LAHHM photos

Latinx faculty members discuss the visa process for international students on Wednesday, Sept. 23. 

The Office of Multicultural Affairs teamed up with LSU’s Latin American Student Organization to host 10 virtual events to celebrate Latin American and Hispanic Heritage Month. 

The events, which are open for all LSU students and faculty to attend, started Sept. 15 and will extend to Oct. 13. 

LAHHM is a nationally recognized month-long period meant to recognize the contributions of Latin American and Hispanic people to the history and culture of the United States.   

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Hispanic Student Cultural Society (HSCS) began the month-long celebration with a kick-off video on Sept. 15. In the video, Latinx LSU students, faculty and staff shared what they love about their Latin American/Hispanic Identity. 

President of HSCS Annasophia Molina said she is proud to be a part of a diverse, accepting and loving community. 

“We [the Latinx community] are truly the definition of helping your neighbor,” Molina said. “I am so happy and excited for this month so everyone can get a little taste of what it’s like to be a part of our family basically.”

HSCS offers a community for Hispanic students through educational programming, events and community service. 

“It’s very cool how we all come from so many different places and at the end unite as one and share tradition and culture and food and music,” said Lizmari Alcantara Jimenez, vice president of LSU’s Latin American Student Organization. “It’s really an eye-opening experience learning so much from my peers and friends.”

LSU Graduate Admissions Officer Jorge Garza said being able to converse in both English and Spanish offer unique perspectives on the world.

“It’s two amazing languages that view the world in a really different way,” Garza said.

Karina Rafati, president of Latinx Faculty and Staff Caucus, said faculty members and students came together in April to begin brainstorming events for LAHHM. 

“With the COVID situation, our plans changed, and we had to pivot and make all events virtual to make sure we can produce them and execute them,” Rafati said. “One of the reasons we put in all this effort is because our Latinx student population is large, and we want to be seen.”

Hispanic enrollment at the University has been increasing since 2010, with 2490 Hispanic students enrolled at LSU in the fall of 2020. 

“There’s a lot of misconceptions and inaccurate stereotypes about the Latinx community specifically in the south, so it’s very important to show our heritage and our culture and what we do and where we come from in an accurate and correct light based on our own experiences as dual citizens,” Rafati said.

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