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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with art

Sana Saud ’26 (left) and Yen To ‘26 (right) cut their papel picados at the Sept. 29 Papel Picado Making event, in the UCity DEI Lounge. PHOTO: SAHR KARIMU ‘26/ THE HAWK

Students at the University City campus invited Hawk Hill students to an afternoon of snipping and snacking Sept. 29 at the Papel Picado Making event in the Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CID) in Whitecar Hall.

Papel picado, Spanish for “perforated paper,” is a colorful, traditional Mexican paper decoration used for many occasions. It is made through fold-and-cut techniques similar to making paper snowflakes. This art serves as a celebration of Mexican culture. The event was part of the university’s ongoing recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, which began Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15.

Erika Lohbauer, CID programming specialist for STEM and diversity initiatives, organized the event.

“The most interesting things are the things that make us different,” Lohbauer said. “It’s fascinating to run into other cultures, how they experience life, what their customs are and I think it’s fun to bring that here.”

The students who attended the craft session, like Marcela Pavon ’25, were all involved in the production of these new decorations, which will be displayed in UCity’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lounge for the remainder of Hispanic Heritage Month.

As Pavon’s first participation in a CID-sponsored event, she felt it resonated with her as a Hispanic student.

“I think that this activity in particular — the papel picado — is really cool and special to me because I’m Mexican,” Pavon said. “This is celebrating my culture in a little bit of a more personal way to be able to partake in an activity like this.”

Sana Saud ’26, who works in the DEI lounge, said she wishes more people knew about the space.

“It feels like a very inclusive, accepting area because we try to have events for everybody,” Saud said.

This year marks the introduction of DEI initiatives on the UCity campus, and its establishment “is a huge success,” said Lohbauer, who hopes the events hosted by the CID and their potential for impactful community-building will become more visible to the university.

“The mingling of voices and people interested in diversity, equity and inclusion in some way, it’s really exciting to see,” Lohbauer said. “It’s exciting for the students that I have talked to, faculty and staff, to have just a moment to look at things through that lens and acknowledge the differences and generate a sense of belonging for everyone.”

UCity’s CID will be hosting a Unity Month Pride Puzzle event Oct. 13 at 12:30 p.m., open to all students, faculty and staff.

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Gavin Kuebler
Gavin Kuebler, Assistant Features Editor
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