Hispanic Heritage Month events unify Rider Community

By Austin Ferguson

Hispanic Heritage Month has arrived once again, and Rider is taking part with multiple events throughout the second half of September and the first half of October.

Hispanic Heritage Month, which was first observed in the United States during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, starts on Sept.15 and ends on Oct. 15. The month serves as a time for everyone to recognize and learn the history and contributions of Latin societies across the globe.

Events are being run in cooperation with the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and Rider’s multicultural clubs, fraternities and sororities throughout the month.

The underlying theme for Rider’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration is “Quienes Somos?,” or “Who are we?,” used to drive home the idea of identity in Hispanic and Latinx students.

“The events during this month are brought to campus to bring awareness of the Hispanic and Latinx cultures,” said Pamela Pruitt, university director of the center for diversity and inclusion. “And to enrich and diversify our beautiful campus, making it an inclusive home to everyone.”

The month started off with the Diverse Welcome Reception on Sept. 17. The reception was designed for freshmen and transfer students, and served as an introduction to the diverse multicultural clubs and organizations that are available to students on campus.

A discussion panel was also hosted, titled Finding your Power to Break Through. The discussion took place in two parts on Sept. 19 and Sept. 20. The first session took place in the NJM community room where the Rider community discussed the lives of Hispanic and first-generation college students.

The discussion was joined by Silvia Mazzula, an award-winning educator, mental-health researcher and author, who used her expertise to advise students on progressing through the academic world as a minority.

The second part of the discussion, subtitled the Conversation Cafe, took place in the Daly Dining Hall Mercer Room. The second discussion related to the first, took the shared experiences by minority students and helped attendees learn how to maintain a positive outlook on said events.

The events of the month took a more recreational turn on Sept. 21, with Latin Pub Night in the BLC pub. Outside of the music and socialization that took place, people also received the opportunity to learn the basics of popular Latin dances.

“Due to the love for the culture and my Spanish class, I decided to go and learn how to dance,” said Sarah Waldron, freshman filmmaking, TV and radio major. “I had such a great time when I went and I can’t wait for another dance night.”

The final event taking place on campus for Hispanic Heritage Month
is Latin Bingo Night, on Oct. 4 in Daly Dining Hall at 9:15 p.m. The bingo night will have prizes in store for winners, while also using the game itself to educate people about Hispanic and Latino culture.

Published on the 10/03/18 issue.

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