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UNG celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month 2014
Hispanic Heritage Month at UNG provides students, faculty and staff opportunities to learn more about Hispanic culture and display creative projects such as this student-created presentation about Peru.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month through Oct. 15 with a variety of events that are free and open to the public.

"I'm looking forward to raising awareness of Latino culture on our campus," said Kyle Murphy, president of Latin American Student Organization (LASO) on the Dahlonega Campus. "The Latino population, in our area especially, is growing rapidly and it is important for us as young people to become educated and educate others."

Latin dancer
Latin dance performed with a live band on Gainesville Campus.

In fall 2013, students identifying themselves as Hispanic or Latino accounted for 9 percent of UNG's student population, according to enrollment figures.

Gabriela Batista-Vargas, president of the Latino Student Association (LSA) on the Gainesville Campus, is excited about the cultural expo planned for Oct. 15 that will feature booths showcasing Latin countries, music, entertainment, and food. Students can email Batista-Vargas to sign up for the booths, and the top three teams will win prizes.

"I'm really looking forward to learning more about different countries and the achievements that the Latin community has accomplished throughout history," she said. "It is very important that we continue to be community leaders, promote civic engagement, and strive to make this world a better place."

Students on the Dahlonega Campus will hold a similar event on Oct. 1. The Galleria Cultural Expo is planned for noon in front of the Hoag Student Center and is sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA), LASO, and the university's Spanish Language Department.

Other upcoming events on the Dahlonega Campus include:

  • Oct. 9: Open Mic Night: Latin Fever at 7 p.m. in the Hoag Auditorium. This event is sponsored by MSA and LASO.
  • Oct. 14: Campus Discussion Forum: The Border War in America at 6 p.m. The location is to be determined. This event is sponsored by MSA and LASO.  

Other upcoming events on the Gainesville Campus include:

  • Oct. 1: A guest speaker from State Farm share job-searching tips and career information in the Robinson Ballroom BCDE. The event is scheduled from noon until 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 8: A speaker will talk on the history and importance of Hispanic Heritage Month in the Robinson Ballroom BCDE. The event is scheduled from noon until 1 p.m. Both organizations held events earlier in September to launch Hispanic Heritage month. LASO invited students to decorate balloons and make them into piñatas and LSA sponsored the Latin Extravaganza that consisted of food and information about Hispanic Heritage Month. The students also used the event as a time to remember Manuel Moreno Mendoza, a UNG student on the Gainesville Campus who recently passed away.

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