SGA resolution opens discussion on lack of Chicano Studies at WSU

Nicole Byrne

With the creation of the Diversity Task Force, SGA is hoping to create a platform where students from across the university can find a place to speak on these topics and be heard.

“Each meeting there should be a different group represented,” Honors Senator Tracia Banuelos, chair of the Diversity Task Force, said. “And we’re trying to hit every tier of diversity we can. We take it very seriously. We’re creating awareness and showing that SGA is reaching out.”

With the official start of Hispanic Heritage Month last week, the Student Government Association’s agenda for this week was passing a resolution for recognizing the importance of honoring Hispanic independence.

The resolution acknowledges the combined efforts of the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO), Kappa Delta Chi, Modern and Classical Languages, Sigma Lambda Beta, Sigma Delta Pi Hispanic Honors Society, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to raise awareness and honor the Hispanic Heritage.

Unlike most honorary months, Hispanic Heritage Month does not start on the 1st, but rather commences on September 15th to coincide with the date that the nations of Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua achieved independence.

“We’ve seen a high increase of Hispanic students here at Wichita State,” Savana Servantez, Vice President of HALO, said. “So the Hispanic population is the largest minority at the university.”

She then went on to address how the university is lacking unique educational opportunities in the overall curriculum to accommodate this.

“I want to see more Chicano Studies classes,” Servantez said. “We don’t have any here at the university. I know that there’s a demand for it and that people here would be interested in learning more about our history.”

Chicano Studies is a field that handles the study of Chicana/os, Latina/os, and Mexican Americans, and encompasses a wide array of disciplines.

“We don’t have those sort of classes in our public schools,” Servantez said. “We don’t have them in high school, we don’t learn about our history, we don’t learn about the Chicano Rights movement, we don’t learn about the leaders in our community. We don’t have any of that information available to us, so I think that when seeking higher education, we should have those kinds of courses available to us.”

These past few weeks have just been the beginning of SGA’s agenda to increase campus voices. Anyone from the student body can propose a resolution, but it will have to be physically drafted and sponsored by someone in SGA before it can be brought before the Senate.