By Theresa Evans
To celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture, Rider will host a number of events throughout campus this November as part of the university’s Hispanic Heritage Month.
The Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority (LTA) and Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity (LAMBDAS) sponsored the events.
“It is very exciting to build awareness of Latin traditions which help to expand our horizons during Hispanic Heritage month on campus,” Director of Multicultural Affairs Pamela Pruitt said. “We look forward to this time each year. It is important, however, to remember that these special observances are significant, but we should all celebrate who we are every day.”
The Rider community is encouraged to celebrate Hispanic heritage because the Hispanic population at the university has grown, according to Dannys Ramirez, sophomore accounting major and vice president of Rider’s chapter of LASO.
“The events impact the students by exposing them to the Latino culture,” Ramirez said. “Our goal with the events is to educate the Rider community about the diversity and different backgrounds that fall into the Latino community.”
The events include guest speakers like Rider alum Eugene Marsh, ’14; a Latin dance performance and lessons by S&J Dance Productions; and a comedy performance from Oscar Callazos. There will also be opportunities to help the community outside of Rider.
Canned goods were collected at the “Movie, Chat and Chew” on Nov. 15 in the Wright Hall lounge where students watched the film Good Day, Ramon. There will be a session on the cultural origins of empanadas as well as an empanada-making contest in the Mercer Room on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. The proceeds from the event will be donated to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).
On Nov. 21, students will have the opportunity to volunteer at TASK during the lunch service. The various events allow the Rider community to get a taste of both the diversity within Hispanic culture and the unity among the Rider community.
“Our most popular events are Latin Pub Night and Comedy Night,” said Ramirez. “On Latin Pub Night, we play different types of Hispanic music, dance and enjoy some food.
“The Comedy Night features a comedian of Hispanic descent, and it is meant for students to enjoy the night and learn of the Hispanic culture. The executive board members plan the events and each of them is in charge of planning one event for Hispanic Heritage Month. The rest of the board members serve as support.”
With the hard work and dedication put into the Rider’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, the members of LASO still get to enjoy the events themselves alongside fellow students.
“My favorite event is Latin Pub Night because I love to dance, and this event gives me the chance to dance the night away,” Ramirez said.