LaTourette expresses support

By Moin H. Khan

NIU President John LaTourette Saturday assured Hispanic students of his personal interest in helping them obtain degrees from the university.

While addressing students’ parents, who gathered at a potluck organized by the University Resources for Latinos and the Organization of Latin American Students, LaTourette said he is willing to improve the retention rate of Hispanic students, whose dropout rate is about 50 percent.

e urged parents to persuade the students to continue their education.

The students must take advantage of the facilities of URL, which exclusively works for Hispanic students, LaTourette said to about 175 people who met at the Newman Foundation Catholic Student Center.

Keynote speaker Clemente Mejia, Kane County Educational Regional Services assistant superintendent, said graduating is more important for students than only enrolling at college. Students must strive to complete their education, he said.

While expressing his happiness at the large number of parents present, Mejia encouraged parents to continue supporting their students in their educational process.

Parents, who also came from Rockford, Chicago, Malta and Aurora, were “very happy” with the organization of this potluck, URL Acting Director George Gutierrez said. This provided them with a chance to know more about NIU’s commitment to the Hispanic students.

LaTourette’s appearance was testimony of the president’s commitment to help the Hispanic students, he said.

Gutierrez said the party provided an opportunity for social interaction.