Hispanic Heritage Month begins Friday, and TCU has several events planned, including a sand castle-building contest and a Latin jazz performance, as part of the nationwide celebration honoring the Hispanic culture. TCU prides itself on being a global, world-class university, and celebrating Hispanic Heritage month is just another way to promote the mission statement, said Greg Trevino, director of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services.
“We are trying to give students an insight on Hispanic culture,” Trevino said. “The Hispanic culture is part of American culture. It’s who we are.”
Beatriz Gutierrez, a sophomore communication studies major, said she moved to Fort Worth with her family from Guanajuato, Mexico when she was 5 years old.
“We want other TCU students to see where we’re coming from and why we are the way we are,” Gutierrez said.
Trevino and Gutierrez are part of the TCU Hispanic
Heritage Month Committee, which planned the month’s events.
The events will begin Tuesday with an Inclusiveness Luncheon. Miguel Leatham, an assistant instructor of anthropology, will speak about Mexican-American culture in Fort Worth.
An Aztec pyramid sand castle-building contest is also planned for Tuesday at the University Recreation Center.
Trevino said the events are starting Tuesday so they won’t be overshadowed by Family Weekend.
Other events include a movie showing on Sept. 27; Fiesta de los Frogs, a Latin-theme pregame festival before the Sept. 28 football game; a mixer for alumni and students Oct. 1; and a Latin jazz performance to close out the month Oct. 10.
The Sept. 27 showing of “Lone Star,” a 1996 movie about the mixture of cultures at the Texas-Mexico border, will be shown as part of the KinoMonda World Film Series, said John Singleton, director of International Student Services and organizer of the film series.
Singleton said he chose the film with help from students on the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee, including Gutierrez.
“We wanted a movie that portrayed stereotypes that cultures have about other cultures,” Gutierrez said.
It’s important for students to learn about Hispanic culture because of the increasing diversity in the American population, Trevino said.
“With the population shifting, people are going to be working with and managing people of Hispanic descent,” he said. “If they don’t know the ins and outs of the culture, it could be a disadvantage down the road.”
There are about 540 Hispanic students at TCU, which constitutes about 6 percent of the student body, according to the 2005 Fall TCU Factbook.
Trevino said the number of Hispanic first-year students this year increased dramatically.
The number of Hispanic freshmen increased from 115 in fall 2005 to 151 this fall, said Wes Waggoner, director of freshman admission.
Gutierrez said she has noticed the increase of Hispanic students as well.