BHSU celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Tea at Three discussion series

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, October 7, 2014/Categories: 2014

           Black Hills State University hosts a "Tea at Three" discussion series to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.  The next discussion topic, The Search for Ethnic Identity, will be held Oct. 8 followed by Honoring Latino Veterans on Oct. 15.  Both discussions are open to the public and will begin at 3 p.m. in BHSU&rsquos Jonas Hall room 105.   

Faculty and students at Black Hills State University will honor the heritage of the largest minority group on campus this week by discussing issues impacting Hispanics and Latinos.  The discussion forums celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month.

The "Tea at Three" series, held Oct. 6, 8, and 15 at 3 p.m. in Jonas Hall 105, will welcome participants with a warm cup of tea and lively dialogues on Latin American immigration, ethnic identity, and honoring Latino veterans.

Hispanic/Latino is the largest ethnic minority population on the BHSU campus, according to the South Dakota Board of Regents enrollment report released last month.

Dr. Joe Valades, director of the BHSU Student Success Center, said nationwide trends indicate those numbers will only continue to increase.

"No matter where I go on campus now, I&rsquom bound to run across students who are Hispanic/Latino," said Valades.  "It prompts me to think about additional services we can provide for these students."

This week&rsquos discussion forums are supported by groups on BHSU&rsquos campus working to provide the best possible experience for Hispanic-Latino students to succeed and thrive, the BHSU Multicultural Committee La Masa student organization and the Hispanic-Latino Collective a group of faculty from political science, modern languages, and sociology with personal or professional ties to Hispanic-Latino culture.

The Tea at Three series is one of many cultural awareness programs offered on BHSU&rsquos campus.  Other events include the annual American Indian Awareness Week held each spring, International Food Festival, and International Student Organization Showcase.

Valades said the support is integral to ethnic minority student success at college.

"The La Masa student organization, for example, provides activities appealing to students&rsquo sense of culture," said Valades.  "Students can be very shy at first, but then they find a nice support group of peers reinforcing them to stay in college, succeed, and thrive."

For more information on the "Tea at Three" discussion series, check the BHSU Campus Calendar or contact Valades at 605-642-6107 or

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