New Hispanic-Latin Student Union holds first meeting

Hispanic-Latin+Student+Union+president+Stefany+Rios+speaks+to+the+members.+The+union+had+its+first+meeting+on+Monday%2C+Oct.+10+in+the+media+center.

photo by Skyler Glenn

Hispanic-Latin Student Union president Stefany Rios speaks to the members. The union had its first meeting on Monday, Oct. 10 in the media center.

Hispanic Heritage Month is often celebrated through educational posters in the halls and music in the cafeteria, but after Oct. 15, these highlights of diversity on campus can quickly disappear. However, Assistant Principal Reginald Miller believes that the appreciation of Hispanic culture should not be restricted to one month. As a way to encourage the further recognition of culture on campus, he proposed the creation of the school’s first Hispanic-Latin Student Union.

“The Hispanic-Latin Student Union was created to provide students with an opportunity to serve an organization that brings social awareness, cultural awareness and camaraderie among students of the Latino and Hispanic population,” Miller said.

On Oct. 10, the Hispanic-Latin Student Union held its first meeting after school in the media center, led by founder and president Stefany Rios. Following the creation of the school’s first Black Student Union, Rios, along with Miller, saw an opportunity to further represent the diversity of the campus’ student body. Covering ideas for future events, volunteer work and Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the meeting gave members a general overview of the HSU’s plans for the year and goals to increase inclusivity on campus.

“Due to the fact that Hagerty’s student body is predominantly white, Mr. Miller and I felt it was necessary for Hispanic and Latino students to have a community on campus,” Rios said.

With approximately 35 students in attendance, the meeting allowed members to share and connect over their different cultures. Although it is called the Hispanic-Latin Student Union, the club is open to students of any cultural background.

“The goal is to create an inclusive environment where all students feel welcomed, supported, and empowered,” Miller said.

Rios has begun to see the HSU’s effects in action, creating a community that has benefitted the members as well as herself. As a first-generation Colombian-American, she believes that the HSU will increase campus involvement amongst Hispanic and Latino students and allow them to better connect with their peers.

“If the HSU had been established when I was an underclassman, I definitely would have felt more involved in the school,” Rios said. “It is great for students to have an outlet outside of school, so this year we hope to be that outlet for our members.”

Through the startup and development of the club, Rios and Miller strive to make an impact on students in the Hispanic and Latino community, increasing campus involvement, social interaction and overall representation on campus.

“I hope that we can encourage cultural diversity at our school through our upcoming events for years to come,” Rios said.

The HSU will hold its next meeting after school on Thursday, Oct. 22 in the media center.

 

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