Phoenix representative co-sponsors bill to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month

The resolution recognizes the month of Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as a celebration of Hispanic and Latinx heritage

All four University campuses are celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month to educate students and celebrate the Hispanic and Latinx communities at ASU. 

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona’s 7th district, co-sponsored the resolution, H.RES.1068, introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 13, 2018, recognizing Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month. 

The resolution, which recognizes the importance of the holiday, is passed annually to update statistics such as the Hispanic or Latinx population in the United States. 

There are a variety of events scheduled at ASU ranging from discussion panels to movie parties. 

In a statement given over email, Rep. Gallego said the reason he co-sponsored the resolution is to acknowledge the history of Latinx and Hispanics in the United States. 

“I’m proud to cosponsor H.Res.1068 to recognize and celebrate the richness and diversity that Latinos add to the United States,” Gallego said. “But it’s also a time to recognize the unique challenges that the Latino community faces and to recommit to fighting for policies that will allow Latinos and other Americans to thrive.”

The Undergraduate Student Government at ASU has also promoted events during the month to celebrate Hispanic and Latinx culture in Arizona. 

Marissa Bourbon, the director of diversity and inclusion for USG Downtown and a senior double majoring in political science and public service and public policy, said it's important for the government to represent the people, especially various minority groups. 

“I think the role of government, considering we are a representative government, is to represent the needs and wants of our constituents,” Bourbon said. “We take those perspectives and try to represent our constituents in the way we see is fitting.”

Bourbon said she views Hispanic Heritage Month as not only a way to celebrate the history and culture of the Hispanic and Latinx population, but to “bring awareness to the needs they face in our community”. 

El Concilio, which translates to "the council," is an overseeing organization for Latinx, Chicanx and Hispanic student groups at ASU. The organization declared this year's theme as emerging through resilience and education.  

“This year, we choose to focus on education, just really focusing on the educational aspect of what Hispanic Heritage Month is,” the president of El Concilio Evelin Cruz, said. 


"It’s so important that as a community we highlight and promote awareness to our culture and to the unification of all students on campus," Cruz said. "We want to ensure that our students recognize that the sole purpose of why they're here is to get a better education, and so that's how they came up with the overarching theme."

With 22.8 percent of undergraduate students enrolled in the Fall 2017 semester identifying as Hispanic/Latinx, ASU is close to meeting the requirements to be designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, which is a Department of Education program that awards grants to institutions where at least 25 percent of full-time undergraduate students are Hispanic or Latinx. 

Cruz said that although the numbers reflect a decent Hispanic/Latinx population, it is not always reflected in the classrooms. 

"We really wanted to focus on educating students that yes we are here, and we are celebrating our culture through education," she said. 

Cruz said University President Michael Crow has put effort into working with Hispanic and Latinx students at ASU.

"Crow has expressed his efforts in partnering up with Excelencia in Education, Helios Foundation, and the Maricopa Community Colleges, to really focus on efforts for our students," Cruz said. "You kind of see that the administration really has our backs."


Reach the reporter at krquaran@asu.edu and follow @kiaraquaranta on Twitter. 

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