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Academic journal salutes Baylor's appeal to Hispanics

Jan. 18, 2001

Some students question figures' role in distinction

By STEPHEN DOVE

Reporter

For the third year in a row, a national academic journal has identified Baylor University as a school that attracts, inspires and empowers Hispanic students, but some Hispanic students on campus question whether figures alone can support such a broad statement about a university.

Baylor joins 33 other Texas universities, including Big 12 Conference members Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Austin, in receiving the fifth annual 'Publisher's Pick' award from The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.

According to Hispanic Outlook, institutions are selected for this honor by an independent panel of judges that evaluates recruitment, enrollment and retention numbers of Hispanic students provided by each university.

'I don't know if Baylor attracts, inspires and empowers Hispanic students, but they do provide good educational opportunities for us,' said Alfonso Cabañas, a Weslaco sophomore and vice president of the Hispanic Student Association. 'There could be more work recruiting from high schools with Hispanic students, especially in the Waco area.'

There are numerous outlets on the Baylor campus for Hispanic students to learn about and take pride in their culture, but some Hispanic students worry that prospective students may not know that these doors are open to them at Baylor.

'Baylor gives us opportunities to explore and learn more about our culture, but it would be a good idea if they sought out Hispanic students to recruit other Hispanics,' said Dante Paiz, a Corpus Christi junior.. 'Some high school students don't realize that Baylor is an option for them.'

In May of last year, Hispanic Outlook published data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics that ranked Baylor 87th in the nation and 17th among Texas schools in the number of Hispanic students graduated. For the 1999-2000 academic year, Baylor graduated 208 Hispanic students in all degree programs from a student body that is 7 percent Hispanic.

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