The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

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

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Celebration of Culture and Community


The start of Hispanic Heritage Month

The Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off event took place on Sept. 20 in the North Lounge of Saint Joseph’s University. This event was hosted by two student-run organizations: The Latino Student Association (LSA) and Bridging the Gap.

National Hispanic Heritage Month began on Sept. 15 and continues through Oct. 15. This month includes a celebration that focuses on celebrating histories, cultures and the contribution of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The LSA is a student-led organization run through the Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID). The mission of LSA is to preserve and promote the richness and diversity of Latino culture while educating the St. Joe’s community, exploring culture and developing appreciation and pride within the Hispanic community.

President of the LSA, Victoria Priest ’18, spoke about the club’s mission.

“Our biggest goal for LSA is to promote cultural events and diversity while getting rid of ignorance on campus,” Priest said. “We love our culture and want to share it with others.”

The celebration continues with a viewing of “A Day Without a Mexican” directed by Sergio Arau. This “mockumentary” follows citizens of the state of California as they wake up one morning to find that one third of the state’s population has disappeared. As the day goes by, viewers discover that the characteristics that link the disappearance of those 14 million people is their Hispanic background.

Treasurer of Bridging the Gap, Aliana Cheguer ’20, stressed the importance of the film. “I thought this movie was perfect for the current political climate we’re in” Cheguer said. “It shows us the impact humans have on one another. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own story.”

Bridging the Gap is a student-run organization run through the OID. Their main goal is to promote awareness of the many diverse and sometimes underrepresented lifestyles of students in order to create a more welcoming and accepting environment on campus. By teaming up with organizations like LSA, they are truly able to live out their mission and bridge the gap between organizations and promote diversity on campus.

President of Bridging the Gap, Tyler Jackson ’18, understands the need for resources and organizations like these on St. Joe’s campus.

“The world is a big place, but we can start on our campus,” Jackson said. “SJU is a single-minded campus, it’s not a bad thing, we just have a lot of walks of life but we don’t talk about it.”

Jackson believes that by opening up the conversation, whether it be about race, gender or economic status we are taking the steps to living out our Jesuit values.

“I don’t care about your background,” Jackson said. “You are a person; your dignity and core values make you who you are.

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