By Felicia DeInnocentis
Texas State hit a record of 36,790 students in total enrollment, making 17 consecutive record-breaking years. Undergraduate enrollment is also record breaking this semester, which reached 32,000 students with a freshman class of more than 5,000. Diversity on campus is affected with the increase in students with a 49 percent minority population on campus.
Texas State received a $6,000,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program, or MSEIP, to increase the participation of underrepresented ethnic minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, careers. The university will use the funds to support activities at the Ingram School of Engineering, Department of Engineering Technology and College of Education, as well as five minority institutions. The project will address three regional and national needs, including weak national STEM knowledge, a shortage of underrepresented minorities in STEM professions and growth in the green technology industry. The program will establish a permanent renewable energy education and research lab at each institution.
The Seattle City Council recently changed the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. Executive Director of the Indigenous Cultures Institute of San Marcos Maria F. Rocha said Christopher Columbus coming to the Americas was the beginning of one of the worst tragedies the country has ever experienced. Rocha hopes that the nation will be able to acknowledge the minority population that was affected.
“That was the beginning of the annihilation of our culture, of our people,” Rocha said. “It was the end of our language, it was the end of our cohesion as tribal people. To have that day honored by a nation that we’re a part of is difficult to watch, so by changing the name from Columbus Day to Indigenous (People’s) Day begins the dialogue about this day’s importance.”
Rocha also said that other cities should follow Seattle’s lead to change the name of Columbus Day so that minority rights will be heard throughout the nation. Meanwhile, the San Marcos Municipal Court will be closed on Columbus Day in accordance with the Hays county holiday schedule. All other offices will be open.
College of Education Columbus Day Department of Engineering Technology Indigenous People's Day ingram school of engineering Maria F. Rocha MSEIP Seattle City Council STEM Texas State University U.S. Department of Education's Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program