Today: Jun 17, 2024

Multicultural Center & OLAS collaborate

Solé Scott – Features Editor

The Multicultural Center and Organization of Latin American Students joined forces for an event in celebration of Latin Heritage month. 

Both organizations collaborated for a networking opportunity among students, staff and faculty in Room B121 in Engelman on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 1:30 P.M. 

Recreation and leisure major Chyna Lewis, a senior, attended the event after hearing about it on campus. 

“I’m a part of the UAP program, and I’m so used to checking in with Maribel, and I stopped there today and heard that she was in Room B121, so I came here to see Maribel,” said Lewis. 

Associate Director for the Center of Intercultural Engagement Jay Henderson was one of the faculty that helped facilitate. 

“This event is a good opportunity for students to do a speed dating opportunity to meet and engage with people through faculty and staff around campus who identify as Latinx and Hispanic,” said Henderson. 

The event had different Latin foods such as empanadas and drinks available for people as they came into the event. 

Students had the opportunity to speak with faculty in a game of speed friending that lasted for 3 minutes per rotation round. At each chair, there was a paper that consisted of questions to ask faculty if a student needed some guidance. 

Esteban Garcia is the Associate Bursar and is the Advisor of OLAS. 

“Family is really important in Latino communities, so we want to make sure that we are having the sense of family with our faculty, staff and students,” said Garcia. 

The genetic makeup of people that joined the event was a mixture of ethnicities and backgrounds, which was the goal of the event. 

“So far, I like it. Seems up to my speed, I guess,” said Lewis. “I wouldn’t have come across it unless I came to look for Maribel, so I’m happy I did.”  

The faculty and staff were from different departments on campus. 

“There is not many Latino faculty and staff members, so we wanted to connect them with the students so that they can see themselves as mentors but also to help them down the road build networks,” said Garcia. 

As National Hispanic Heritage Month nears its end on Oct. 15, this event was beneficial for students to connect with others that they normally would not. 

“I’m not even Latino/a, so I don’t know but it’s just as important as if somebody was African American, which I am,” said Lewis. “Important as any other culture.” 

Henderson believes the university could do more but is satisfied with all the events that were available for this month. 

“We try to think of different intersectionality of the Latino community to highlight and celebrate all of our differences in our culture,” said Garcia. 

This event was full of faculty, staff and students making connections with each other, which was the main goal the MCC and OLAS were striving for. 

“Reach out to your faculty and staff members. We’re here to support you, and we definitely are invested in your success,” said Garcia. 

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