Texas Tech Hispanic Student Society President Gabriel Warren (left) of the is speaking with Jason Peraza (middle), a freshman from Dallas, and Ivette Morales a freshman psychology major from Houston, at an HSS fundraiser at 1 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2020 in the Free Speech Area.

With changes in Texas Tech's demographics and enrollment each year, more representation of one's ethnic background is something students may hope to achieve. The Hispanic Student Society wants to achieve this goal and more.

The HSS is on a mission to become a vital part of the representation of Hispanic traditions at Tech. The society wants to grow culturally, while implementing more collaborations with other ethnic groups.

Gabriel Warren, president of the HSS and junior psychology major from Austin, said HSS has had some rough past years, but the organization is now in a great pace.

HSS has been trying to continue moving forward by incorporating more cultural events, creating their own app and using Google Forms, Warren said. HSS hosts many events throughout the semester, such as fundraisers, salsa nights, trivia nights, study sessions and volunteer opportunities for their members.

In the future, Warren said he would like to see HSS branch out to different organizations, while implementing more collaborations and networking opportunities.

Since Tech is a Hispanic Serving Institute, meaning at least 25 percent of enrolled students at Tech are Hispanic, there is an opportunity for the organization to have a big presence, Warren said.

“We want to be a big representation here at Tech and for people to know who we are,” he said.

The society holds an opportunity for everyone and every race, Warren said.

Priscilla Colmenero, vice president of HSS and junior accounting major from Caddo Mills said she has been in HSS since she was a freshman at Tech, which is when she first ran for vice president.

Even though she did not get the position at the time, Colmenero said she stayed with the organization because of the great friends she made, how organized HSS is and the fact that there’s not many requirements to be in the society. 

Now that Colmenero has been a part of the organization for over two years, she knows how to run the organization effectively and is enjoying the vice president position, she said.

Regarding what HSS offeres students Colmenero said HSS has a scholarship opportunity for its members for those who meet the requirements. The organization also offers a community for their members with intramural sports at the Tech Recreation Center, mentoring and socials.

In the future, Colmenero said she would like to see the diversity increase in the society, bringing in different ethnicities and races.

“We are like a family,” Colmenero said. “I would like to see all the returners come back and make a new family.”

Destiny Castaneda, a member of HSS and sophomore from El Paso, said this year marks her second year in the society. She loves that the organization doesn’t require too much, has a lot of people from her culture and stresses family.

Castaneda said she continued to stay with HSS because the board members always made her feel comfortable.

“It’s not just about being Hispanic, it’s about making friends, having people to support you and having a community,” Castaneda said. 

The Hispanic Student Society’s next fund raiser will be at noon Thursday in the Free Speech Area. General meetings are hosted at 6 p.m. every Monday in the Human Sciences Building Room 226.       

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