Know your clubs: LSA

Latino Student Alliance members Maria Vanegas, Lexa, Jose Galan, Kelly Hernandez, Miracle Walls, Lexi Collins at the Hola Festival located in Knoxville, Tennessee

The Latino Student Alliance is one of the many clubs on the Maryville College campus that expresses diversity. The Latino Student Alliance, also known as LSA, meets every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Multicultural room on the third floor of Bartlett Hall.

The Latino Student Alliance focuses on informing the community of the Latino people and culture. The culture is not only to be explained to other Latinos, but to all ethnicities on the impact of the Latino Heritage. The club uses various ways to share the culture with the Maryville College community.

The events that are hosted by the Latino Student Alliance can be found within the LSA GroupMe, MC Today, flyers, posters, and on a board located outside the Proffitt Dining Room in Pearson Dining Hall on Maryville College.

The Latino Student Alliance was founded in 2014 by a Maryville College alumnus named Jose Perez. The population of Maryville had grown, and he felt that the population should have a voice in the community. Before Perez and other Latinos created the Latino Student Alliance they were a part of the Black Student Alliance, BSA. All colored ethnicities were represented within the Black Student Alliance until they found their own voice.

Events that are coming soon are, the Day of the Dead Dance, and a movie night. The exact dates to these events have not been determined yet, but these two events will be happening during the month of November.

The Day of the Dead Dance is hosted by LSA and will be assisted by the Global Citizenship Organization, GCO. The event is a byproduct of the Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos, which is celebrated within Mexican culture.

Día de los Muertos is a holiday that brings together family and friends to remember and pray for the ones that they have lost to help them continue on in the afterlife journey.

Instead of doing a multiday event of remembrance, the Latino Student Alliance has created a dance with Latino music, dancing, food, a place to take pictures, and lively decorations to commemorate the celebration. This will be the fifth annual Day of the Dead of Dance and we don’t expect the tradition to die out anytime soon.

As for the movie night, it is usually a movie that expresses some type of Latino culture. For instance, last year “Coco” was shown. The movie is about a child experiencing the meaning of Día de los Muertos.

“Lunch and learns” are events held in the Proffitt Dining Room that allow students to eat and engage and learn at the same time. LSA has done a few “Lunch and Learn” events to inform and entertain on the Latino culture.

Last year, LSA got together with students to spend a day making tamales in the Sutton Science Center on the college campus. This event allowed students to learn something about and eat food from a different culture.

The Latino Student Alliance board members consist of senior Alan Miramontes as president, junior Maria Vanegas as vice president, junior Miracle Walls as secretary, sophomore Alejandra Osorio ) as treasurer, and sophomore Nancy Gonzales as social media coordinator. This is Miramontes’ third year as an officer of the Latino Student Alliance. He started off as a secretary his sophomore year and then was promoted to president his junior year.

As for Vanegas and Wall’s, this is their second year as board members. The board contain different ages, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and by having all these different perspectives, it allows them to bring their ideas together for a common goal.

“We are trying very hard to be known on campus since they are a young organization, and the club is not only for Latino people,” said Walls.

“LSA is a safe space for students of any background or legal status to share their feelings and meet people with similar backgrounds,” stated Osorio.

To learn more about LSA, contact Miracle Walls.

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