During a fogless sunny afternoon, music could be heard from the top of the hill at Founder’s Hall. Below, in the UC quad, large speakers were outputting music from Latin artists from all over South America, including Mexico, Brazil and Chile.
The Latinx Center for Academic Excellence had a table set up in front of the Depot on Aug. 31 for Mes De La Cultura, month of the culture, spreading awareness of Hispanic Heritage month in September.
Junior Mayra Sanchez, a critical race and gender studies major, has been working with the LCAE for a year. She said this event was created to spread word for more upcoming events. LCAE will kick of Hispanic Heritage month on Sept. 6 with live music and the Los Giles food truck.
The club said they are trying to host different events to become more visible in the community.
“We’re trying to bring up the question what does it mean to be a Hispanic-serving institute here on campus and if they are really serving that purpose,” Sanchez said.
Behind a table full of bags of Mexican candy with tajin and chips with the option of cheese, was a long white poster that asked the question “What does your identity mean to you? (and how do you identify?).”
A box of markers sat at the table and everyone was invited to write down what these questions meant to them. A couple dozen answers were scattered across the poster sheet, some read: “values and connection,” and “coming together and sharing our cultures with one another.” They all shared community support and heritage pride.
“They do a lot of cultural events and they really inspire the Hispanic community to stand up for themselves, to be active, to represent your culture and be proud of who you are.” Sophomore Alexandra Gonzalez said as to why she wanted to become a part of LCAE.
Gonzalez, a business major, started working at the center this year. She said the center inspires asking the question ‘what is my identity’ on a daily basis and to be who you want to be.
“It’s a good resource,” she said. “Its just there and helps people be the best self of themselves and be the identity they want to be.”
Justin Carnero, a business masters student, said these events help bridge the gap between community building and academic excellence and that’s why he got involved.
“A lot of students are coming from out of the area and so don’t have an essence of community,” Camero said. “A lot of students come here and then leave because they don’t have that sense of community.”
Junior Caia Santana, an Art Studio major, hosted and DJ’d the event with phone. Santana has been involved with LCAE since last year but started officially working for them since the beginning of the month. Santana’s
“I like helping people,” Santana said. “I like advocating for the ethnic community or just POC in general.”
LCAE has multiple events lined up for Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Sept. 5 – Community and Belonging Fair.
- Sept. 6 – Mes De La Cultura Kick-Off at The Great Hall.
- Sept. 12 – Afro-Latinx: Time to Talk seminar at NHE 106.
- Sept. 14 – Queer To Stay! Life as a QPOC in NHE 106.
- Sept. 17-21 – National Hispanic-Serving Institution week, in the main quad and art quad.
- Sept. 19 – Danza! Indigenous dance practice in Gist Hall 102.
- Sept. 24 – Poetry Slam at The Great Hall.