Celebrating Diversity with Hispanic Heritage Month

Audrey Tchaa –

Diversity is an important part of any college campus because it showcases a variety of opportunities and new, unique people. This month University of Wisconsin-Stout is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. The student organization, Latinos Unidos (LU) shares why this month is important to them and Stout’s campus.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a month where the Hispanic/Latino community celebrate their loved ones whom have passed. The LU president, Alejandra Bustos, says that it’s usually celebrated in the middle of September to the middle of October, but they’ve decided to celebrate  the entire month of October so it can lead up to Día de Los Muertos.

The entire LU executive board all agreed and stated that Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it celebrates diversity on campus. The students on the LU executive board are Alejandra Bustos (President, senior), Nathalie Bonilla (Vice President, sophomore), Jaime Mendoza (Secretary, sophomore), Hleeda Lor (Historian, fifth year student), and Brittany Zavala (Student Advisor, senior).

These are what the members of LU have to say about Hispanic Heritage Month:

“It is important because we get to share our culture with other people who aren’t familiar with it, and it’s also nice to see everyone’s reaction. It’s nice to share with others why have and celebrate our traditions.” -Alejandra Bustos

“When I first came here [Stout], I didn’t see a lot of diversity. Knowing more about Hispanic Heritage Month showed me that there’s more diversity here at Stout. It’s also nice to see the similarities and differences with other cultures too and seeing it from a different perspective is interesting.” -Jaime Mendoza

“Being Hmong, I find that it’s important to know about other cultures other than your own and knowing their backgrounds, stories, and really engaging and learning about who they are. We need to be aware that diversity and inclusivity is happening and people should care about diversity and knowing what people of color go through.” -Hleeda Lor

“Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it’s a part of my culture and I’m able to celebrate it though not only myself but with others who are a part of the organization. It’s also good to bring awareness and education to those who don’t really know about Hispanic Heritage Month because it’s not really known about.” -Brittany Zavala

“Student and faculty should care about Hispanic Heritage Month because being in a predominantly white institution, you don’t really take account that there are Latinos/Hispanics in school, so by us doing this it brings awareness that we do exist and we’re still here. Minority groups on campus as well shouldn’t be ashamed of celebrating who they are and should be proud of who we are and not be afraid.” -Nathalie Bonilla

The LU executive board has been working on spreading awareness to Hispanic Heritage Month. There have been events going on every Tuesday since Sept. 25 and will be ending on Oct. 30. The events that have already happened are: making piñatas, painting piñatas, Latin dance night, potluck and loteria. There’s more to come in the next two weeks. If you’re interested in joining in on these activities, visit the LU meetings that happen every Tuesday at 6p.m. at the Willow/Walnut room in the Memorial Student Center.

Here’s more on what they have to say about Hispanic Heritage Month:

“It is important to widen your horizons and learn more about others. The root of fear is ignorance.” -Bayley Coronado

“It is important for me to be able to celebrate my heritage, especially in a town where it is not prominent.” -Samantha Tjugum

“It is an opportunity to learn about another culture and to engage with people from another culture as well. It also shows that there are different people on this campus.” -Brianna Yang

“Hispanic Heritage Month should be cared about because it is a celebration of Hispanic people who contribute a big part of American culture.” -Zipporah Turnbull

“I am a proud Hispanic and I want others to enjoy the culture I am a part of. This gives me an opportunity to share my culture to others here in Wisconsin. People should be more aware of other cultures as well, it’ll help them understand different point of views.” -Daisy Perez

“I find it important because it allows the rest of the school know what we do during this month.” -Alex Pavon

“Students should care because you get to learn about other cultures and expand your knowledge about Hispanic heritage.” -Julisa Benitez-Vargas

“It matters to me because as a minority, I understand how important heritage month is for a culture, especially a minority culture. Hispanic individuals should be allowed to express themselves and their heritage.”- Brandon Beuulieu