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SCCC/ATS To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

KSCB News - September 24, 2014 11:45 am

As part of a national celebration of Hispanic heritage, Seward County Community College/Area Technical School announces a lively lineup of activities for students and the community from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. With activities ranging from a month-long lollipop hunt to screening of documentary films and free zumba classes, the schedule aims to offer something for everyone.

Dean of Student Services Celeste Donovan said the growing number of Hispanic students at SCCC/ATS — 50 percent of the student body — served as a source of inspiration.

“We made a conscious decision to get involved this year because we wanted to create an atmosphere to celebrate their heritage,” she said.

The desire to intentionally honor Hispanic heritage has spread across campus, with participation from instructors and even the cafeteria service.

“I am very impressed with the campus community embracing the month’s activities,” Donovan said.

President Duane Dunn also noted the importance of collaboration during Hispanic Heritage Month.

“I think it’s important for us, as a college, to understand the various aspects of culture and heritage as part of learning and strengthening relationships within our community and among our students,” Dunn said. He added that doing so benefits Liberal, Seward County, and the region:

“As our community and region continue to grow we are able to gain an appreciation for those who join us. I recall reading ‘The Worst Hard Time’ and the section regarding the challenges new residents had in gaining acceptance to the communities and how they all persevered together during the Depression and Dust Bowl era. It is my hope that as we gain an understanding of cultural heritage we, as communities, can support each other in the event ‘hard times’ are ever encountered by individuals or towns.”

A White House proclamation Sept. 12 honoring Hispanic-Serving Institutions affirmed those ideas, noting that institutions like SCCC/ATS “provide essential education opportunities and play a vital role in fulfilling our responsibility to the rising group of Hispanic innovators, entrepreneurs, artists and scholars.”

In a changing economy, the proclamation noted, “a college education is one of the surest ways into the middle class, and this week we celebrate institutions that help improve the lives of their students and revitalize the communities where they serve … the future belongs to the nation that best educates its people.”

During the next three weeks, students on campus are more likely to find sweetness than hardship like that of the Dust Bowl. “Sweet Celebration Search,” an ongoing event sponsored by Student Life, has hidden 1,000 fruit-flavored lollipops across campus.

“If you find one of these lollipops, here’s what to do,” stated Student Life Director Wade Lyon: “Enjoy the lollipop, keep the wrapper with the Hispanic Heritage Month logo, and turn it in to the Student Life office.” The person who collects the most wrappers will win $100 cash, with second and third-place awards of $50 and $25 respectively.

On the more serious side, HALO, the Hispanic student leadership group, sponsored voter registration Sept. 16 and 17; the group will also offer a screening of a documentary about labor activist Cesar Chavez at 5 p.m. Sept. 24, in room 214 E/W, at the Student Union. Other observances scheduled include:

Free Zumba September 15 – October 16 at T & H Dance Studio;

Jalapeno Eating Competition — 12:30 p.m. Oct. 1, on campus;

Fried Ice Cream Friday — 12:30 p.m., Oct. 1, on campus

Chips & Salsa at the All-Staff meeting — 3:30 p.m., on campus

The public is also invited to stop in at the SCCC/ATS library to view a display of famous Hispanic authors.

The events, Donovan said, “are a wonderful way to show our Hispanic students that we are proud they chose Seward County.”

Along the way, everyone can savor the flavor of Hispanic Heritage.


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