By Jhoana T. Merino-Martinez
This is the time when FDU’s Metropolitan campus can pay special attention to its diverse cultural clubs and Latinx student body.
National Hispanic Heritage Month began Tuesday, Sept. 15, and runs through Oct. 15, but this year’s appreciation for Latino culture is bound to look different from years’ past.
With only a portion of the student population on campus with social distancing measures in place, the question Hispanic-oriented organizations are facing this year: How do we unify our community in such a divided time?
Several organizations already have a plan.
The Organization of Latin Americans (OLA) is posting facts and biographies of famous Hispanic people on its Instagram page. OLA will organize more educational-themed activities, such as their Learned Lunes series where every Monday conversational Spanish words will be posted on their account for students to practice and use.
“We have a Did You Know series where we will be posting about different Latin American Countries too,” said Scarleth Zambrano, sophomore biology major and internal PR for OLA, via Instagram direct message.
The Omega Phi Chi Multicultural Society is hopping on the virtual bandwagon as well.
“For Hispanic Heritage month we are doing an Instagram segment called Let’s Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month where we will be highlighting significant figures in hispanic heritage and their contributions to the world,” Omega Phi Chi (OPC) Multicultural Sorority, Inc. (Omicron Chapter), said via Instagram direct message.
When thinking about 2020’s Hispanic Heritage Month, one cannot help but recall the years past. Nostalgic for community events pre-pandemic, OLA and OPC detail how they celebrated in 2019.
“Last year we participated in the Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Event behind the SUB. We celebrate a different hispanic culture every year, some of the ones we’ve done in the last include The Dominican Republic and Mexico,” OPC said.
In 2019, OLA’s e-board hosted dances familiar to the Hispanic community.
“Those dances were Bachata, Merengue and Salsa. We had a lot of fun and also remembered a lot of songs from 20 years ago,” OLA’s Zambrano said.
While many orgs may not be able to host public events like these during the pandemic, the Hispanic community can still connect virtually. OLA has done so in the past.
“In our social media, we posted the backgrounds of some Hispanic celebrities who are known for what they have done. Some of them were Cristina Aguilera, Rita Moreno, Sonia Sotomayor, Ellen Ochoa, etc.,” Zambrano said.
She added, “We try to share more with the community about Hispanic culture as much as we can, and make it in a fun way so we were able to enjoy every moment of the month that celebrates Hispanic Heritage.”
Hispanic Heritage month is special to OPC’s members as well.
“We are proudly celebrating this as we are a multicultural organization and have many women in our organization from all backgrounds, including hispanic backgrounds.”
The Equinox contacted Assistant Director of Student Union Building Operations Rashard Mills to find out how FDU as a university will celebrate and did not receive a response in time for the publication of this article.