Baylor Student Organizations Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in October

Sept. 25, 2007

by Devany Severin, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

October signifies Baylor University's celebration of Latino culture and contributions with special activities on campus during Hispanic Heritage Month, sponsored by the Hispanic Student Association (HSA) and other student organizations.

Baylor's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month began with a Latin Culture Fest, hosted by HSA, Tuesday, Sept. 18, in Barfield Drawing Room at the Bill Daniel Student Center. Student organizations presented the culture, dress and customs of numerous Latin American countries.

Taryn Ozuna, coordinator of multicultural services, said that Hispanic Heritage Month is important for all Baylor students.

"It's open to everyone to promote the culture and educate, to share in cultural experience," Ozuna said. "Some students say, 'I'm not Hispanic; I don't belong there,' but that's not the case. It is open for everyone to celebrate. I encourage everyone to come out."

Olga Rodriguez, president of HSA said this year's celebrations differ from the past because of involvement from other organizations.

"This year we asked different organizations to help us so we would have more events during the month," she said.

Omega Delta Phi hosted a political forum "Red or Blue: What Color Are you?" on Thursday Sept. 20. The forum was followed by a Q&A session with the President of Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, J.R. Marquez, and was hosted by Gamma Alpha Omega.

In addition to the forum, HSA will host a service auction in Kayser Auditorium on Thursday, Sept. 27. Omega Delta Phi, Alpha Phi Omega and Kappa Delta Chi will host Service at National Public Lands on Saturday, Sept. 29. The month will conclude with a Ballet Folklorico Ocelotl performance on Sunday, Sept. 30, in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Other events in October include a faculty coffee reception hosted by Kappa Delta Chi on Monday, Oct. 1, and HSA will host a number of events beginning with Dr Pepper Hour on Tuesday, Oct. 2, followed by an INROADS Presentation on Internships by Maria Jimenez on Thursday, Oct. 4, and a parent's barbecue on Friday, Oct. 5.

HSA, the Hermandad de Sigma Iota and the Department of multicultural activities will host a voter registration drive called Día de Avance Latina y Enseñanza (D.A.L.E.), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9. D.A.L.E is part of a broad education and advocacy effort from the National Council of La Raza which asks universities to host an outreach event for the Hispanic population on the same day as an act of solidarity.

Celebrating its 20th year on Baylor's campus, HSA will host a birthday party at 7 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room on Friday, Oct. 12.

The month of festivities will conclude with the annual banquet on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room at the Bill Daniel Student Center.

The Banquet's featured speaker will be Maria Hinojosa, a senior correspondent for the national news program NOW on PBS and managing editor of Latino USA, a weekly national program that does investigative reporting on news and culture in the Latino community. Hinojosa will speak about "owning your voice." The cost for the banquet is $15 for HSA members and $20 for non-member students, faculty and staff. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, Oct. 8.

Hispanic Heritage Month was originally declared Hispanic Heritage Week by President Gerald Ford in 1974 to teach Americans about the positive influence Latino-Americans have had on the United States. The celebration's popularity grew, and the week was expanded to a full month of festivities in 1989.

For more information on Hispanic Heritage Month, contact the office of student activities at 710-2371.

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