Walking around campus this last week, students may have noticed the banners and pamphlets advertising for Hispanic Heritage Month. This national wide event runs from September 15 to October 15. Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and until 1988 its duration was only a week. Then, President Ronald Reagan expanded it to its current length of a month. Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain. According to Adela Lozano, Coordinator of Retention Programs in the Office of Multicultural Affairs here at UW-Parkside, the goal is to “teach the campus community about the rich cultures by providing entertainment, food, speakers to talk about issues within the community, and showcase famous authors.”
This past Monday was UW-Parkside’s kick off of Hispanic Heritage Month. It was held at the Main Place. Highlighting the kick off, besides multiple entrees of cultural food supplied by Sodexo, was Siempre Flamenco. Siempre Flamenco is a group that performs authentic Flamenco and Spanish Dance. Over 100 students and faculty came out to the main place to join in celebrating the culture. On Wednesday there was a read-in in the Library Overlook Lounge. With refreshments, multiple Hispanic authors were read and discussed. Due to the location, less were in attendance than the kick off, however, the limited seating in the Overlook Lounge provided a better atmosphere for a read-in.
The next event at UW-Parkside to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month is a speak out on October 12th. This will take place at the Student Center in the Poplar room. The subject of this speak out will be “Drop the Use of the I-Word.” The guest speaker is Mr. Andres Cerritos, a 2003 UW-Parkside graduate. Mr. Cerritos has his own practice in immigration law, and will talk about the attitude towards immigrants in this country, and the DREAM Act (Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors) updates. The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs encourages as many student as possible to attend this finale of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Other campus organizations involved in the success of Hispanic Heritage month are The Chancellor’s Area, The Library, and Latinos Unidos.