Tarleton launches Spanish language phone line during Hispanic Heritage Month
STEPHENVILLE — Beginning Sept. 15, Spanish-speaking Tarleton Texans and their families are now able to call toll free for university information. Individuals calling 84-4TEJANOS will be greeted by a Tarleton student or staff member and the phrase, “Hola. Hoy es un buen día para ser un Tejano! ¿Como te puedo ayudar?”
In English: “Hello, there. Today is a great day to be a Texan! How can I help you?”
The phone line complements Tarleton’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration and aligns with the university’s commitment to create a welcoming environment for all students.
“This new phone line celebrates our growing Hispanic and Latinx populations,” said university President James Hurley. “We want every Tarleton Texan to thrive and have equal access to the extraordinary opportunities we provide. This is a step in that direction.”
Between 2010 and 2020, the number of Tarleton students declaring themselves Hispanic more than tripled from 972, or 10 percent of the student body, to 3,037, or 22 percent.
“Tools like 84-4TEJANOS remove the onus from the students to become the translators for their family and success team members,” said Tiburcio Lince, Director of the Joe R. and Dr. Teresa Lozano Long Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs at Tarleton.
“We’re shifting the paradigm toward culturally responsive services that consider not only the needs of our students but include their success team in navigating the potential novelties of the college-going process.”
National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, celebrates the cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, and how those communities have influenced American society.
“Through Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, Tarleton honors our students, faculty and staff who not only embody our core values but positively impact the experiences within the community that range from early childhood arrivals to our multigenerational Latinx-American and Chicanx Tarleton Texans,” Lince said.
President Lyndon Johnson first proclaimed Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, and Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan subsequently proclaimed it annually from 1969 to 1988. In 1988 Reagan expanded the observance to the current 31-day period, and in 1989 President George H.W. Bush became the first president to declare a National Hispanic Heritage Month.
“Hispanic Americans have enriched our nation beyond measure with the quiet strength of closely knit families and proud communities,” Bush said. All presidents since have issued similar annual proclamations.
Sept. 15 marks independence day celebrations for the Central American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days Sept. 16, 18 and 21, respectively, while Oct. 12 is Dia de la Raza, or Columbus Day.