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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Groups collaborate to kick off Hispanic month

    While fraternity members with a megaphone shouted, “”Win a date with a Theta, it’s cheaper than a double cheeseburger,”” on one end of the Mall yesterday, Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs played Latino music on the other end to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month.

    Yesterday’s festivities marked the first of several events that will continue today on campus to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which officially begins today and ends Oct. 15.

    Despite the collaboration of more than seven Hispanic and Latino organizations, Diego Martinez, a finance senior and member of Sigma Lambda Beta, a multicultural fraternity, said the event wasn’t well-promoted.

    “”I don’t think it was advertised enough … but it will be nice, especially for people from back East who go to school here, to see what the culture is all about,”” said Martinez.

    Socorro Carrizosa, director of C/HSA, said it would have been nice to receive more exposure, but the main point is to recognize the presence of culture.

    “”While it’s wonderful to have an opportunity to get to know about Hispanic culture, I believe people should recognize that culture not for just one month, but every day of the year because we are part of the community, and we are here 24/7,”” said Carrizosa.

    John Blair, a UA alumnus and Tucson resident, said he didn’t know it was Hispanic Heritage Month, but he believes it’s important for people to stay in touch with different cultures.

    “”Things have become a lot more balanced because (Hispanics) have such a voice in politics and other opportunities,”” said Blair, who has friends from Mexico who graduated from the UA and decided to use their degrees to get jobs in America.

    STATISTICS
    7.6 million:The number of Hispanic citizens who reported voting in the 2004 presidential election, up from 5.9 million four years earlier. The percentage of Hispanic citizens voting – about 47 percent – did not change. 41.3 million:The estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2004, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest race or ethnic minority. Hispanics constituted 14 percent of the nation’s total population. (This estimate does not include the 3.9 million residents of Puerto Rico.)
    13: The number of states with at least half a million Hispanic residents. These states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington. 714,000: Number of Hispanics 25 years and older with advanced degrees in 2004 (e.g., master’s, professional, doctorate).

    “”I’m pleased with how it turned out today, as far as collaboration,”” said David Machado, co-chair of JUNTOS, an “”umbrella”” organization that oversees Hispanic events on campus.

    Machado, an undeclared sophomore, added that while yesterday’s opener was more modern, today’s events will steer toward the traditional, featuring mariachis and folklorico dancing.

    “”It is a very enlightening experience and even an honor to learn about other cultures, especially for people who haven’t been outside of the United States before,”” said Sophia Saucedo, a public administration junior and member of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, a Hispanic political organization.

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