By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief
TCC will honor Latino culture during Hispanic Heritage Month with guest speakers, exhibits, dance lessons and more.
The month runs Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, when many Latin American countries will celebrate the anniversaries of their independence from Spanish colonizers like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras on Sept. 15, Mexico on Sept. 16 and Chile on Sept. 18.
NE student and Organization of Latin American Solidarity president Angelita Davis said it’s great the campus acknowledges the month and celebrates the culture, but beyond that “there is not much Latino experience available” to students.
One place the college could improve is with more advertisements, Davis said.
“Advertise, advertise, advertise the opportunities for Latinos more frequently,” she said. “Many Latinos are shy to ask questions and do not realize the opportunities available to be successful in college and after college.”
In fall 2016, the Hispanic population per campus was 43.7 percent on TR, 38.8 percent on South, 35.5 percent on NW, 31.6 percent on SE, 25 percent on NE and 23.6 percent on TCC Connect, according to the district’s Office of Institutional Intelligence and Research Statistical Handbook.
Davis is looking forward to her campus’ events for Hispanic Heritage Month which will include the Latinx Leadership Series, featuring provost Elva LeBlanc Sept. 19 and State Rep. Ramon Romero Jr. Sept. 25, who will discuss important legislative topics that involve the TCC community.
“It’s awesome to have a variety of leaders in the community as speakers to encourage students,” Davis said.
The only thing Davis said she’d like to see changed is the scheduling of events, which all seem to be the same time of day.
“Arrange the events throughout the day at different time frames for flexibility,” she said.
TR student Richard Perez is also looking forward to the Hispanic Heritage Month events on his campus, specifically TR’s Loteria Oct. 4.
“I always love some Mexican bingo,” he said.
The game is an opportunity for students to learn the Spanish language, said TR student development associate Cortney Walden.
Students on SE will also have a chance to dive into the Spanish language during the Spanish Language as Culture event Sept. 26 where SE humanities dean Josue Munoz will discuss the intersection of culture and the Spanish language.
NE, South and TR student activities will also present events for students to learn some traditional Hispanic styles of dance such as the samba, salsa, merengue and bachata.
TR student Emily Barrientes is the most excited about the events that incorporate art.
“I know a lot of Hispanic heritage is through art like Diego Rivera or like Frida Kahlo, and I want to learn more about and see more of their art,” she said.
Several of the campuses will have Hispanic Heritage Month exhibits. A Kahlo paint workshop will be on South Campus Oct. 11 when The Little Art Bus will conduct a guided painting class inspired by Kahlo’s work.
For the district as a whole, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations all come to a head with Abrazando al Exito (Embracing Success), which is a districtwide event where Hispanic leaders and panelists share their stories of success to encourage and inspire students as well as the community.
The event rotates around the campuses each year, and South Campus hosts this year’s event 4-8 p.m. Oct. 9 in the SSTU Dining Hall (SSTU 1114). Students can RSVP by going to http://www.bit.ly/TCCexito18.
The big thing Barrientes hopes her peers and the rest of the TCC community take away from the events is more understanding of the Latino experience.
“Not really the struggles but like the misunderstandings of like what you go through because you look Hispanic,” she said adding that people tend to avoid Latinos due to incorrect stereotypes, and hopefully the Hispanic Heritage Month events will help rectify some of those stigmas.
To learn about the other Hispanic Heritage Month events happening around the district, visit the events page at collegian.tccd.edu or contact student activities.