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UTSA social work students host refugee public awareness event Dec. 7


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(Nov. 26, 2012) -- Graduate students in the UTSA Department of Social Work will host "In a Place of Refuge: Many Stories, One Goal," a refugee awareness event, at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, in the Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.326) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will provide an opportunity for the San Antonio community to learn first-hand the stories of refugees who fled their homes seeking safety for themselves and their families, and to hear more about their everyday lives in San Antonio. Attendees will hear stories of refugees' personal struggles with apartheid, violence and oppression and, most importantly, their stories of courage in the face of adversity and the challenges they faced and still face as they acclimate to American life.

The stories of refugees who settled in San Antonio are as unique and intriguing as each individual. The event will dispel the myths… and let you hear the voices. Their accounts of violence, oppression and danger will astonish you, but no more than their depictions of resiliency and survival.

According to the Center for Refugee Services, nearly 1,000 refugees call San Antonio their new home every year. Refugees who live within San Antonio's city limits, however, are not strictly from countries publicized in conflicts such as in the Middle East.

Margaret Constantino, director of the Center for Refugee Services, says that over the past few years, refugees have come to San Antonio from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Liberia, Somalia and Sri Lanka.

Many of the refugees are hard-working, contributing members of society, but xenophobia and common misconceptions about their arrival in America and their use of resources in the Alamo City contribute to widespread unfamiliarity with their roles in our community. This lack of knowledge clashes with the newly acquired goals of our growing city. In fact, one goal of the SA2020 initiative is to "fight sexism, racism, elitism and homophobia everywhere and at all times" to promote the wellbeing of San Antonio families. This type of oppression, which San Antonio aims to eradicate, is just one of the many categories of persecution refugees fled their home countries to avoid.

>> Seating is limited and reservations, while not required, are encouraged. Reserve a seat by emailing

>> Learn more about San Antonio refugee advocacy organizations and services, at the Center for Refugee Services website, at 210-949-0062 or on Facebook.



Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Where Ink Does Not Show: A Celebration of the New State Poet Laureate

A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 9, 8 a.m.

College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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