Reps. Castro and Senator Menendez Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Resolution Honoring Hispanic-Serving Institutions
The resolution designates National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Week to highlight the contributions of HSIs across the country.
WASHINGTON – Today, Reps. Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Jenniffer González-Colón (PR), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), and Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) and Senators Bob Menendez (NJ), John Cornyn (TX), and Alex Padilla (CA), introduced a bipartisan, bicameral resolution to designate the week starting on September 11, 2023, as National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week. The bill’s lead sponsors in the House are all co-chairs of the Congressional Hispanic-Serving Institutions Caucus.
Hispanic-Serving Institutions are accredited, degree-granting, public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25% or higher total undergraduate Hispanic or Latino full-time students. There are 572 HSIs in the United States that together enroll over 5 million Hispanic students and more than 30 percent of all undergraduate students.
Texas has more than 60 Hispanic-Serving Institutions, including the Alamo Colleges District, Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary’s University, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, Trinity University, and University of the Incarnate Word. Today’s resolution highlights the important role of these institutions in educating underserved students, helping them attain their full potential by creating opportunities and increasing access to higher education.
“In San Antonio and communities across the country, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) play a critical role in creating upward mobility – often with a fraction of the funding they need,” said Rep. Castro. “Two years ago, Congress invested $11 billion in HSIs through the American Rescue Plan – the largest national investment to date in Hispanic students. I hope this week’s resolution will be a reminder of the importance of supporting HSIs and their work to build American prosperity and expand access to the American dream.”
“HSIs have continued to grow, and now we have 572 institutions, including 59 in Puerto Rico. I am proud to serve as Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Hispanic Serving Institutions Caucus and support legislation to assist HSIs capacity building and development. As we come together to designate National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, we commit to continue promoting bipartisan solutions to direct resources to such institutions in light of the great work they do across our communities,” said Rep. González-Colón.
“Hispanic-Serving Institutions serve as a foundation of our community, enabling young and hardworking people to pursue a higher education and move up in life,” said Rep. Grijalva. “These institutions are vital for attracting, retaining and educating students to meet the needs of our diversifying nation. We must make sure they have the resources, programs and guidance needed to mold the success of the next generation. I’ll continue to support HSIs in Arizona and across the country to make certain that our communities receive their fair share of federal funding.”
“Opportunities afforded by Hispanic Serving Institutions have helped shape millions of American Dreams, mine included,” said Rep. Ciscomani. “With 21 HSIs in Arizona, including my alma maters, Pima Community College and the University of Arizona, we witness the impact of HSIs in every corner of the state. This bipartisan resolution reflects the importance of HSIs around the country and provides us with the opportunity to reaffirm nationwide support for these institutions.”
“The Latino community makes immeasurable and valuable contributions across the country, from history and economics to politics and education. Hispanic Serving-Institutions recognize the incredible, boundary-breaking work Latinos do in this country and beyond, creating spaces that provide educational and employment opportunities for them,” said Sen. Menendez, co-chair of the Senate HSI Caucus. “That is why I’m introducing this resolution with Senators Cornyn and Padilla, as well as Representatives Castro, González-Colón, and Grijalva. We want to ensure that Latino students, and the Institutions that serve them, are recognized and uplifted for all that they do for our country.”
“As a member of the HSI Coalition in the Senate, I applaud the outstanding work of Hispanic-Serving Institutions to provide quality education for Texas’s growing Hispanic population,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I thank educators at these institutions for helping their students achieve their full potential, especially given the challenges of these past few school years.”
“Hispanic-Serving Institutions play a critical role in fostering our nation’s economic growth and vitality,” said Sen. Padilla. “California is home to the most HSIs of any state, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how important their work is in providing more equitable access to higher education for Latino students. As a co-founder of the first-ever Hispanic-Serving Institutions Senate Caucus along with Senator Menendez, I’m committed to ensuring HSIs have the support they need to continue uplifting Latino communities across the country.”
Joining Reps. Castro, González-Colón, Grijalva, and Ciscomani in introducing today’s resolution in the House of Representatives are Reps. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Calif.-38), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.-52), Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.-09), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas-16), Byron Donalds (R-Fla.-19), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.-01), Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.-24), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.-09), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.-26), Jim Costa (D-Calif.-21), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.-31), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.19), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.-04), Darren Soto (D-Fla.-09), Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-Calif.-44), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.-34), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.-30), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.-03), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.-14), Jose Luis Correa (R-Puerto Rico-02), Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.-12), Kevin Mullin (D-Calif.-15), Michelle Steel (R-Calif.-45), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.-16), David G. Valadao (R-Calif.-22), Katie Porter (D-Calif.-47), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.-04), Judy Chu (D-Calif.-04), Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.-07), Sylvia R. Garcia (D-Texas-29), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas-28), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas-37), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.-24), Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.-03), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.-51), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill.-04), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.-18), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.-29), Marc Veasey (D-Texas-33), Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-N.M.-03), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.-25), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.-01), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.-10), Colin Allred (D-Texas-32), and Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas-30).
In addition to Sens. Menendez, Cornyn, and Padilla, the resolution is supported in the Senate by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Penn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), John Fetterman (D-Penn.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Elizabeth Warren (D-Wash.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) in the Senate.
This resolution is supported by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
The full text of the resolution is here and below.
Expressing support for the designation of the week beginning on September 11, 2023, as ‘‘National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week’’.
Whereas Hispanic-Serving Institutions are degree-granting institutions that have a full-time equivalent undergraduate enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students;
Whereas Hispanic-Serving Institutions play an important role in educating many low-income and underserved students and creating opportunities and increasing access to higher education for such students;
Whereas, in the 2021–2022 academic year, 572 HispanicServing Institutions operated in the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, enrolling more than 5,000,000 students;
Whereas Hispanic-Serving Institutions are engines of economic mobility and a major contributor to the economic prosperity of the United States;
Whereas, Hispanic-Serving Institutions represent 19 percent of all institutions of higher education, yet serve 30.5 percent of all undergraduate students and 65.6 percent of all Hispanic undergraduate students;
Whereas Hispanic-Serving Institutions are located in 28 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico;
Whereas the number of Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions, defined as institutions that do not yet meet the threshold of 25 percent Hispanic full-time equivalent enrollment but serve a Hispanic student population of between 15 and 24.9 percent, stands at 400 institutions operating in 43 States and the District of Columbia;
Whereas Hispanic-Serving Institutions are actively involved in empowering and improving the communities in which the institutions are located;
Whereas Hispanic-Serving Institutions are leading efforts to increase Hispanic participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (commonly known as ‘‘STEM’’);
Whereas 7 of the top 10 institutions of higher education ranked by the Social Mobility Index were Hispanic-Serving Institutions; Whereas celebrating the vast contributions of Hispanic-Serving Institutions strengthens the culture of the United States; and
Whereas the achievements and goals of Hispanic-Serving Institutions deserve national recognition:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) recognizes the achievements and goals of 3 Hispanic-Serving Institutions across the United 4 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico;
(2) expresses support for the designation of ‘‘National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week’’; and
(3) calls on the people of the United States and 8 interested groups to observe the week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to demonstrate support for Hispanic-Serving Institutions in 11 honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
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