The Advance-Titan

SOL to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with many cultural events

Hannah Wilson

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The Student Organization of Latinos is hosting two weeks of events on campus to help bring awareness to the Latino culture by putting together different events in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is until Oct. 15.

This year is the first time UW Oshkosh will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month since 2008.

“There was no leadership and it was unorganized in years past,” SOL President Benito Cruz-Sanchez said. “It also wasn’t very popular.”

SOL advisor Esmeralda Delgado said the goal of SOL is to promote student leadership and success by planning social and cultural events about issues concerning the Hispanic/Latino community and, more importantly, serves as a home away from home and reminds them they are not alone.

“The organization strives to help our members find their cultural identity by exploring various aspects of Hispanic/Latino cultures and the effects of living in the United States as a Latino,” Delgado said. “SOL creates an open platform in which our members feel comfortable voicing their opinions and expressing their feelings on controversial issues surrounding our community.”

Cruz-Sanchez said in past years, SOL has had about 10 members, however, this semester it has grown to about 30 members and counting.

“If we start with having more leadership, it creates more growth,” Cruz-Sanchez said. “This results in more people joining SOL which is very important for our future.”

The driving force behind much of their growing momentum is improving student leadership and to improve the leadership skills of all their current members, Cruz-Sanchez said.

“This insures that the organization produces the best representation possible,” Cruz-Sanchez said.

Delgado said she hopes people will realize how rich and diverse the Hispanic and Latino culture truly is.

“If people can walk away learning something new from one of the events, then we did our job,” Delgado said.

The friendships that are made within SOL helps keep the number of members consistent, Cruz-Sanchez said.

Sophomore Mirella Hix said SOL is also welcoming environment for diversification.

“Transferring to Oshkosh I knew I had to join a club, and SOL is a great way to meet people,” Hix said.

This month SOL has scheduled daily events that are open to everyone on campus, covering various topics that pertain to the Hispanic culture, according to Delgado.

One thing Hix said she is excited for is attending the Latin dance lesson.

“My boyfriend isn’t Hispanic so I am looking forward to dancing with him,” Hix said.

SOL hopes to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to reflect our community’s role and contributions in today’s society Cruz-Sanchez said.

Cruz-Sanchez said President Donald Trump has continued a negative and stereotypical approach to those in the Latino/Hispanic community, specifically those from Mexico.

“This ignores our community’s positive contributions to society but also smears a bad picture on our efforts,” Cruz-Sanchez said.

Cruz-Sanchez said the difference between Hispanic and Latino is Hispanic people are from a Spanish speaking country and Latinos are from Latin America.

“Being Latino does not always mean you can speak Spanish the same way where if you can speak Spanish doesn’t always mean you’re Latino,” Cruz-Sanchez said. “We do promote both equally even when Latino only is in our organization’s name.”

Senior Donnie Bantle said he studied abroad in Costa Rica to work with refugees and had the chance to travel to Peru and live with various home stays.

“I really immersed myself in the culture and by joining SOL, I can continue my connection to something that is part of me now,” Bantle said.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
SOL to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with many cultural events