Friday, April 19, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 134


 UH conference is focused on Latinos

By Geronimmo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff

In November, the battle between Tony Sanchez and Dan Morales to become the first Hispanic governor of Texas gave rise to controversial
issues regarding Hispanics, and everyone witnessed the divide of the Hispanic vote.

On Thursday, the images of Latinos within the scope of political communications were discussed in order to improve the ways in which they can
be better understood in politics.

UH's Center for Mexican American Studies presented the conference, which was titled "Political Marketing and the Latino Vote," from 9 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. Thursday at the University Hilton Hotel Waldorf Astoria Room. It will continue today from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

It featured presentations by guest speakers who ranged from professors from around the country to those involved in political communications.
The speakers also answered questions from the audience.

"Political communication is very important, and now with the rise of the Mexican-American and greater Latino vote, it's going to become even
more important for our community," said Tatcho Mindiola, director of CMAS and associate professor of sociology at UH. "So the purpose of this
conference, which is the first of its kind in the United States, is to bring focus upon that particular area."

As for the students, Associate Director of CMAS Lorenzo Cano said he believes it was a great opportunity for them to experience the
professional aspect of understanding political agendas.

"It's important for students to get involved with the discussion because politics affects them every day of their lives," Cano said. "As individuals
who are training for their future careers, they will be in positions to take major steps to contribute to some sort of leadership, even if it's on a
minimal level.

"It's part of their overall development here, not in the classroom itself, and it's important to stay focused on the issues and the practices going on
within the political spectrum."

Both Mindiola and Cano based the conference's theme on the relevance it has in today's politics.

"We try to pick a theme that we think is timely, and now with Tony Sanchez and Dan Morales and the rise of the Latino vote in the state, we
decided this was a very timely topic," Mindiola said.

For example, one of the guest speakers, Federico Subervi-Velez, focused on the strategies Latinos must understand and acquire to better
reflect Latinos in the media.

"The images of Latinos are too few right now, and most of them are negative," he said.

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