By Byron Garcia, Jaeden Langenberg & Hailey Oskey
The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB) celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a full month of activities.
The activities started back on September 15th and went on until October 15th. The activities were all about the students and community members learning more about the importance of cultures within the Hispanic and Latinx communities. All the events during this program were broken down into weeks throughout the month. In the first couple of weeks, there was information regarding study abroad opportunities as well as seminars discussing the benefits of having a Spanish minor or major.
As the program ended within the next few days, one of the biggest events was Noche Latina. This was an event created to celebrate and recognize an effort to grow the Hispanic and Latinx community in the Green Bay community, specifically within UWGB.
The Noche Latina was run by the Student Engagement Center, Spanish & Latin American Studies, Organización Latino Americana (OLA), and Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA). This event gave students the chance to hear local community leaders give their thoughts, provide dinner, and allow for new connections with other students or speakers. Cindy Johnson, one of the coordinators for the event, said, “I hope they (students and faculty) understand the importance of this student population and continue to find ways to better support students of color on campus. I hope the students know that there are many people who are here to support them being successful.” Cindy was excited to be helping put on this event because it was one of their first “more normal” Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month since COVID and she felt it was a great start of being back in action. She thought UWGB had a successful event in bringing awareness to this culture and created a sense of community that they are where they belong. They also had successful attendance at the variety of events that were put on, including over 100 participants for Arte y Antojos.
The University of Wisconsin Green Bay has been hosting a program for Hispanic and Latinx heritage month for many years now and has grown more each year through the help of student organizations and faculty. The campus itself has 17 percent Hispanic and/or Latin students in its entire student body. A student that attended the event mentioned that she hopes she can “learn to support the Hispanic and Latinx community more and be more of an ally and get their voices out there, let them be heard.” Mack Gore, a sophomore studying environmental science, was glad to attend the event for a second time and wishes to return until she graduates. One of the biggest things Gore took away from the event this year was “hearing from people and learning more about their culture and who they are as people.”
As for events like these in the future, the Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) offices as well as student engagement plan to continue to work together alongside students to make sure these kinds of events can continue and even receive more exposure. Click here to find information on our official MESA page on the universities website.