Assistant Life Editor
The sound of Cumbia music could be heard on Monday in Sneaky Park where the Latino Student Forum hosted a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Students gathered to eat enchiladas, churros, beans and rice as the celebration went on. Mexican style decorations adorned the area and students enjoyed each other’s company.
“It’s Cinco de Mayo, it’s a Mexican tradition remembering the war against the French,” Eduardo Fernandez, vice president of Latino Student Forum, said.
“We do this every year because it has turned into more of an American tradition but we are trying to bring Hispanic culture to campus.”
The Latino Student Forum also hosted a Cinco de Mayo rock painting on Monday night. Fernandez said that the club is like a family.
“Many first generation American Hispanics don’t really know about their culture,” Fernandez said, senior biology major.
The event to celebrate Cinco de Mayo attracted students of all different cultures and ethnicities.
“Just because I am ethnically diverse, I feel that these events allow me to be open-minded and I appreciate the college’s mindset in celebrating traditional ethnic heritage,” Nicolle Longoria, sophomore chemistry major, said.
While there was plenty of food and music to bring students in some felt as though the event lacked actual advocacy for traditional heritage.
“I think student organizations could do more than play music and serve food, but maybe talk about their culture,” Christian Moore, sophomore kinesiology major at the event, said.
“It’s missing something, but I don’t know what.”
The University of La Verne is a Hispanic serving institution with over half of the student population identifying as Hispanic or Latino. The University also holds diversity and inclusivity as two core values. Fernandez said that student organizations like Latino Student Forum work to embrace and advocate for Hispanic culture.
“Being Hispanic, I think that it is very important to embrace all of our cultures even though some are less dense than others,” Moore said.
Along with the Cinco de Mayo celebration, the club participates in and holds other campus events like Relay for Life. Next week the Latino Student Forum will hold a salsa dancing night for its members.
“For me personally my dad is from Costa Rica and my mom is from Colombia and they have taught me about food, dances, traditions among other things, but not all students have mixed with their Hispanic culture,” said Fernandez.
Kellie Galentine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.