Hispanic Heritage Month

Sep 23, 2022 12:00 PM

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion understands the richness of diversity on our campus and the need to recognize the impact different cultures make at FSU.  Opening ourselves and our minds up to gaining a better understanding as to who our classmates and our colleagues truly are, is what makes the college experience one to remember.  During this month, we acknowledge Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, which is celebrated September 15th through October 15th. What originally began as a week, the entire 31 days now acknowledges the influences and contributions the Hispanic/Latinx community has made to our country and how this culture's impact has made America and its people more colorful and inspirational. Below, ODEI has gathered responses from 3 members of the Hispanic/Latinx community who are here on FSU's campus.

For more information about activities happening on campus this month with FSU's Cultural Event Series, please click here. And remember, all student tickets are free!

 

  • Chris Escobar - FSU Alumni (Admissions Counselor)          

What does Hispanic heritage month mean to you, and how do you celebrate?
For me, Hispanic Heritage Month means independence of our nations; that’s what I was taught at young age. Growing up, I would always go to a festival in DC, but unfortunately being in Frostburg I don’t get to attend those as often anymore, but that’s what my family and I used to do during this month. 

How do you identify within your culture?
I identify as Latino, my mother is from Guatemala and my father is from El Salvador. 

How does, if at all, being Latinx/Hispanic impact your lifestyle in Frostburg? 
The way it impacts me was positively, of course! It gave me something to talk about and how I introduce myself as well. It helped me make new friends, of course new colleagues, and it opened quite a few doors for me of course. I was also a first-generation student. 

How do you think we can recognize Latinx culture better on campus? 
Everyone is different in their own individual ways and everyone celebrates their independence in their own ways, and there’s not a clear cut answer for that. I was the Vice President of LASO my senior year and was also the promoting chair for social media. 

Do you have any advice for Latinx students here at FSU?
Sometimes it can be hard being away from home, especially since I grew up close to family and always having them together of course.  It’s okay to experience things, leap forward. Try something that you’re not comfortable doing at least once every month or twice a week.  I know it seems like it’s a lonely path but it gets better. 

 

  • Burt Isaacs - FSU Staff (Resident Hall Director) 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you and how do you celebrate?
This month is an opportunity for me to look back, as a Latino, and celebrate all the awesome contributions that people of Latin/Hispanic heritage have made to the world. I am most proud of the progress that has been made in Cuban medical sciences despite political pressures and embargoes from neighboring countries. It's a reminder that I have the blood of some of the most resilient people under the sun and that wherever there is a will there is a way. I celebrate year-round and do that by sharing the stories passed down to me from my grandparents and relatives abroad. 

How do you identify within your culture?
I am Cuban/Dominican.

How does, if at all, being Latinx/Hispanic impact your lifestyle in Frostburg? 
It has put me in a position to be able to connect with families more intimately. One example of this was meeting a Cuban family during move-in. They were white presenting but I recognized some Cuban features and the last name so I asked and they were thrilled. The parents were born in Cuba (as my mother and grandmother were) and we talked about the country while their student got situated with move-in. Because of that shared history we were able to connect. Additionally, I have become their first stop/go-to person whenever they have questions. Their daughter actually came to my office and said "my parents told me to come to you because you're Cuban and will look out for me...". She said that before asking for help with re-arranging her room. Knowing that there is someone like them at the institution sometimes serves as a point of comfort for many families leaving their loved one in our care. 

How do you think we can recognize Latinx culture better on campus? 
I think that having more cultural meals on campus would be awesome. Latino culture has so much to offer and is rich in both history and wisdom. Those bits of wisdom are proof that we are a resilient group of people with huge hearts. Each Latin country has its own dishes, customs, and beliefs. Seeing some education done around those things would also be a great way to recognize Latino culture on campus.  

Do you have any advice for Latinx students here at FSU?
SIEMPRE PA'LANTE MI JENTE! 

 

  • Angie Gonzalez - FSU Student (President of LASO)

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you and how do you celebrate?
What Hispanic heritage month means for me is to take think about the independence my country deserves, the freedom to make decisions as a country without the dominance of another. The way people celebrate is by playing our traditional music and eating a variety of food. My family and I don’t have anything special that we do, we have always taken pride in our country. 

How do you identify within your culture? 
I identify with my culture by following a couple of traditions and learning the Spanish language because of the language barrier I have with family and wanting to communicate with them.  

How does, if at all, being Latinx/Hispanic impact your lifestyle in Frostburg?  
When I arrived, it was a big culture shock. I was used to the markets that had snacks that I grew up with, and even sweet bread that we have had at home. I was used to my parents cooking, my dad making traditional Guatemalan meals every other week, my mom making sweet treats for an after dinner snack. My lifestyle completely changed, I used to go to school with many kids that were from the same background and ethnicity, but when I arrived, every course I took, I was the only Latin student in the class.  

How do you think we can recognize Latinx culture better on campus?  
By offering help. Holding information nights for those whose parents only speak and read Spanish. Provide help for financial aid because just like me, many students are first-generation and have little to no idea on how to apply to schools and fill out information for FAFSA. Continuing to support organizations that help the Latinx community. To recognize is to understand them and learn about their culture/ background, to be aware of comments being shared. 

Do you have any advice for Latinx students here at FSU? 
Don’t listen to what people have to say about you or your identity as a Latinx student, you never have to fit into anyone's stereotype or assumption. Befriend those who respect and understand you but find time for your personal journey of finding yourself. You will always have a community that will identify with you, but you’ll have to push yourself to find them. 

Any extra thoughts? 
One thing I like to tell people when I correct or inform them of something with the Latinx culture, is that I will educate on mistakes in hopes that they learn and do better for next time. We should not be here to hurt or spread hatred, but to teach and form a stronger community. That is what all students should be able to do on campus, and have the support provided for them.

Hispanic Heritage Month at FSU The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion understands the richness of diversity on our campus and the need to recognize the impact different cultures make at FSU. Opening ourselves and… Go to this Sway