Latino Student Union to hold annual dinner dance

GVL / Courtesy -

GVL / Courtesy –

Tasman Mattox

The Latino Student Union (LSU) invites Grand Valley State University students to enjoy the Sábado Gigante dinner dance Friday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room. The event promises a re-creation of the popular Spanish-language reality show “Sábado Gigante,” the longest-running television variety series ever. There will be food provided and an open dance floor later in the evening.

“Sábado Gigante” could be considered a unifying factor in Latino communities worldwide and especially for this generation of Latinos. 

“‘Sábado Gigante’ was a show that was on every weekend, and everyone was watching that show,” said Giovanni Delgado, LSU’s treasurer. “No matter whether you’re Puerto Rican, Argentinian, Mexican, we’re all the same. We’re all Latin.”

The LSU holds a dinner dance each year, and it has become something students anticipate.

“A lot of people look forward to it for the free dinner and the open dance floor at the end,” said Vanessa Sanchez, LSU’s president. “The music is Latin music, music many of the LSU members are used to at family meetings. It could be the Latin Top 50.”

The LSU is a club for Latino students from diverse life experiences to feel supported and for students who may not be Latino to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for Latino culture and history.

“This (is) somewhere to go to find friends if you feel (like) an outsider,” Sanchez said. “The LSU provides comfort and helps you embrace your identity.”  

Sanchez joined the LSU while trying to better understand her own identity.

“Going into college, I was still trying to figure out my identity,” Sanchez said. “When you hung out with your American friends, they would say, ‘You’re so Latina,’ and your family would say, ‘You’re so American.’ I definitely wanted to find myself. I went to an LSU meeting, and the people just felt like family right away.” 

Sanchez also said the support system and engaging environment are what influenced her to continue in the organization long-term.

“It was such an open and friendly environment, and it was that connection that made me stick around,” she said. “We understand each other’s struggles. We can do this together and encourage each other to keep going.”

Moreover, Delgado said he is proud of the supportiveness of the organization.

“We provide educational opportunities, and we do events where we have people come in,” he said. “We have a few DACA students, and with what they’re going through right now, we bring in help and support. We are providing services for all students from all types of places.” 

Both e-board members hope that people enjoy the upcoming dinner dance.

“I just hope everyone can come out to the event and experience a little bit of what us Latinos got to experience back when we were younger,” Delgado said. “It would be a great experience for anyone who is willing to see the event.”

Sanchez also expressed support for the event’s purpose.

“It’s an awesome event to learn more about the Latino community,” Sanchez said.