U.N.H. Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Meghan Mahar

September is a pride-filled month for Hispanic students at the University of New Haven. The Latin American Student Association and International Student Association (LASA) came together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage History Month and welcome everyone to learn about the culture.

On September 15, the Latin American Student Association held a kickoff barbecue in the Bixler/Botwinik quad. Music pulsed through the quad as students of many different ages and heritages gathered to enjoy grilled kabobs and beverages. It brought the U.N.H. community together for the night as they enjoyed each other’s company while enjoying music and free food.

Throughout the month, there will be multiple events geared towards inclusion and unity. Amanda Roche Arbolaez, historian of the LASA, encourages all students to participate in these activities.

“Most of this is to bring attention and awareness to Hispanics and Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic culture,” she said, “We’re really inclusive, so we want people to come even if they’re not from Hispanic culture… We really do a lot of events like this one and we have a pretty good turnout every time.”

Students that attended had a wonderful time socializing with friends and embracing their roots.

Rumong Yobech, member of the International Student Association, agrees that the barbecue was “a good collaboration to bring the U.N.H. community together”.

Cultural events held by organizations such as the LASA and the International Student Association are important contributors to campus climate.

“I’m from Cuba… I go back to Cuba and come back here (for school)… I visited another school and I didn’t like the environment,” Roche Arbolaez reflects, “I came here and everyone was so welcoming and so nice.”

U.N.H. is becoming a safe haven for many students who do not always feel safe other places in this world. It is important that we continue to grow together to include and accept people of all backgrounds and beliefs to our campus community.

The LASA will be celebrating with more events throughout the month of September. Be on the lookout for their events, including free Latin American desserts and a panel where students can eat and vocalize their opinions on the issue of immigration.