September marks the beginning of a new semester, new professors, new friends, and new memories. For Los Latinos Unidos, it marks the beginning of the month-long celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. On September 15, a flag-raising ceremony was held outside of the Art & Sciences Circle while maintaining CDC guidelines.
“This semester challenges our definition of a ‘new-normal’,” said Kiara Mariely, club president, to attendees at the event. “We wanted to preserve some celebrations and work tirelessly to bring you some sort event to maintain our sense of normalcy.”
This month includes activities such as the “Celebrating Frida: Virtual Paint Night” on Zoom, the corn maze and hayride at R&J farms, “Virtual Girl Chat and Facials” on Zoom, and “Movie Under the Stars” at the Lakeside Lodge. During an interview, Mariely said Los Latinos Unidos’ goal for the semester is to continue providing a safe and inclusive space. “Although our lives have become increasingly virtual, we want to continue allowing students to share their heritage, their language, and their stories with us.”
Los Latinos Unidos (LLU) will also collaborate with other multicultural organizations such as the African Student Organization, Pilipino American Student organization, Asian Student Alliance, and the Unified Black Student Society to create “culture chat,” a conversation space where students can celebrate their cultural similarities and differences.
“I want to make sure the Latino community at Stockton is represented and that it keeps growing as the years go by,” said Angela Portillo, secretary of LLU. “This semester I want to make it as fun as possible even in times like these, we must all unite but at the same time be apart from each other.”
Mariely reminded incoming freshman to get involved, especially in the age of limited in-person events.
“It can be challenging to get to know others and make new friends. By getting involved, you open the door to so many new opportunities. Remember that we are all going through this together. It is up to us to not only stay safe but to support each other during this time of uncertainty,” said Mariely.