By: Richard Meyer ~Copy Editor~
The Student Organization of Latinos (SOL) recognized National Hispanic Heritage Month on Xavier’s campus from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.
Many Americans celebrate this month by honoring the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America or South America. SOL hosted a number of events to commemorate the cultural diversity on campus.
SOL’s largest event was an immigration discussion panel in collaboration with Alternative Breaks. About 65 students attended the event, in which students who participated in the Immigration trip this past summer along with their learning partner discussed their experiences.
“Two SOL board members shared their family immigration stories and how it has impacted them in their journey to graduate college,” SOL President Juanita Soto said. “Immigration was a big component in this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month because it is a prevalent issue in the government and the media.”
The observation of this month started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson. President Ronald Reagan later expanded the observance in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. He also helped to push the month being recognized by law on Aug. 17, 1988.
The dates included in this month have historical significance to the Hispanic countries. Many Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate their independence on Sept. 15. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Columbus Day ,or “Día de la Raza,” falls on Oct. 13.
“Our mission is to educate the Xavier community about Latin American culture, traditions and issues,” Soto said. The discussions, presentations and films shown aimed to accomplish that.
“It is important to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month in the Xavier community because it brings cultural diversity to campus,” Soto said.