Bearkat Orgs: El Gato And Channel 7 En Español
May 22, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd
Bearkat Orgs is a series highlighting the works of SHSU’s many on-campus student organizations. For more information on campus organizations or information on how to join or start a campus organization, visit OrgLINK.
By Nhi Nguyen
Sam Houston State University has a diverse student body, with around 24% of students being of Hispanic origin. To promote an inclusive environment and provide students with a sense of community, campus organizations are crucial, especially for minority populations. These organizations offer a space for students to celebrate their culture, share experiences and build lasting relationships.
Channel 7 En Español and El Gato serve as a platform that promotes cultural awareness in addition to serving as a student group that covers news, weather, entertainment and sports in Spanish. Members get the chance to demonstrate their language and journalism skills while also understanding the value of cultural diversity and inclusivity.
While Channel 7 En Español has camera operators and other production crew members work on the station for course credit, anchors and similar roles are often filled by students who are practicing their skills outside of class and promoting an inclusive environment.
The hosts of the Spanish radio station El Gato include Meury Moreno, Emilia Palma, Enrique Paz, Angie Rodriguez and professor Kiana Rios-Mangual. Palma shared that for foreign students like her who find it difficult to converse in English; El Gato gave her a much-needed break from having to communicate in her second language all day. She felt safe and comfortable speaking in her native tongue thanks to El Gato.
Furthermore, Palma said the radio station fosters friendly collaboration and has enabled her to connect with her peers while gaining valuable experience in the audio booth.
“We have very good chemistry,” she said. “Everyone here is more than just radio partners, they are my friends.”
Rios-Mangual, the advisor of El Gato, believes that it is crucial for the Spanish community to have access to information in their own language.
“Many students speak Spanish and may not know much English,” Rios-Mangual said. “That’s why we cover a range of topics, from news and weather to fun events, to make sure everyone is informed.”
By providing information in their language, the members of El Gato ensure that students and the community feel included.
El Gato offers a great opportunity for students that wish to work in communications or marketing. Rios-Mangual worked as a weather reporter for Spanish TV/Channel 7 when she was a student at SHSU.
“Because of all those videos that I was able to save in my demo when I’m interviewed for jobs, that's what I showed, and I got my first job,” she said. “If the opportunity is out there, whether it is TV or radio, you need to take advantage of it because it's going to help you in your future.”
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