USC Upstate to open Latino center.

The University of South Carolina Upstate this fall will roll out the South Carolina Centro Latino, which a news release calls the state's first university-based center for the study and appreciation of Latino students, faculty, staff and students.

Nicknamed "El Centro," the center will seek to establish USC Upstate as the university of choice for Latino students, to increase retention of Latino students and to advocate for Latino families and communities across South Carolina and beyond, the release said. It will carry out its mission by providing thought leadership on authentic community outreach and inclusion through three pillars: Latino interdisciplinary studies, the public humanities, and translation and community interpreting.

"The needs of our Latina and Latino faculty, staff and students are growing each day as we expand and enrich our campus with a more diverse student body and the Upstate region becomes more diverse," USC Upstate Provost David Schecter said in the release. He said Latinos make up about 6% of the state's population "and that is mirrored in our campus percentage of students, but it is the fastest growing population and one that we believe needs more attention and resources."

Schecter said a great deal of work is already being done in the community and on campus to support the Latino community, "but we will now place that work under the larger umbrella of El Centro and create an institutional space of belonging, civility, wellness and equity."

Araceli Hernndez-Laroche will serve as director of S.C. Centro Latino.She is an associate professor of modern languages, and the foreign-language coordinator and assistant chair of the USC Upstate Department of Language, Literature and...

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