With a wide range of events and activities planned through early November, the University of North Georgia students and campuses are celebrating Hispanic and Latino culture.
Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA), the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) on UNG's Dahlonega Campus, the Latino Student Association (LSA) on the Gainesville Campus, and the Spanish Club on the Oconee Campus, the events provide students of Hispanic and Latino heritage an opportunity to share activities associated with their culture with other students.
"It's very important that we recognize Hispanic Heritage Month as our Hispanic population is growing; the Hispanic culture is expanding within our nation and especially within Georgia," MSA Director Robert Robinson said. "This opportunity gives us a chance to recognize the culture for its leadership and expansion into American culture, and we want to celebrate that. Our clubs on multiple campuses are doing a great job of helping their peers learn about Hispanic culture, and all of our students will benefit from this knowledge."
Robert Bryant, MSA coordinator for the Dahlonega Campus, added that it is important for UNG to continue to reflect on members of its larger community to recognize the contributions of individuals and cultural groups.
"We often forget that our society is full of culture that we take for granted, so heritage months give us a chance to reflect," Bryant said. "Our programs and events are rooted in the educational realm of spreading the word about the culture and fostering an environment for reflecting and engagement. Our signature program, Galeria Cultural: The Expo, will really highlight various countries, along with the unique culture of the Latino/Hispanic community."
The celebration kicked off Sept. 9 with "Practica Español," a lesson in Spanish to help students refresh their language skills. Sept. 11 marked the beginning of Latin dance lessons, which continue every Wednesday throughout the month from 9 to 10:30 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center on the Dahlonega Campus.
The "Mundo Latino" Cultural Expo held on Sept. 18 by LSA featured booths run by students who presented research on prominent Latin-Americans. There was also a live salsa band and a traditional Incan dance performed by an entertainer from Peru.
"These events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month help promote cultural awareness about the Latino community," said Maria Palacios, vice president of LSA. "Our generation lives in a world that is becoming ever more globalized, and the United States is a very diverse country. Cultural awareness is something that we can all benefit from in our professional and personal relationships."
On Sept. 22, LASO and LSA came together for dinner in Gainesville, and on Sept. 24, MSA hosted "Dialogue for Difference" on the Oconee Campus.
Upcoming events include:
- Sept. 25 – Galeria Cultural: The Expo, Dahlonega Campus, Hoag Patio, 11:30 a.m., MSA
- Sept. 30 – "Trapped in Translation: A UNG student in Costa Rica," Dahlonega Campus, Hoag Meeting Room C, noon, MSA
- Oct. 2 – Hispanic Film Festival, "La misma luna," Oconee Campus, room 522, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Spanish Club
- Oct. 9 – "Hispanics & the United States: A Discussion," Dahlonega Campus, Hoag Great Room, noon to 1 p.m., MSA and LASO
- Oct. 14 – Hispanic Poetry Night, Oconee Campus, room 522, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Spanish Club
- Oct. 16 – "Open Mic Night: Highlighting Hispanic Culture," Dahlonega Campus, Hoag Auditorium, MSA
- Oct. 28 – Hispanic Talent Show, Oconee Campus, room 522, noon to 1 p.m., Spanish Club
- Oct. 30 – Hispanic Colloquium Series, Oconee Campus, room 501, noon to 1 p.m., Dr. Pam Sezgin
- Nov. 6 – Hispanic Film Festival, Oconee Campus, room 522, noon to 1 p.m., Spanish Club
For more information, please contact MSA at:
- Dahlonega Campus – 706-867-2720
- Gainesville Campus – 678-717-3654
- Oconee Campus – 706-310-6250