Latinx student meet and greet returns; Office of Intercultural Engagement honors National Hispanic Heritage Month

The+Office+of+Intercultural+Engagement+is+located+on+the+second+floor+of+the+Student+Center

The Office of Intercultural Engagement is located on the second floor of the Student Center

Jamille Whitlow, Managing Editor

The Office of Intercultural Engagement (OIE), formerly known as the Multicultural Student Center, honors National Hispanic Month in-person. 

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept.15 to Oct.15 to honor the independence of five countries declared on Sept. 15, 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. With the exception of Mexico and Chile, their independence day falls on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18. 

This yearly celebration originally started in 1968 where President Lyndon B.Johnson issued it as Hispanic Heritage Week. Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan issued Hispanic Heritage Month, a 30 day period, on Aug. 17, 1988. 

For the first time since 2019, the Latinx student meet and greet was held in-person on Sept.16, 2021. The event had a huge turnout according to Fahad Nassam, junior biology student and OIE student Ambassador. 

“There were a lot of people and it was very interesting to meet new people,”Nassam said. “It was great to see that our campus has diversity; for the amount of Hispanics I saw yesterday, I would not normally see them on-campus.”  

OIE student ambassadors are required to help brainstorm programs and services to help support campus diversity. 

During the event, ambassadors introduced themselves to participants and welcomed students to use OIE’s office as a second home. 

“ I got there and everyone was warm and welcoming, they had refreshments and food,” said Carmen Arellano, a junior animal science student. “They had some really nice music playing, a mixture of Reggaeton and a mix of Hispanic and Latino music.” 

In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, OIE highlighted Estamos Unidos, a Latin Culture Student Student Alliance. This organization celebrates Latinx/Heritage culture and provides a space for the Hispanic/Latinx student population. 

Moving to North Carolina, she has come to recognize the importance of celebrating her heritage, especially since she is away from her roots and family. 

“I identify as Latina, so it is [Hispanic Heritage Month] very important to me, especially since I grew up in Arizona,” Arellano said. “ I was surrounded by a lot of Hispanic people, I grew up being involved in a lot of traditional aspects from my region of Mexico which is Jalisco.” 

For more information about OIE’s events, students can visit 1891 Connect and their Twitter and Instagram page.