The reason for the season

Tarleton ODIIP celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month


The Division of Equity, Inclusion, and International Programs (DEII) is hosting multiple events in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. 

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 to celebrate the many cultures, histories, and contributions of Latin Americans. Different festivals, carnivals, and events are used to celebrate this month.

Hispanic Heritage Month was started in 1968, originally as Hispanic Heritage Week. The week was expanded to a month in 1988. This time frame was chosen for Hispanic Heritage Month because there are many independence days of Latin countries that are recognized during this time. The independence days of El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras are on Sept. 15, while the independence day of Mexico is Sept. 18, and the independence day of Chile is Sept. 18. On Oct. 10, there is Puerto Rican Friendship Day, which celebrates Puerto Ricans who lived and made contributions to the Virgin Islands. 

“Latin Americans have a vast array of contributions to our country and I think it is important to recognize that,” Dr. Dana Fitzpatrick, Director of Institutional Inclusive Programs & External Community Engagement, said. “So many times people get ‘othered’ in a place, and it is a time to put Hispanic Americans at the forefront for people to learn about their many contributions.”

During Family Weekend, DEII and Student Involvement & Family Relations hosted Ballet Folklorico to jump start the celebration. 

On Sept. 22, DEII and Student Involvement & Family Relations hosted a Purple Table Talk titled “Colorism: The Consequences of Skin Color Bias Across Cultures.” 

“This division is not all the diversity that needs to happen at Tarleton. We are partners in those efforts, but it is a responsibility of us all,” Dr. Fitzpatrick said. “We all share the responsibility of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” 

On Sept. 26, DEII collaborated with Student Affairs to host an event about HSI and what it means to Tarleton. HSI stands for Hispanic Serving Institution, which is a status DEII wants to achieve to push forward educational opportunities at Tarleton. To be considered an HSI, an institution needs 25 percent undergraduate and full-time Hispanic enrollment. Currently, Tarleton has 23 percent. 

“What this means for [Tarleton] is a different level of resources to grant research funding, positive impact on recruitment and admissions, huge opportunities for paid internships with federal agencies, and additional support for not only Hispanic students but all students,” Dr. Fitzpatrick said. 

Additionally, the Tarleton Activities Board (TAB) hosted “Loteria” on Sept. 27, which is a Spanish card game similar to Bingo. 

Dr. Fitzpatrick encourages that if any group, office, department, or division on campus wants to host a diversity-related event to let DEII know so it can be promoted and supported.

For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month, visit