Acknowledging our Hispanic side on campus
By Jorge A. Ramirez-Artuz (TheLorian)
It’s that time of year already! Fall is here, and in addition to being a time when students get to be back on campus, fall is also a time that marks the celebration of Latinx heritage and culture. Starting Sept. 15, Loras College is promoting a community-wide celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a designated time for students to acknowledge the histories, cultures, and backgrounds of the American citizens whose ancestors come from a Hispanic nation.
Students who are part of the Loras College chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) organization hope to continue this celebration of Hispanic heritage in the coming years, as it has been a reality for the past three years already. Antonio Diaz, a senior at Loras College and a social activist for LULAC, expressed his gratitude for a college that understands the importance of diversity and proudly promotes the stories of their Hispanic Duhawks. He comments that:
“After four years of being a Duhawk, I can gladly state that Loras College has done an amazing job at not only attempting to promote Hispanic rights but at bringing more and more people in from different backgrounds. I have definitely noticed a statistical increase in terms of Spanish-speaking students amongst our student body, and it simply cannot be a coincidence. The Center for Inclusion & Advocacy has certainly played a big role in this.”
In celebration, Loras College hosts a variety of activities that allow students to learn more about Hispanic culture. This year, Dr. Paul Ortiz, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida and author of An African American and Latinx History of the United States, was the guest of honor through a Zoom call on Sept. 16. Those who participated in the online event learned from Ortiz’s vast knowledge and wisdom on Latin heritage, which highlighted the importance of its celebration.
Besides the Zoom session with Dr. Ortiz, Loras has multiple events planned for this month. Loras will have a Spanish Mass on Sept. 24 and host a reunion for Latino alumni during Loras’ Homecoming Week (the most important week of the year for many Duhawks). For the third year in a row, there will also be a Latino Soccer Night hosted at the Rock bowl Stadium on Sept. 25; however, due to COVID-19, the event will have limited in-person viewers. Nonetheless, the intention of promoting and celebrating Hispanic heritage will still be present throughout the night.
It is important not only to appreciate the diverse cultures on campus but to also celebrate these heritages accordingly. It is time to learn and acknowledge.