The college commemorates LatinX Heritage Month through a series of programs and events celebrating the heritage of Latin American and Hispanic members of the college community.
Geraldine Agredo ’20, a member of Hispanic Society of Lafayette (HSL), said that this month is particularly special because the Hispanic population on campus is so small. According to Forbes, last academic year Lafayette was 6.4% Hispanic or Latino.
Just to hear an accent like hers or encounter someone that speaks her language, Spanish, is a rare occasion, Agredo said.
“This month means that for a small amount of time, I get to feel more at home [on] a campus when otherwise I am ‘othered,’” Agredo said.
The programs and talks being presented this month are being sponsored and organized by HSL. Preceding the first day of the official Hispanic Heritage Month, there was a brown bag discussion about the origins and meanings of the terms “Hispanic” and “LatinX,” according to an HSL poster on the month’s events.
The official kickoff of LatinX Heritage Month at the college occurred last Friday with Noche de Cultura in Lower Farinon. Students celebrated with a night of music, food, salsa, dancing and giveaways.
The Ibero American Film Festival also lasts throughout LatinX Heritage Month. According to the poster on HSL events, the film festival began Sept. 13th and lasts through Oct. 18th. Films are presented every Wednesday night at Landis Cinema in Buck Hall.
On Sunday, a bus took students from the college to Washington D.C to take part in the city’s Latino festival on Capitol Hill.
Upcoming events on the calendar for the LatinX Heritage Month include keynote speaker Junot Diaz, Puliter Prize winning author of “Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” on Oct. 4th. At the talk, Diaz will discuss his literary works and his life as a Hispanic author, says the HSL poster.
Nearing the end of the national heritage month, there will be a brown bag titled ‘Peruvian Cholo-Punk: Youth’s Tactics to Resist Violence’ on Oct. 12th.
LatinX Heritage Month will conclude with a live performance from Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo at the Williams Center for the Arts on Oct. 18th, three days after the official end of Hispanic Heritage Month.
While Agredo said that she appreciates the college’s efforts to celebrate the Hispanic culture, she wishes that more white students and students of other ethnicities come to the events celebrating LatinX Heritage Month.
“Just maybe they would learn about us and therefore they would change their mindsets, their biases, the way they act around us Hispanics,” Agredo said.