Latinx/Hispanos Unidos: a new student organization available to students

Kaitlyn Scoville, Writer

Latinx/Hispanos Unidos (LHU) is a new student organization at UW Oshkosh for Latinx and Hispanic students and their allies to bring education and awareness to the campus community.

LHU’s motto is “Se fuerte para que nadie te derrote. Se noble para que nadie te humille. Se humilde para que nadie te ofenda. Sigue siendo tú para que nadie te olvide,” which translates to “Be strong so no one will defeat you. Be noble so no one humiliates you. Be humble so no one will offend you. Still be you so no one will forget you.”

Co-founder and treasurer Elashia Rosado Cartagena said that she felt LHU had to be created because of the growing number of Latinx and Hispanic students on campus.

“It was just time to create another organization where people who felt like they couldn’t relate or didn’t experience their Latino/Hispanic heritage the same way that current organizations did on campus could have another option,” Cartagena said.

The other co-founders include president Aurivelis Suarez-Roque, vice president Arianna Boatner, secretary Jordan Boatner and faculty adviser Irma Burgos.

UWO student and member of the Student Organization of Latinos Amanda Martinez said that she is glad that there is an organization focused on the Latinx community.

“I just feel like we need to let our students know what Latinx means,” Martinez said. “I hope that they bring more inclusivity toward the community so they can make those students more comfortable on campus.”

UWO student Mbua Fonkem said that having these types of student organizations on campus allows for a greater sense of community within the Latinx and Hispanic populations on campus, their allies and those willing to learn.

“I’m interested in [Salinas’] talk, which is right in mind with multicultural groups and diversity and harmonizing different cultures and ethnicities on a college campus,” Fonkem said.

Assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University Cristobal Salinas visited UWO last Thursday and Friday to talk about the uniqueness and importance of the Latinx and Hispanic communities. At the discussion, he said the term Latinx can mean nothing or anything: it is linked to the user’s meaning and understanding.

“We talked about how the term Latinx — it’s only in higher education institutions — but it’s also being used by latino students in predominantly white institutions because they are challenging the institution,” Salinas said.

Fonkem attended the event last Thursday about the term Latinx, and said he wants to promote action and awareness as much as LHU promotes.

“I am coming in with an empty slate with the intention to learn something new, learn something important and learn something that’s already there in the first place,” Fonkem said. “In the future, if more events were put together by LHU, I would be contributing or investing in them by attending those events.”

Cartagena said that the necessity of these student organizations helps demystify the belief that people are too different to be able to coexist.

“First and foremost, it teaches the majority culture about our culture — it gives a bridge to help understand where we come from and how we navigate the world, thus helping to create a dialogue for conversations to be had amongst each other,” Cartagena said. “And secondly, it helps our population to feel like they are included and thought about when it comes to the makeup of the University.”