The Hispanic Student Association will host the Copa Oso soccer tournament at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19 in South Russell fields. The purpose of the tournament is to start a new scholarship initiative for Latino students at Baylor. There are a limited number of scholarships that are available to minority students at Baylor, said Damian Moncada, Houston junior and president of the Hispanic Student Association.
“It’s very important for us to take notice of the under-served communities, especially the minority community here at Baylor,” Moncada said.
Moncada said because the expenses of a college education and the lack of scholarships, minorities are often unable to attend private institutions. The group hopes to be a part of Baylor’s initiative to make campus more diverse by providing more opportunities for minority students to receive scholarships in order to improve Latino retention rates.
“It is very important for HSA to be a part of unifying the community by making it easier on other students to be able to have other opportunities,” Moncada said. “By providing scholarships, we allow people to concentrate on their educational experience and not have to worry about finances.”
The group also wants to raise awareness about the scholarships that are offered to minority students.
“I didn’t receive any scholarships that were specifically because I’m a minority. Most of them were academic,” said San Antonio junior Elysse Reyes. “I think if I would have known about opportunities like this, I would have definitely jumped on it.”
People who attend will receive a T-shirt and food along with admission to the tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive $300 in prize money. HSA members, members of other student organizations affiliated with Hispanics and soccer intramural teams will play in the tournament. There is an open invitation to anyone who wants to participate. People who are interested in having a team play in the tournament can email Monique_De_La_Lastra@baylor.edu.
Part of the Hispanic Student Association’s motto is “Many cultures, One Family.” Moncada said the Hispanic Student Association is made up of a diverse group of members from various countries who are large advocates of being inclusive in the community. Moncada said that by participating, students will expose themselves to people from different countries and become able to broaden their horizons.
“As Baylor, we are catered to developing worldwide leaders, and there’s no better way to do that than immersing yourself among students from other countries,” Moncada said.