On Tuesday, the newly formed Latine Student Alliance at the University of Colorado Boulder held a Noche Latina event in collaboration with the university’s Multicultural Greek Council.
As Latin American History month comes to a close on Oct. 15, LSA President Crisol Guzman-Corral discussed the empowerment of Latine students on campus and the importance of education on the independence days and histories of various Latin American nations.
“We want every day to be a celebration of your culture and history,” said Guzman-Corral. “As an organization, we focus on creating a sense of community.”
Guzman-Corral also focused on creating a space to acknowledge the difficult histories that many Latin American nations have faced.
“Our countries were destroyed in many different aspects, but we are here now making a difference and reclaiming our space,” Guzman-Corral said.
LSA focuses on inclusivity within the Latine community and aims to welcome students of all Latin American origins.
“We had all our flags up [at the student involvement fair] and usually what would attract a lot of students is, ‘oh I see my flag,’” Guzman-Corral said.
Students officially founded LSA in August of this year after months of advocacy work towards getting established as a registered student organization on campus.
Co-founder Yahir Coronado said there is a need for more representation of Latine students on campus, as both he and Guzman-Corral said that they didn’t feel like there was a place for them on campus prior to the formation of LSA.
“I felt like I was not welcome here,” said Coronado. “I still remember the day I submitted my application to [Colorado State University] as a transfer student just because I heard CSU diversity rates were a bit higher.”
CU Boulder currently enrolls a student population that is 65.2% white, according to the university’s overall enrollment profile for fall 2023.
“I never expected to come to CU, just because it is a predominately white institution.” said Luis Licon, a member of the Multicultural Greek Council.
Licon said the CU Boulder Latine population is slowly forming a community, but that he feels the university can do more to facilitate that, such as, Coronado said, by providing students with more well-known spaces for representation.
“We do have a Center for Inclusion and Social Change, but I wouldn’t really say it’s advertised,” said Coronado. “It publicly needs to be known.”
LSA plans to create a more permanent organization on campus, as a prior LSA chapter at CU Boulder existed and, according to Coronado, “died down.”
“A huge goal of mine is to establish a center here for us,” Coronado said. “That is what’s going to allow that multi generational legacy to stay.”
In an official statement posted to Instagram announcing the creation of LSA at CU Boulder, LSA said “this is only the commencement of a huge advancement toward creating a more diverse and inclusive community on our campus.”
“Your [Latine] community is here,” Coronado said.
Contact staff writer Greta Kerkhoff at Greta.Kerkhoff@colorado.edu.
Contact staff writer Michaela de Oliveira Olsen at email@example.com