CARBONDALE — SIU Chancellor Rita Cheng helped usher in this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month with a reading of a university proclamation Monday heard by more than a hundred students, faculty and staff at an opening ceremony.
“I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am to work with you to shine a spotlight on the richness of the Latino culture and history. SIU has been welcoming students from all different backgrounds and cultures for almost 150 years. We celebrate our diversity each and every day and are committed to inclusive excellence,” Cheng said.
In announcing the proclamation, Cheng told her audience that the Hispanic student population at the university has doubled since 2009 and represents about 10 percent of this year’s
“That’s just a tremendous growth for us. We are very, very proud of that,” she said while also promising to attend events planned for the month.
The month-long celebration is coordinated by Hispanic Resource Center under the theme this year of “Uplifting Dreamers to Success,” HRC Coordinator Luisa M. Ballester-Concepcion said.
The theme was chosen, she said, to garner greater, national support for the proposed DREAM Act and immigration reform.
“Our students are dreaming to achieve their goals,” she said, attributing the university’s diverse student body to added emphasis on
services and support, helping students achieve.
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