Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU’s ‘El Apagón’ BBQ bash: a multicultural farewell to fall 2023 semester

FAU’s Hispanic organizations unite to host an inclusive BBQ event for all students
Matthew Vogdes
Students eating and socializing at “El Apagón” BBQ on Thursday night November 9.

Student Government Multicultural Programming (MP), Latino Hispanic Association (LHA), and the Hispanic Latino Student Union (HLSU) collaborated to bid farewell to the fall 2023 semester with the “El Apagón” BBQ on Nov. 9. 

The organizations closed the semester, uniting diverse backgrounds through the shared joys of games, music, and food at the FAU Housing Lawn. 

The event lasted from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; free food and complimentary face paintings were provided. To partake in the festivities and enjoy the hamburgers or hotdogs available, people were simply asked to check in to secure a food ticket no sign-up or fee was required.

“We set up field day games like soccer, football, and volleyball, and we also have traditional board games like dominoes and cards,” said Diamelys Vargas, social work graduate student and vice president of HLSU. 

Vargas thinks this marked one of HLSU’s most significant gatherings, as their attendance sheet showed 115 people. 

“This turnout is even better than I hoped for and expected,” said management information sophomore Ashley Rodriguez-Vallejo, who is vice president of LHA. “When planning events, we’re always nervous of not having a good turnout, but we’re also always pleasantly surprised because people always show up and bring their friends.”

HLSU and LHA, as well as the activities organized by these two inclusive organizations, are open to everyone.

Event goers were treated to the musical stylings of business finance sophomore Gregory Gargano, locally known as DJ Greggy G.

Gargano is a member of LHA and does not have Latino or Hispanic heritage. 

“I love how culturally diverse [LHA] is, how welcoming they are, and how it’s a very close community,” Gargano said. 

Paulino and Rodriguez-Vallejo brought LHA to FAU at the beginning of the spring 2022 semester, and currently has 270 members. This fall, the organization has orchestrated six events, some of which include study sessions at FAU’s Wimberly Library, sports watch parties, professional speaker events, and handmade card-making for healthcare workers and patients at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. 

“Becoming a part of an organization like ours and HLSU is a great way to meet people,” said sophomore Emily Paulino, international business major and LHA president. “We’ve met a lot of new members who made many good friends because of our organization, and that means a lot to us.”

HLSU shares similar objectives. 

“As a Hispanic serving institution, we want to make sure we provide a comfortable and familiar environment for Hispanic students, especially those who are away from family,” said Vargas. 

HSLU has previously organized various events, including Latin dance nights, beach socials, movie nights, and cultural showcases, and is currently planning its upcoming social gathering. 

Laurie Mermet is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM laurie.mmt on Instagram. 


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