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A Latin American studies minor -- a compromise between College administrators and those who have demanded a major program in the subject for nearly a year -- should be available next fall. Associate Humanities Dean Stephen Nichols said Friday that although there are still no plans to implement a Latin American studies major, School of Arts and Sciences officials agreed last week to support the minor program. Latin American Culture Program Director Nancy Farriss said yesterday that the minor program will take some time to develop, but added that she expects it to be in place by next fall. "I'd say that we got a clear sense of the interest and commitment on the part of the administration," Farriss said. Assistant History Professor Dain Borges, who is on the newly-formed committee studying the minor program, said last night that the group will present a formal proposal to the College curriculum committee this semester. Borges, who is the assistant director of the Latin American Culture Program, said that the proposal must be approved by the curriculum committee. The minor committee will continue to monitor the program after it begins to ensure that a wide variety of courses are offered each semester. It will also advise students on how best to choose their Latin American studies courses, which span a wide variety of departments including History, Romance Languages and Political Science. Students who have been fighting for a Latin American studies program since last year said this week that the proposed program is long overdue. "To have something like a Latin American studies program neglected is ridiculous," said College senior Carmen Maldonado. Maldonado, the former president of the Asociacion Cultural de Estudiantes Latinos Americanos, the Latino student association known as ACELA, led a student protest last year demanding a Latin American studies program at the University. Lorraine Flores, who is president of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano Aztlan -- the campus Chicano students association -- said this week that she is glad administrators are "finally opening their eyes that a program is definitely needed." The approval of the minor program, Flores said, increases the chances of one day having a Latin American Studies department at the University.

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