NMSU classified as HSI, to hold symposium

Mar. 12, 2009 by Andi Murphy NMSU Round Up

The New Mexico State University Hispanic Caucus will be hosting a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Corbett Center Auditorium and is inviting everyone to discuss HSI and its designation.

To be a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a university must have a Hispanic student presence of at least 25 percent.

With the gift of federal money comes obligation.

Tomas Arciniega, an HSI deignation originator, will talk about the designation and its history. He will address the reasons why it was started and what designation supporters expect from a Hispanic-Serving Institution, said Dana Greene, an event organizer and assistant professor in criminal justice.

Margie Huerta, NMSU Doña Ana Community College president, who is another featured speaker, will talk about the statistical part of the Hispanic-Serving Institution and NMSU’s retention, among other topics.

“What does a diversified community mean? What should it mean? What does it mean about what we do?” Greene said. Those are some questions that will be answered at the symposium by the speakers and conversations.

“We’re noticing that there’s a lot of misunderstanding about the designation,” said Dulcinea Lara, an organizer of the symposium and NMSU assistant professor of history.

In the symposium, faculty, students and anyone else interested is encouraged to participate in a conversation concerning the funds from the designation, Lara said.

They are concerned with student programs and what it means for NMSU to be in a culturally diverse community. It all comes down to taking a look at what courses are taught, who works here and if NMSU is doing its part to honor its title of a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

The entire symposium is not about Hispanics. It covers the whole NMSU community and who the designation impacts and how the people can have an impact on the way the designation is used. Not just students either, anyone affiliated with NMSU is welcome, Lara said.

“The whole conversation really applies to the whole NMSU community,” Lara said. “I hope a lot of people would come to the symposium to learn, share and expose ideas.”

Free food will be served to attendees.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit nmsu.edu/hispanic-caucus.

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