Latin American students host events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Aaron Berkowitz – General Assignment Reporter
It’s that time of the year again. With October already underway that means Hispanic Heritage month is upon us as well.
“It’s really a month long celebration of the Latino blood that runs through our veins,” said Paulina Gomez, sophomore pre-med major and treasurer of the Organization for Latin American Students (OLAS). “A lot of people are still unaware of all of the culture that we stand for, that we come from, and have brought to this country.”
Hispanic Heritage month begins on Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15 and has every year since 1968. Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, according to hispanicheritagemonth.gov.
Throughout the month SCSU pays homage to the history, culture, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
OLAS are scheduled to hold a bake sale with some traditional Hispanic baked goods on Oct. 15 right outside of the Dunkin Donuts in the student center.
Did you know this is Hispanic Heritage Month? Celebrate Latino culture with food, dance, film & more! http://t.co/BGBYsvMDCg
— SCSUtweet (@SCSUtweet) October 3, 2014
The month long celebration does not only give students the opportunity to enjoy delicious food, but also a chance to indulge in some of the literature that has been produced by Latino authors. The Buley Library has a display specially set up for the month.
“I find that some people still get caught up in the stereotypes and view Hispanics as only workers,” said Mariliz Maysonet, sophomore Spanish major and member of OLAS. “This month is a time to show them that we are so much more than that. We are far from being ‘just workers,’ we can succeed at anything we want to.”
OLAS is collaborating with the Multicultural Center, Media Studies Department, First-Year Experience, and Student Life to hold their annual screening of the film “Latinos Beyond the Reel” in the Adanti Student Center Theater. The film will be shown on Oct. 8 at 5 p.m. and will feature a student panel discussion immediately after to examine the way Latinos are portrayed in our country and challenge some of the existing stereotypes of Latinos. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.
Carmen Roman, sophomore and member of OLAS, said this month is special for her and she enjoys the unity that comes along with it.
“The Hispanic population is so small here that its great when we can all come together to celebrate and have that understanding of what the month means to us,” said Roman.
The entire month is dedicated to the contributions Latinos have made to the United States. It’s also about taking the time to recognize the cultures that make up each Hispanic country, said Gomez.
OLAS also has their biggest annual fundraiser, Noche De Gala, coming up later this month on Oct. 23. This year the semi formal event will be a tribute to Brazil and Brazilian culture. Students are encouraged to come enjoy a variety of foods, music, and types of dances to partake in. The tickets are $10 for students, $15 for staff/faculty, and can be purchased at the box office inside of the Lyman Center. A valid SCSU ID is a must have in order to make the purchase at the box office. Tickets can also be purchased online at tickets.southernct.edu.
The organization’s treasurer, Paulina Gomez, said the event gives students the opportunity to experience and celebrate Brazil’s culture.
Photo Credit: Aaron Berkowitz