Taylor Mitchell

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — National Hispanic Heritage month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and Hispanics represent about 5 percent of the population in South Carolina.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, undergraduate enrollment for Hispanic students has doubled to 3 million from 2000 to 2015.

However, Hispanic students only represent 4.8 percent of those enrolled at Winthrop University, as compared to about 62 percent for whites and 29 percent for African-Americans.

This is similar to other schools in the state, where Hispanics account for 5.3 percent of the student population at the University of South Carolina and 4.9 percent at Coastal Carolina University.

The Palmetto Report spoke with two Hispanic students, Téa Franco and Evan Santiago, to learn more about their experiences at Winthrop.

Franco is a senior mass communication major and the former editor of The
Johnsonian student newspaper. She is currently the editor of The Anthology, the university’s literary magazine.

Santiago is a junior mass communication major and co-host of the Eagle Air radio show Trash Talk.

Both students said they appreciated the diversity at Winthrop, but expressed concerns about Hispanics being underrepresented on campus.

“I know about four other hispanic students here at Winthrop, including Téa now,” said Santiago

“I’ve only had two hispanic teachers in all my education and one of them was my
Spanish 102 professor (at Winthrop),” said Franco.