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Latino Students Plan Thanksgiving Meeting

By Christine Edwards

Latino students from schools associated with the East Coast Chicano Student Forum (ECCSF) will be meeting at Harvard this Thanksgiving to eat turkey and discuss "Hispanics and Education Toward the year 2000" during the organization's annual fall Pachanga conference.

Featured among the weekend events will be a keynote address by Jaime Escalante, the Hispanic calculus teacher whose life was chronicled in the movie "Stand and Deliver," said Joe Martinez '92, a Pachanga co-chair for organization.

"Obviously he fits in quite well with the theme," said Martinez. "He is one of the most renowned Hispanic educators in the United States."

Four Workshops

Coordinators have also scheduled four workshops which will feature discussion of AIDS in the Latino community, multi-cultural and bilingual education, and Latino graduate opportunities, according to Carlos R. Perez '91.

Initially created at Yale in the 1970s to give Chicano students opportunities to meet together, the ECCSF has expanded beyond its social role to address general Latino student concerns.

Now, the organization works "to raise the awareness of students on the east coast for concerns in the Latino community," said Martinez.

"A lot of the college campuses have similar problems, [and] we can discuss these problems," said Perez.

For instance, the conference has focused on minority faculty hiring and minority recruitment, Martinez said.

Perez and Martinez anticipate this year's conference--which is expected to draw between 250 and 300 students from 13 colleges and universities--to be the largest since the group was founded in 1972.

Harvard students who will be staying at school over the Thanksgiving break are also encouraged to attend the conference, said Perez.

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