GVSU celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

GVL/Michael Dykstra
Office of Multicultural Affairs - Hispanic History Month

GVL/Michael Dykstra Office of Multicultural Affairs – Hispanic History Month

Ollie Ajami

September is a month full of opportunities as Grand Valley State University students are finally getting settled in and establishing their home away from home. Aside from well-known events such as football games, Campus Life Night, sorority and fraternity gatherings, GVSU is taking the month of September to embrace Hispanic culture during Hispanic Heritage Month through numerous events.

Latinos make up a sufficient portion of the Grand Rapids area, however Hispanics make up a minority 4 percent of the student population at GVSU. Representatives of those students are doing a tremendous job putting together events to educate all students of GVSU on Hispanic culture.

On Friday, Sept. 36 the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Sigma Lambda Gamma are collaborating to host “The Power of the Latino Vote” in room 2266 of the Kirkhof Center. Keynote speaker and GVSU alumna Milinda Ysasi-Castanon will be present to discuss her life story and what lead to her wanting to run for local office along with the importance of Latino youth engagement.

Members of Sigma Lambda Gamma (a Latina-based sorority) are making efforts to register people to vote before midterm elections this November.

There will be forms of entertainment to showcase the culture and music of Hispanics. The Office of Multicultural Affairs is making a serious effort to bring in Las Cafeteras, a band that produces music with themes ranging from civil rights movements, immigration reform, female homicides and other themes. It is known that they provide music as a tool for creating positive change and inspiring others to do so.

“People do a fine job acknowledging the Hispanic culture but we want them to actually understand the life experiences that Latinos have,” said Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Alison Roman.

In addition to listening to prominent people speak their thoughts on different aspects of Hispanic culture, “Latino Americans” will be showing in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “Latino Americans” is a three-part, six-hour documentary series that initially aired on PBS. “Latino Americans” is the first major documentary series that documented the notable experiences of Latinos who have helped shape the United States.

“We want to encourage everybody to attend events throughout the month, not just Latinos. The Hispanic culture is a vibrant culture that is important to our community, we would love for everyone to come together, learn and familiarize themselves with this culture,” said Vice President of the Latino Student Union, Veronica Beltran.

There will be live tweets and pictures being posted on both Twitter and Instagram. Follow @GVSUOMA to receive updates and other media.

To find more information on the Hispanic Heritage Month events, go to the Office of Multicultural Affairs located in the Kirkhof building or visit their website at www.gvsu.edu/oma.