UHV celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month virtually, forms first Latino faculty, staff association

Hispanics make up 40 percent of undergraduate enrollment at UHV

 

VICTORIA, Texas – Hispanic Heritage Month began September 15 and runs through mid-October. The University of Houston-Victoria celebrates each year with a Hispanic Heritage Week full of on-campus events but this year due to the pandemic, the celebrations went virtual.

Hispanics make up 40 percent of undergraduate enrollment at UHV and the U.S. Department of Education recognizes the campus as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

They had a mariachi performance in their dance hall with a glass wall in the middle to ensure social distancing. The next day, they offered a pre-recorded dance class for students. Freddie Cantu, UHV Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion, said everyone still enjoyed themselves.

“Usually within the past couple of years, we’ve had like an entire week, from Monday through Friday but this time since there was everything going on with COIVD, it was a little shorter. But other than the attendance being lower than normal, I mean the students who attended, were still having a great time, and the performers were still having a great time too also,” he said.

Coinciding with the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, UHV professors and faculty founded the first Latino Faculty and Staff Association at the University of Houston-Victoria. This new organization plans to host virtual panels and once it’s safe to be together again in-person, they plan to do more.

“It was the very first meeting, where we opened it up to all university (employees), come to join us and give ideas and talk about how we wanted the focus of the organization to go,” Cantu said. “We had almost 70 people there, which was crazy. We were not expecting that many faculty and staff members to join. That was kind of one of the jokes, we really wanted to have kind of, we wish we could have a big kick-off for the organization. With like, you know, food and like Mexican music and all that kind of thing. But we were limited to what we can do right now. But in the future, we definitely wanna throw like some fiestas in there and things like that.”

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