Latinx Heritage Month Kickoff

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

Baruch College’s Latin American Student Organization (LASO) hosted a Kickoff event to celebrate the start of Latinx Heritage Month in the second floor lobby on Friday.

At the event, the club members, led by the President, junior Jessica Torres and their advisor, Crystal Tejada, served traditional Latin American foods, while Spanish music blasted through speakers behind the club’s setup. The theme was “One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions”.

The Kickoff was held to make Bearcats aware of Latinx Heritage Month’s arrival and to celebrate the many cultures and nations encompassed within the term Latin America

“Latinx Heritage Month is basically just a celebration of the diversity of Latinx people, the culture, the traditions, just everything that encompasses Latinx people,” said Tejada, the Assistant Director of Student Activities. “It can range from dancing, food, the discussions we need to have.”

The food that was served – empanadas – and the music that was played – salsa, bachata, and reggaton – reflect the Month’s inclusivity. Additionally, the month’s name was changed to Latinx from Latin to be more inclusive towards people in the transgender and gender-queer communities. 

Members of the club exude passion for their cultures and family histories, which contributed to not only the high energy of the Kickoff, but also to the need for the event and month-long celebration in the first place.

According to Torres, the LASO President, Latinx Heritage Month is important, in addition to other reasons, because it helps keep Latin cultures and traditions alive in the United States.

“To us, what [this year’s theme] means is that even though we come to this country, the United States, very different from our own countries back home, we hold true to this one endless voice, to continue our traditions, to never let them go,” she said. “We try to keep our traditions as true as possible to keep a piece of us from our home in this foreign country that we grow to love.”

In a city as diverse as New York, in a school as diverse as Baruch, where, as of Fall 2017, seventeen percent of all enrolled students are of Hispanic descent, Latinx Heritage Month is especially important. 

“This month is to celebrate our culture, and especially for me to celebrate the culture that I already had around me because I’m an immigrant, I came from the Dominican Republic and it’s been hard for me not to be around my people and I around my traditions and the things that I care about,” said Daniela Toribio, a sophomore. “So this month is an opportunity for me to feel connected to my roots and enjoy those things that I really, really love.” 

Additionally, the Latinx Heritage Month Kickoff was enjoyed but non-club members, including students who are and are not of Latin origin.

“On a first impression [of the event], I like the music a lot, and it was like a very efficient kind of line, so to speak,” said freshman Emily Chavez, who is of Ecuadorian descent. “To me, Latin Heritage Month is basically celebrating and embracing who you are, and I guess you could kind of consider the fact that today people are often discriminated [against] so this is kind of a time where it’s like ‘Discrimination aside, I’m very proud of who I am’.”

 

The Latin American Student Organization, along with MexiCulture, Ecuadorian Club, Alpha, and ASEDOM, can be found in the club suite on the third floor, and on the myBaruch website.