and analysis of the New Mexico True tourism campaign at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 at the College of Health and Social Services Auditorium.

These two events will kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is Sept. 15- Oct.15.

The celebration activities for National Hispanic Heritage Month will also include a lecture and musical demonstration on the musical traditions of Northern New Mexico at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 in the Domenici Hall Yates Auditorium, a showing of the feature film, “Lowriders” at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Health and Social Services Auditorium, and a documentary about the negative portrayal of Latinos in U.S. media at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 at the HSS Auditorium.

For more information on these activities, click here or  contact NMSU Chicano Programs at 575-646-4206.

Author: Ximena Tapia – NMSU

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