Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at UIS

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Starting on the September 15 and running until October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month at UIS is shaping up to bring a wealth of cultural pride to the campus. With events prepared by both the Diversity Center and various organizations on campus, the events planned in the coming weeks will provide students a chance to celebrate and explore diverse cultural experiences.

Here Is what you need to know:

   The celebration will kick off with a flag-raising ceremony on September 14 outside of the Diversity Center. The events throughout the month include socials, discussion groups, a volunteer event, and a cookout.

  The theme for Hispanic Heritage Month this year is “Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions.” The event is meant to encourage reflection on Hispanic-American tradition, history and culture.

  This year, many of the events hosted by the Diversity Center will be centered around discussion of various topics in Latin communities. This is a great way to step out of your cultural bubble and experience life from another person’s views.

   The 4 primary organizations heading these events are Sigma Lambda Beta, International Fraternity, Incorporated, Gamma Phi Omega Sorority, Incorporated, the Organization for Latin American Students and the UIS Diversity Center.

    All the dates, times, and locations of these events can be found on the UIS Diversity Center website or UIS Connections.

   To better understand the importance of this month and how students can interact with it, two students were reached out to in Latinx organizations on campus to voice their thoughts.

   Some students may be put off by the nature of this celebration and may be hesitant to engage with the events on campus. When asked about advice for engaging with other cultures, Oscar Mercado, president of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Incorporated, he urged students to participate, claiming: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” He further elaborated, claiming that “the only way to immerse yourself in a culture is to understand it” and that, provided they are mindfully asked, questions and discussion are a great way to gain knowledge on cultural experience.

     It is easy to declare a month a cultural awareness month, but it is another to understand what that means to individuals in a community. To Victor Estrada, the treasurer of OLAS, this month has always been a means for all students to “appreciate the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes the campus community.”

   Whether you are a Latinx or Hispanic student or a student seeking a cultural experience, this month is sure to have what you are looking for. Remember to check UIS Connect for dates and times.

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