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APSU opens only Hispanic Cultural Center among all Tennessee universities

Tomorrow, after months of planning, APSU will celebrate the grand opening of the only Hispanic Cultural Center among all Tennessee universities and colleges.

Housed on the first floor of the Morgan University Center, the Hispanic Cultural Center will open Wednesday, April 13, with a fiesta at 11 a.m. and the official ribbon-cutting at 1:30 p.m. The festivities, which will be held in the ballroom, are free and open to the public.
Tomorrow, after months of planning, APSU will celebrate the grand opening of the only Hispanic Cultural Center among all Tennessee universities and colleges.

Housed on the first floor of the Morgan University Center, the Hispanic Cultural Center will open Wednesday, April 13, with a fiesta at 11 a.m. and the official ribbon-cutting at 1:30 p.m. The festivities, which will be held in the ballroom, are free and open to the public.

APSU boasts the largest Hispanic student population of any university in Tennessee. The University's 438 Hispanic students make up 5 percent of the general student population.

APSU administrators, faculty, staff and students want to increase APSU's popularity with Hispanic students by providing a University-supported center that is welcoming to them. The center also will be the locus for multicultural meetings and activities and a place where diversity and education are promoted and celebrated.

“The rewards of opening this center are two-fold,” said Vice President for Finance and Administration Mitch Robinson. “Not only will we have a welcome center for new Hispanic students, but we will be able to better serve the students we already have. The new center will be a great addition to our overall campus cultural experience.”

Students like Tina Tarpy, president of Pi Nu Hispanic Honor Society, have been on a mission to bring the Hispanic Cultural Center into being. Tarpy said, “We hope the center will educate everyone about Hispanic culture and enable us to promote diversity on campus.”

For a while following the official April 13 opening, the Hispanic Cultural Center will be staffed by student volunteers from Pi Nu, who will plan monthly events and festivals.

“We will offer tutoring and education for all students at Austin Peay,” Tarpy said. “If English is your second language or your first, we want to be of assistance.”

By next fall, a graduate assistant will have been selected to oversee the efforts at the center.

The grand opening of the Hispanic Cultural Center will feature special music and a performance by a Spanish dance troupe. Refreshments with a Hispanic flair will be served.

For more information, telephone Dr. Jennifer Meningall, vice president for student affairs, at (931) 221-7341
—Dennie Burke