SCSU celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Aaron Berkowitz – General Assignment Reporter
Every year from Sep. 15 until Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated all over by people from latin countries and territories such as the Dominican Republic, Spain, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Raysa Florentino, 22, a senior psychology major at Southern, said she thinks that it is important for people from all ethnic backgrounds to be familiar with other cultures because it can enhance their ability to relate to others and network. She also said that because she was born in the Dominican Republic and when she arrived to the U.S., she was exposed to many different cultures that she wasn’t aware of.
“It’s important for students, or everyone, to be informed about others cultures,” said Florentino. “People should expand their knowledge of other countries customs and beliefs, it enriches your life.”
SCSU is holding several events in promotion of Hispanic History Month. According to Southern’s event calendar its next event is on Oct. 15 and is entitled “Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype.” This event’s purpose is to examine the way Latinos are and are not portrayed in the media. It will be from 8-10 p.m. in the Adanti Student Center theater and there will be refreshments for students to enjoy.
On Oct. 17, the OLAS are hosting an event called “Noche De Gala,” which is a celebration of Latino culture and traditions that is also an effort to raise money for a scholarship to give to a student. There will be latin cuisine, Spanish music all night long, and entertainment for students to enjoy. Entry is $10 for students and $15 for guests. Tickets can be purchased in the Lyman Center.
“The school should have more guest speakers. Like professors or any influential Hispanics in our community,” said Florentino. “It gives students a broader spectrum of areas or careers that fellow Hispanics are succeeding in. It’s motivation.”
Channise Ortega, the president of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), said she agrees that SCSU should continue to bring more guest speakers to the school because they provide insight on how they were raised and explain to students exactly what made them successful. Ortega also said OLAS meets every Monday at 1 p.m. in room 201 in the student center and that students who are interested in giving back to the community while learning about Hispanic culture are encouraged to check them out.
“Knowing different cultures gives you an open mind to how others live,” said Ortega. “The more people know the more we can understand each other.”
On Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. the university is scheduled to host an event where famous Hispanic author, Sonia Sotomayor will be coming to campus to discuss her memoir, “My Beloved World.”
“Everybody should want to learn about other cultures,” said Carmen Roman, a freshman at Southern. “Some people don’t realize how many different Hispanic cultures [origins] there are. There’s not just Puerto Rican and there’s not just Mexican.”
Roman said she feels Hispanic students could benefit from having more clubs aimed towards them on campus so that they could find each other and build connections. She also said that she thinks students would enjoy if Conn Hall began to serve more ethnic dishes from all backgrounds so that they could get insight into what each culture eats and also feel more at home.
“Spanish food isn’t just rice and beans,” joked Roman. “I had Spanish rice in Conn one time but I haven’t seen it again. I saw them serving a lot of Chinese food and even some Jamaican food, they should serve more of this.”