Celebrating Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month on campus

Photo courtesy of the Office of Multicultural Affairs

Photo courtesy of the Office of Multicultural Affairs

Connor Ball, Contributing Writer

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Florida Atlantic University will be celebrating Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, highlighting those with ancestry from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America.

The state of Florida has the third largest Hispanic/Latino population in the nation with 4.5 million residing here, according to the 2014 census. FAU is ranked as the 27th most diverse college in the nation; Hispanic students currently represent is 23.8 percent of the school’s population, according to Undergraduate Admissions.

“Celebrating Hispanic Heritage is important because it recognizes the Hispanic/Latino cultures that have contributed to the history of our nation,” said Dr. Andrea Oliver, the Associate Vice President of Student Outreach and Assessment in Student Affairs. “In addition, it provides all students with an opportunity to learn about Hispanic/Latino culture and broaden their understanding of others.”

Oliver continued, “As an institution recognized for its diverse student demographics, we have a responsibility to provide as many learning opportunities that are inclusive and varied in nature.”

The Multicultural Programming Office will be hosting a number of events around campus, presenting films, music, dancing, cuisine, leadership and health, all with the central theme of Hispanic/Latino culture.

This year’s programming includes collaborations with Multicultural Programming, The Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Campus Life, Multicultural Student Organizations and the Rec center.

Hispanics and Latinos are also represented in FAU’s Greek life under the Multicultural Greek Council. Samuel Luna is member of Lambda Theta Phi, the first Latin fraternity in the nation and at FAU.

“[Our fraternity has] created a movement for Hispanic/Latino students on campus, bringing together the Multicultural Greek Council made up of many latin-based fraternities and sororities and as well as organizations on campus like ALAS [Association of Latin American Students],” said Luna.

His fraternity will take part in several of this month’s events, including the Latin Fest, where they will table to raise awareness of the culture on campus.

Oliver hopes to see further collaborations with other heritages. “It is my hope that through further collaborations, we can celebrate as many heritages as possible since they all contribute to the cultural makeup we call ‘American,’” she said.  “Some celebrations currently in the works include Celebrating Native American History and Celebrating Black History.”

For more information on Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month activities, check out the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs website.