The Hispanic/Latino Cultures Planning Committee, with the assistance of other organizations within the Slippery Rock area, have hosted and will host a variety of events from September through October in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Dr. Christine Pease-Hernandez, an Assistant Professor of communication and Co-Chair of the Hispanic/Latino Cultures Planning Committee, began by describing the most recent event, the Hispanic Heritage Celebration, which occurred on September 19. The celebration featured a mix of culturally-rich activities and cuisine, rounding out with a silent auction for the benefit of the Modern Languages scholarship fund.
“A lot of time and effort has gone into planning these events,” Pease-Hernandez said. “The planning for the [Hispanic Heritage Celebration] started this past summer. The intention was to celebrate Hispanic heritage while raising funds to contribute to the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Scholarship fund.”
President of the Student Organization of Latinos/Hispanics and Allies (SOL) and Senior Integrated Marketing & Communication Major, Ignacio Cisneros, elaborated further on what exactly went into the planning for this and next months’ lineup.
“Prior to the beginning of the semester the SOL E-board held a retreat, where we planned the majority of our events for the semester,” Cisneros explained. “Our advisor, Dr. Christine Pease-Hernandez, helped guide us in the right direction when it came to planning our events for the month. With the help of our general body as well, we were able to execute them successfully.”
Cisneros expressed great joy towards this celebration and stated his hopes that it may help the student body to educate themselves about a culture different from their own. The overall goal, Pease-Hernandez corroborated, is to engage with and appreciate a variety of cultures that many may only interact with on a surface level.
“Too often we place all Spanish speaking countries/cultures/foods under one umbrella when there are so many unique aspects to celebrate,” Pease-Hernandez said. “Having events at SRU and in the SR community allows our students, faculty, and staff to learn more about our culture, traditions, foods and music.”
For the immediate future, Hispanic Heritage Month has only just begun for the Hispanic/Latino Cultures Planning Committee. Events, such as a talk hosted by Alejandro Meter of the University of San Diego, will continue to pop up in and around the Slippery Rock Campus until the Dia de los Muertos Showcase brings the celebration to a close on the 29th of October.