Senators Menendez, Reid, and Cornyn Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Honoring Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Senators Menendez, Reid, and Cornyn Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Honoring Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Washington, DC- As our nation celebrates the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a bipartisan resolution today to recognize the work, goals, and achievements of non-profit Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).This resolution specifically designates the week of September 15, 2013 as National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week and calls for its observation through private ceremonies, activities, and programs to demonstrate support for HSIs. The resolution passed the Senate today by Unanimous Consent.

Senator Robert Menendez said: "As Chair of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force and as a product of a Hispanic-Serving Institution in my home state of New Jersey, I am proud to introduce this resolution recognizing Hispanic-Serving Institutions for their critical work on behalf of Latino students. Now, more than ever, the work that these exemplary institutions do every day is part of a broader economic and social imperative that will have serious consequences for the future success of our nation. That is why the bipartisan immigration reform bill passed by the Senate recognized the importance of Minority Serving Institutions by creating a STEM Education and Training Account which will boost funding for HSIs. I vow to continue working tirelessly to ensure that every child from any background-race, national origin, socio-economic status-receives a quality education and has an equal opportunity to reach his or her full potential."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reidsaid: "This week we celebrate the contributions made by Hispanic-Serving Institutions across the country, which offer a brighter future to young Hispanics. In Nevada, most higher education institutions are on the cusp of becoming Hispanic-Serving Institutions as their Latino enrollment continues to grow. These institutions help support the talent, hard work, and determination of Hispanic students across the nation, which helps build a stronger, more prosperous country. Congratulations to all who work and study at these colleges and universities."

Senator John Cornyn said: "As the number of Hispanic students in Texas grows in record numbers, our state's Hispanic-Serving Institutions continue to play an integral role in preparing the next generation of Texas leaders. I'm proud of the stellar work HSIs are doing in Texas and across the country to open the doors of education and opportunity to millions of Hispanic students. We will be a better, more innovative and competitive nation because of their fine work, and I'm proud to have sponsored this legislation to honor their invaluable contribution to our nation's young people."

S.Res.240 was co-sponsored by 19senators: Harry Reid (D-NV); John Cornyn (R-TX); Mark Begich (D-AK); Michael Bennet (D-CO); Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Chris Coons (D-DE); Dick Durbin (D-IL); Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); Martin Heinrich (D-NM); Ed Markey (D-MA); Senator Murray (D-WA); Bill Nelson (D-FL); Marco Rubio (R-FL); Charles Schumer (D-NY); Mark Udall (D-CO); Mark Warner (D-VA); Dean Heller (R-NV); and Mike Enzi (R-WY).

Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Background

Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), defined as colleges or universities where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment, serve more than half of all Hispanic students in the United States. There are currently more than 350 Hispanic-Serving Institutions in operation throughout the country, including 8 in New Jersey.