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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hispanic culture to play halftime

    Arizona Athletics, in conjunction with the University of Arizona Hispanic Alumni Club, is carrying on Arizona pride within the Hispanic community by hosting a variety of events to celebrate the culture and traditions of the various countries in Latin America during Saturday’s football game against California.

    Phoebe Chalk, assistant athletics director for community relations, said that the athletics department at the UA organized this event because it is important to display Arizona as a diverse institution.

    “”It is Hispanic Heritage Day and as a university with a large Hispanic population, we are trying to do types of events that promote the Hispanic culture.”” Chalk said. “”In this case the athletics department is saying, ‘Hey it’s Hispanic Heritage Day, we are going to recognize this’

    . . . It shows people working together of all different cultures, and I think that’s important.””

    Hispanic club officials said that they will honor more than 100 scholarship recipients at the halftime show.

    Jose Teran, communications officer for the UA Hispanic Alumni Club, spoke of his club’s commitment to the Hispanic community through forming a retention program along with the awarding scholarships.

    Teran said in order to become a member of the UA Hispanic Alumni retention program, one must apply for one of the club’s scholarships. Receiving a scholarship gives automatic admittance into the program, he said.

    “”Out of all our scholarship recipients, we graduate 90 percent of them from our retention program.”” Teran said.

    Club Arizona, which is a free student-athlete outreach program, has connected UA athletes with the Hispanic youth for some time, said Arizona Athletics officials.

    “”They go out to the different schools and speak, they make appearances at various events, they also do ‘celebrity appearances’ like bowling and other fun things with children,”” said Chalk, who heads Club Arizona along with many other community-oriented programs.

    “”I think the children see athletes as role models. We work in conjunction with the UA Hispanic Alumni Club, and together our whole idea is we want to bring people to campus,”” Chalk said. “”The more they set foot on this campus they will begin to think, ‘Oh I can go to the University of Arizona.’ They can go anywhere they want to go because they see it as a realm of possibility.””

    The halftime show will display the talents of many local mariachi groups, including UA Mariachi, Mariachi Atzlan de Pueblo High School, Nogales High School, Tucson High School and Sunnyside High School. All the schools will be performing alongside the Pride of Arizona marching band. The incorporation of the Hispanic community within the performance will provide a positive image for the UA, Chalk said.

    “”I think that anything that promotes diversity, and anything that shows that this campus is a diverse campus is great. It shows the world that we have African Americans, we have native Americans, we have Asians, we have Caucasians, we have everybody working together and we are in a global society now, and we are able to work together.””

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