This Monday I went to a program held by the Latin Student Union club on campus. The event was titled The Call Out and attendees were to come together and talk about stereotypes attributed to different cultures. It only sounds kind of yawn and dispiriting but it was soo much fun. Although, most attendees were Latina or Latino, people of other cultures were invited and present. It was this really cool space where we can laugh and kind of poke fun of the accuracy and/or lack of accuracy over the stereotypes each culture was known for. We first waived off the general Latino stereotypes like: “the women being hot-headed” “being too loud” “loving spicy food” “expert dancers” “cooking with Adobo” “always partying” and other hilariously untrue fun facts.
The program presented different flags (i.e. Dominican, Salvadoran, Bolivian, Puerto Rican, &etc.) and had everyone throw out opinions about what they’ve been lead to believe about that group of people. Some were ridiculous, some were weird, some funny, some were compliments, and some were insulting. The moderators then followed up with stats and facts to support or contradict the answers.
The atmosphere was not tension-some nor uncomfortable. It was more educative and fun. Everyone there was eager to hear stories about each other’s personal experience with his/her culture. Especially stories involving our parents which are always a good laugh. I felt very connected with attendees in the room and the emotional support was present throughout the whole time.
My favorite part, besides the competitive game of Kahoot, was the conversation we had about speaking Spanish. Everyone had a different perspective when it came to one’s ability to speak it or not. Some, such as myself felt it was a vital part of being Latino/a and should always be upheld. Others shared the prejudice they faced for not speaking Spanish, or fearing being different when they do, or even struggling to speak English and the presence of a Spanish accent being a source of embarrassment. It was a very honest and lengthy discussion. But it ended on a solid note, in which we all agree that Spanish is a beautiful language and we vow to continue learning it for ourselves and/or teaching it to the future generations to come.
For any new Latino/a students that are reading this & are looking for a sense of community within their culture look up Latin Student Union. They are super inviting and you’ll feel right at home. Even if you’re not Latino and want to learn more about the culture I would advise to attend the meetings you’re guaranteed a really good time. I mean if you haven’t heard we’re “always partying.”
In my prior post, I explained how I wanted to venture out of my regular routine and attend some programs that promoted women. It proved harder than I thought because of my busy schedule. This weekend I did get to attend the Women’s Center’s final event to culminate a final celebration of women: The Royal Dinner.
The dinner was held at Hewitt Union Ballroom and was adorably decorated. Everyone was dressed impeccably. As one of the co-directors required, everyone was to come dressed in what they defined as royalty attire. The food was widely liked. And the performances were off the chart amazing. If I had to single out my top three (which was hard to do) I have to applaud the SUNY Oswego Gospel Choir they literally sounded heavenly and divine. They were super on point. I cannot recall her name, by there was a young lady who recited two spoken word poems that just left me mesmerized. Her emotion and word play skills left me kind of speechless. Her poem dealt with themes and obstacles that almost every woman has to combat and go through. I had to go up to her and commend her on sharing such a moving performance. Lastly. the event hosted recording artist Taina Asili and her band in a box. I had never heard of her before but by the end of her performance I knew I wouldn’t forget. She did an incredible job explaining the backstory of her songs. The instrumentals had everyone dancing in their seats. Most notably to me, she incorporated a lot of Hispanic influences that I identified with and enjoyed in her art form.
The event came to an end with the giving out of raffle prizes, awarding certificates to prominent students in the audience and organization, and the naming of the new president of the Women’s Center. There was soo much love and joy in the room. Although, I wasn’t an eboard member nor a regular attendee it was such a wholesome and warm environment I felt just as excited and moved by the achievements of practically strangers. But I can tell a lot of hard work was put into this event and the organization in general. I’m glad I was able to cover it for the SUNY Oswego Instagram page and share the event with the page’s followers because it was definitely worth watching and attending. By far the best Women’s History Month for me.
Since March is Women’s History Month, I decided to make it my mission to do something in support of my gender. I’ve also been wanting to get more involved in clubs on campus. The Oswego weekly emails announced the that the Women’s Center will be holding a program titled Oh, So You Grown Now. The flyer art was pretty cool and the starting time was pretty convenient for my schedule.
Everyone at the meeting was pretty familiar with each other, but the co-directors of the Women’s Center made me feel welcomed. It actually felt like they were excited to meet me, which is always a nice feeling. The topic of discussion were the coming of age traditions for women across different cultures.There were both males and females in attendance and it was fascinating to hear people from different backgrounds and ethnicities share what was considered a coming of age tradition that deemed you an official man or woman. The program included games in which the audience had to guess which tradition belonged to which nationality. The activities were funny because it brought out the competitive side out of everyone yet were insightful.
Overall, I had an awesome time. The co-directors were actually really helpful when I asked if I could cover this event for a journalism report I had for another class. They even invited me to audition for a spoken-word event they’ll be hosting in the near future.
Sometimes it is hard to break out of your regular routine and attend events where you might not know anyone but sometimes it can be a rewarding experience. I’m glad I deviated from the norm and attended. I’m looking forward to attending more of the Women’s Center and other clubs/organizations’ programs.