Today: Jun 17, 2024

‘In the Heights’ played for students in quad

Brianna Wallen- Contributer

Sounds of laughter, crunching of popcorn, and singing filled the atmosphere at Residence Life Quad.  

On Tuesday, Sept. 26th, at 8:30 p.m., students had the opportunity to experience an outdoor movie night. Hosted by Multicultural Center, MCC Residence Life, and Resident Hall Association RHA, the 2021 movie, “In The Heights” was available for viewing along with complimentary popcorn and cushions.  

“I liked the vibe of the event,” said exercise science major Jeffrey Burke, a sophomore, who attended the movie night. “It was a calm environment, where I got to hang out with my friends and eat free snacks.” 

Each department’s mission was carried out, as the event’s purpose was to expose students to Latinx culture and to have fun.  

Associate Director of the Intercultural Center, Jay Henderson, said that the event, “gives students a chance to be familiar with the Latinx culture and engage with their peers.” 

Intertwined with Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month, the film is a Broadway musical adaptation that exhibits the hardships that first-generation college students face and challenges inner city Latinx youth endure while highlighting culture and higher education.  

Henderson said that the departments have been coordinating this event since the summer, as it is a semi-annual tradition. 

During the planning phase, the option of what movie to play was particularly important to each group.  

Healthcare studies major Cristal Rivas, a senior, is currently the president of Residence Hall Association. Rivas said the film was initially selected to be screened last year, but due to multiple rain dates, the movie night never occurred.  

When a movie night was set in stone this year, they decided to keep the same movie.  

“We know that a lot of students resonate with this movie, so we wanted to play it,” said Rivas. 

The movie choice was successful, as Burke said he enjoyed the screening.  

“I think the movie brought good representation to Hispanic heritage,” said Burke. “It was refreshing to see them be shown in that perspective, where they star in movies and be the majority of the cast.” 

The long-term objective of the event was to promote resources to students. With the recent rebranding of MCC to Intercultural Center, more departments, such as the Multicultural Center, Sexuality and Gender Equality, SAGE Center, and the Interfaith Office are included. 

“Now under this new umbrella I can promote that these areas exist to help students,” said Henderson.  

Henderson, who is an alumnus of the university, is passionate about working in multicultural affairs. He said that after working at a predominating white institution, PWI, he recognized that the smaller population of students needed a lot of support. This inspired him to make an effort to create a positive environment at the university.  

“Here at Southern I am here to work with minorities and marginalized populations and help to offer them that support,” said Henderson.  

With more outreach to specific student populations, students have the opportunity to engage in events and access resources that can help them. 

Each department plans to have more events in the future, especially throughout Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month. Rivas, who is also an RA of Schwartz Hall, shares the same aspiration for students.  

“I just hope that they’re able to come out and learn more about the Latinx culture 

and embrace it,” said Rivas.  

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