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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Summit emphasizes A&M values as they apply to Hispanic community

Cody Franklin — THE BATTALION
Former A&M President Elsa Murano served as the keynote speaker at this years Hispanic Network Summit.
Cody Franklin — THE BATTALION Former A&M President Elsa Murano served as the keynote speaker at this year’s Hispanic Network Summit.

Hispanic figures from around the world gathered in the Clayton Williams Alumni Center this weekend for the Texas A&M annual Hispanic Network Summit.
Keynote speaker Elsa Murano, director of the Borlaug Institute and former president of Texas A&M, stressed the importance of the Aggie values and how they applied to ethnicity.
“We are to live and work together in harmony with each other,” Murano said. “At Texas A&M, we have a saying: ‘For we are the Aggies, the Aggies are we,’ and that is meant to depict how we are all for one and one for all. When we say this, we should mean every Aggie. Not just those who look like us or have the same background as us.”
Other speakers, including Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez Jr., commandant of the Corps of Cadets, and National Hispanic Institute President and Founder Ernesto Nieto, also addressed issues in the Hispanic community in the United States, such as differences in household income, the desire to see more Hispanic students graduate from four-year institutions and how to help Hispanic students dream big.
Nieto said a key in Hispanics moving forward is to change how Americans views minorities.
“It seems to me like we sometimes look at Hispanic issues or issues within the Latino community as something that the community needs to address by itself, rather than address the systems that create the problem,” Nieto said.
According to statistics provided by Jose Bermudez, associate provost for strategic planning, the Hispanic community is 52 million strong, which Nieto said means Hispanics are not a minority anymore.
“That’s something to at least think about, and it’s with that thought that I began saying to myself and to my family, ‘I’m going to dedicate my life to the creation of leaders with a new kind of thinking, a new form of thinking that needs to be established,’” Nieto said. “So, as we move forward we’re not seen as minorities, we not seen as people who are colored, we’re not seen as people who are at risk, as populations who are disadvantaged.”
Perfecto Solis, Class of 1985 and president of the Texas A&M Hispanic Network, said a big dream of the Hispanic Network is to start a student chapter for the organization.
“I truly want to challenge our students to develop a student chapter of the Hispanic Network,” Solis said. “We think that’s a vital part of the organization — we think we’re ready for that next step. So we’re going to work closely with our student body and go develop a student chapter that we can be proud of, and that we can engage on a go-forward basis.”

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