On Thursday, September 15th, 2022 at 4:30 p.m., members of the Stockton community gathered at the Arts and Sciences Circle to witness the raising of the Los Latinos Unidos Flag to kick off Stockton University’s Annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. The Flag Raising ceremony is an annual event held to start the month, which is dedicated to celebrating Stockton University’s Hispanic community and allowing others to partake in celebrating the rich Latino culture with the hopes of creating a multicultural and diverse community at Stockton.
The event featured a variety of speakers, which included The Associate Director of Admission Services, Jessica Grullon, and Director of Admissions, Heather Medina gave the welcome remarks at the event. Grullon talked about her desire to increase the representation of Latino culture at Stockton while sharing her experience as a Latino student at Stockton. She stated that she “felt alone and did not feel at home because of the few Latino students at Stockton when I [Grullon] was a student here, so I made it my mission to give back to Latino students who would come to Stockton.”
Other speakers were Aleyshka Barbosa, who is the President of First Ospreys and Head Talon Student Transition Programs as well as, Dr. Ana Edmonson, who is the Director of Student Transitions.
Dr. Edmonson, who spoke on behalf of Dr. Christopher Catching, Vice President for Student Affairs and the Division of Student Affairs, started by proclaiming her Puerto Rican heritage and reminiscing on her first flag-raising ceremony as a new employee at Stockton. She further stated that she felt a sense of belonging at that instance and she had not seen anything similar at the four institutions that she had previously worked at.
Britney Marrugo, President of Los Latinos Unidos, highlighted that the crowd present at the Flag-raising was the largest she had ever seen, which she subsequently regarded as a reflection of the continual support that the community has received.
The ceremony also featured live entertainment by Kiara Cisneros, who sang Anthony Gonzalez’s “Proud Corazon” while the flag was raised. Los Latinos Unidos’ Vice President Mylani Ariza and secretary Juan Chapparro took part in raising the flag, accompanied by members of Stockton’s Police department and Director of Student Development Jeffrey Wakeman.
The event was concluded with the distribution of souvenirs, followed by a reception in lower A Wing where guests were offered Latino dishes such as Avocado Mango Salad, Empanadas Queso de Freir, Empanadas Ground Beef, and Pastelitos de Dulce de Leche.