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Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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A deep dive into Sun City grad support

SalmaPaola Baca
Graduate merchandise and attire available for winter graduate students at the University Bookstore.

The holidays are right around the corner and so are preparations for graduation season. Amongst the garland and whimsical Christmas trees, the borderland is also decorated with the spirit of celebrations for graduates.  

For students born and raised along the border, completing an education is a special moment for all families, especially for El Paso residents. 

With the community celebrating the season of giving, many are also celebrating the conclusion of their academic career. UTEP students say they have witnessed some form of support for grads in the borderland since they have been residents of El Paso. 

“I see a lot of restaurants giving discounts to graduates or have UTEP flags displayed somewhere,” said UTEP student Regina Reza. “I see a lot of local shops that have some form of UTEP merchandise, and you know that they are former UTEP graduates or alumni.”  

Reza talked about how she appreciates the comradery amongst civilians.  

“We all know those who go to college, I feel they understand the struggles so whenever a person sees someone graduating it’s a big ‘you made it’ deal,” Reza said.  

Whether it is a loved one or a family friend, some El Paso citizens find themselves wrapped in a community with connections. They say with community comes shared support for all individuals.  

While some local businesses share support for students on their special day, for some there is always room for improvement in encouraging students to walk the stage. UTEP student Aaron Velasquez shared his opinion of whether the local community successfully advocates for grads.  

“I think in general there isn’t enough recognition for graduates, I think El Paso is a city with low self-esteem and they don’t really place a high enough value on education period,” Velasquez said. 

UTEP student Damian Vicente talked about how he does not see as much support as he wished he did.  

“I’ve never really paid attention or noticed the entire El Paso community making a bigger effort to celebrate grads. I feel that attention is mainly derived from UTEP,” Vicente said.   

Community support for graduates is not at the frontline of worries, which raises some concerns for students. Support and appreciation for graduates can be found in other ways apart from local businesses or a large-scale event. UTEP consists of a variety of events that highlight and honor all graduates for their hard work on the journey to their special day of commencement.  

However, that does not mean there is no one congratulating them at the finish line because UTEP student Dezlyn Ruiz talks about how she witnesses a lot of support for graduates on social media.  

“FitFam always posts when graduation ceremonies are happening and the numbers of graduates, it is nice to be recognized on a big platform like that and see so much potential from students and think about where their futures will go,” Ruiz said.  

As students strut the stage embellished in long gowns with a rewarding cap over their head, most in the community will forever continue to share their excitement for those receiving their degree.  

Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Marco Hinojosa, Audience and Engagement
Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor for The Prospector. He is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring multimedia journalism with a minor in criminal justice. He plans to broaden his horizons as a journalist and work for a major broadcast company.
SalmaPaola Baca, Photographer
SalmaPaola Baca is a senior at UTEP majoring in engineering innovation and leadership with a concentration and minor in civil engineering and an emphasis in computer science. Her passion for photography enables her to be photographer at The Prospector. While a full-time student, she freelances while planning to grow her platform through travel photography. After graduating, she wants to pursue a master’s degree in architecture while working on her photography simultaneously.
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