71° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

TXST celebrates culture with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month

Stephanie+Tijerina+talks+to+a+customer+about+her+company+Besitos+Chamoy%2C+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+13%2C+2023%2C+at+HSI+Community+Day+hosted+in+the+LBJ+Student+Center.+
Blake Leschber
Stephanie Tijerina talks to a customer about her company Besitos Chamoy, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, at HSI Community Day hosted in the LBJ Student Center.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the history, diverse cultures and contributions of the American Latino communities from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.  

Assistant Vice President for Student Success, Dr. Victoria Black, said by celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, people are not only able to learn about the Latino community, but learn about the diversity at Texas State.   

“There are many events that really recognize the Latinx population and how we celebrate and how our culture is infused in what we do and where we are,” Black said. “It gives us an opportunity to really highlight and feature some of the great work that we’re doing here at the institution to support H6ispanic students.”

In 2011, Texas State was recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution [HSI] and since celebrates National HSI Week during Hispanic Heritage Month as a way to recognize the Latino population. Latino students made up over 40.5% of the total enrollment during the fall semester last year, matching the amount of white students. 

“[HSI] means that more than 25% of our [undergraduate] student population are Latinos and it allows us to tap into federal funding, but also celebrate and recognize who we are as an HSI institution,” Black said. 

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra giving a speech with three dancers from Compañia de Danza Folklórica, a dance company in New Braunfels, in front of him, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, at the Hispanic Heritage Exhibition Walk, hosted at Hays County Courthouse in San Marcos. (Blake Leschber)

Black said HSI Week provides students the opportunity to learn more about the diverse communities at Texas State. 

“It’s about a sense of community, a sense of belonging and feeling this is a place you can call home,” Black said. “It’s a huge part of why we celebrate and recognize that everyone belongs here, this is a slice of what Texas State life is like.” 

Texas State’s HSI Community Council, collaborators and sponsors welcome students to enjoy the different events held across campus during the duration of Hispanic Heritage Month. 

One of these events, HSI Community Day on Sept. 13, 2023 at the LBJ Ballroom, allowed students to enjoy free food, music and browse through different local Latino shops all while learning about the different Hispanic student organizations and services available on campus. 

The Hispanic Student Association, an organizer for events during the week which works on bringing Hispanic culture to Texas State presented during the event.

“We’re just building that family based community care to Texas State,”  Diego Hurtado, secretary of Hispanic Student Association, said. “We have a lot of students who may have grown up Hispanic, not having that Hispanic experience that most people might have, so that’s what we’re trying to bring here and embrace it.”

Allison Munoz, a nursing freshman, attended HSI Community Day and said the event was heartwarming and welcoming. 

“Unfortunately I came from a culture that wasn’t expressed, my family really did not express it either and I come from a little town, but [the event] hits home,” Munoz said. 

Nitzia Figueroa, president of Latinas Unidas, an organization that brings Latina students together to raise awareness to the Latino culture, said it has been great to see the growth of Hispanic Heritage Month at Texas State and how engaged and excited students have become in participating in the different events. 

“It’s just a great way to let students express themselves, be proud of their roots and have something to do with their friends, especially on campus,” Figueroa said. 

Although Latinas Unidas does not have an exact event within the Hispanic Heritage Month, they participate by attending. Figueroa invites students to attend their year round meetings and to join other Latino organizations on campus. 

“It’s more of being proud and celebrating all year and giving everyone a chance to do something to not feel homesick and be able to express themselves and their cultures,” Figueroa said. 

Angela Gonzalez, vice president of Latinas Unidas, said it’s essential to celebrate the different cultures of Texas State. 

“Whether you are Hispanic or you have that appreciation for Hispanic culture, it’s a way for us to come together and celebrate our roots,” Gonzalez said. “We have so many students that come from Hispanic backgrounds and it’s just great to be able to celebrate that aspect.”  

Last year, Texas State received the Seal of Excelencia becoming one out of 30 colleges and universities nationally to have received this recognition.

The Seal of Excelencia is a prestigious national certification for institutions that strive to serve and support Latino students beyond enrollment.  According to Black, the Seal of Excelencia is a milestone for Texas State and allows others and the community to look at how the university is supporting its Latino students.

“[Texas State received certification] through disaggregated data, our programs and practices that we offer here at the university,” Black said. “From enrollment, through retention and our transfer initiatives to even who our faculty and administration is at this institution.” 

For more information on Texas State’s upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month events visit https://hsi.txst.edu/.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star