Noche Bohemia, Night of Entertainment
At La Casa Bolivar, the University’s Spanish Language House, members, friends and community members came together for a night of entertainment. Talents such as poetry reading, dancing, and singing were all showcased under the Spanish House roof. The success of La Noche sheds light on the possibility of more Noches to come.
Advocacy Brings Speakers
November 3rd, 2011
Rebecca Jaramillo who works for the Democratic Party of Virginia and the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia spoke for LSA Advocacy on Latino politics in Virginia and the importance of the upcoming State Elections. She has lobbied for the DREAM Act and against anti-immigrant legislation in the Virginia state Senate. Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds was also in attendance and encouraged the registration of Latinos in elections.
PMP Award Lunch
November 1st, 2011
The first big Peer Mentoring Program event for the Hispanic/Latino community during the fall semester was the Field Day in Nameless field on September 2nd. It was designed to bring the various teams (aka familias) together to meet each other, share a good time and participate in a friendly competition for points.
The winning familia of the Field Day earned a lunch sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students! The award lunch is meant to introduce the mentors and mentees of the winning familia to an interesting and knowledgeable faculty member relevant to their academic interest.
Manuel Portocarrero Neyra, Gabriela Hurtado, Kevin Uruena, Sophia Ahl, and Adrian Medina got a free lunch at the Virginian with Marketing professor Natasha Foutz from the McIntire School of Commerce and Program Coordinator for Multicultural Student Services, Julie Roa. Congratulations!
Pumpkin Carving Fiesta!
October 24, 2011
PMP offered a session of pumpkin carving to all its mentors and mentees. Not only was there a great turnout, but there was also a lot of friendly competition to see who was the best crafter. Congratulations to Karla Castro and Lisa Batres’ familia who won first place with their Cav Man Pumpkin! In second was Laura Pittaluga and Kelvin Grullon’s familia with their rendition of the Rotunda. Two familias came in third place, Jennifer Bond and Fernando Mercado-Violand’s familia along withGloribel Bonilla and Angela DeSimone’s familia.
October 21, 2011
The Southwood community along with the Southwood Mentoring Program held their annual picnic at the community center. Performances from Fuego and the Southwood step teams entertained the children, family members, and mentors. The mentors and mentees enjoyed a day without homework on the blacktop.
October 19th, 2011
PMP held a Jeopardy for its members, with questions latin-american related. Participants were divided into their individual houses and all four houses competed for the grand prize, a house dinner with a faculty member of their choice! Congratulations to Maxi’s House who came in first, with Erika’s House in a close second and Eduardo’s House in third.
Hispanic Heritage Month Dies Down
The Latino Student Alliance celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month this year with various events that incorporated the student body as well as the Charlottesville Community. Events varied from promoting cultural awareness to dinner with professors.
Some of the highlights of the month were the Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off Carnival. Each of the organizations under the umbrella of LSA had a carnival booth where games from all over Latin America were played. There was pan dulce from a local panaderia, dance performances, and a inflatable obstacle course provided my UPC. This event showcased the diversity within the Latino community at UVa and was a wonderful start to the month!
Our Still DREAMing event highlighted the Advocacy committee of LSA. The purpose of this event was to bring to light the human rights issue of unequal access to education. We accomplished this by having a discussion with those in attendance about the impact of the DREAM Act on individuals. There were ten co-sponsors of this event from various groups around Grounds and more than 100 people attended this event.
This Hispanic Heritage Month LSA was able to accomplish its goal of reaching out to groups across Grounds and within the Charlottesville community. We upheld our mission of advocating for Latinos and their rights here at UVa and on a global scale. We are grateful to all of our participating constituent organizations and all the individuals who worked so hard to make this month successful. We are looking forward to Latino Week in the Spring semester!
Flavors Comes Out Hot!
October 6th, 2011
As a finale to a great Hispanic Heritage Month, LSA put on their annual Flavors Showcase. Fuego along with ReMix, the HooRaas, SIU and several other performing groups, danced their way into the hearts of the large audience. The show, a cultural celebration, was a great way to both lure the audience into becoming a greater part of LSA and celebrate the end of a great month. Watch the trailer!
Still DREAMing Nothing to Sleep On
October 3, 2011
LSA Advocacy, along with Amnesty International, the Minority Rights Coalition and several other organizations put on a Still DREAMing Panel at Nau Hall. In hopes of spreading awareness and encouraging membership, Nelson Lopéz, Chair of LSA Advocacy, brought in Tim Freilich, Director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center, an expert and advocate for the DREAM Act. Tim spoke of the legal troubles undocumented immigrants currently face in Virginia along with the courage it takes for them to pull together a movement under such circumstances. Curious students could approach Tim at the banquet after the event.
Conexiones Family Feud Fun!
September 29th, 2011
LSA hosted a Family Feud Game in the Commonwealth Room! The event was a chance for professors, administrators and students to mingle and build ties. Questions such as “Name a Hispanic dessert” and “Name a UVa tradition” turned the game competitive despite there being no prize. No one likes to lose at Family Feud after all!
Zumba Means Business
September 21, 2011
Fuego put on free zumba classes at the O’hill Forum as part of Hispanic Heritage Month! The class had a high attendance of both new “zumba-ers” and returning “zumba-ers.”
Dorm Storm Incites First-Years!
September 19, 2011
Fuego along with ReMix and the Academical Village People stormed their way into first-year dorms, causing a lot of excitement and curiosity. The Dorm Storm, part of Hispanic Heritage Month, was both a means of distraction for studious students as well as a means of recruitment for the participating groups.
Conversations Gets People Talking!
September 19, 2011
Conversations lured in several different people from all different backgrounds to sit down and listen to each other. The lunch held in the Commonwealth room asked students questions that they would not normally be comfortable asking, such as “What is your opinion on Affirmative Action?” and “What is your opinion on the DREAM Act?”
Hispanic Heritage Month Kicks-Off Right!
September 16, 2011
Friday, Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated with much enthusiasm. LSA and UPC co-sponsored a carnival at the Amphitheater. The carnival included an inflatable course, music, cultural food, and several games common in Latin America, including piñatas! Continue celebrating by attending one of the several events going on this month. HHM Calendar
Latino Greeks Answer Wondering Minds
September 14, 2011
The Latino Greeks at UVa held a panel on Wednesday as the first sponsored event for Hispanic Heritage Month for all interested parties. LUL, LTA, LTP, and SLU were all represented and gave insight into what it means to be a Latino greek.
LSA Advocates for the Living Wage Campaign
Septemeber 5, 2011
Several members of the Latino Student Alliance attended the Living Wage Campaign interest meeting on Monday night, showing their support for the movement. Last semester, LSA strengthened their relationship with Living Wage who then reciprocated by campaigning for the DREAM Act. This year, LSA hopes to maintain this strong alliance.
PMP Field Day of Fun
September 2, 2011
Remember when Field Day was the best day of the year in elementary school? Well this year mentors, mentees and executive heads of the PMP program got to act like 9-year-olds again – running through obstacle courses, fumbling around at three-legged races, and tragically breaking eggs falling off their spoons. A day of friendly-competition allowed the PMP members to get to know one another and ended in a trophy ceremony.
Congratulations to Manuel Neyra and Gabriela Hurtado’s Familia!
SHPE Attracts New Members
August 31, 2011
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) held their first general body meeting Wednesday, drawing in first years through their yearly raffle for a $200 gift certificate to go towards books. Both new and old members enjoyed themselves over pizza and a “speed-dating” icebreaker. As SHPE explained what goes on behind the scenes of the best chapter in the district, it was obvious that retention of members was not a problem for this CIO. Good luck this year SHPE!
Kick-Off Shows Great Turnout
August 23, 2011
The LSA/PMP Kick-Off was a mini-Activities Fair for Latino/Hispanic students looking to get involved . All students; incoming, transfer and returning, mingled with one another over pizza and posters. One of the biggest turnouts to date, this year promises to be a great year for all CIO’s involved.
Activities Fair Brings in New Students
August 22, 2011
The Activities Fair held at the South Lawn on Monday allowed all CIO’s to actively endorse their club, ranging from cultural to academic organizations. Several students, both incoming and returning, showed a lively interest in becoming more involved with organizations such as LSA, TBLA, and SHPE. Good luck this year clubs!
Around the World in 80 Poems
As part of International Education Week, UVa professor Fernando Opere read from his book of poems “Around the World in 80 Poems.” The book was originally written in Spanish and the poems were translated into English. Professor Opere and professor Gies read the poems and their translations, thus providing the audience with a rich, bilingual night of poetry.
LSA wrapped up Hispanic Heritage month with its annual multi-ethnic talent show, Flavors of Latin America. Students from all corners of the university filled Ern Commons to the brim to watch the spectacle. Performers included Fuego Dance Crew, Grupo Candela (from James Madison University), Ektaal Acepella Group,Salsa Club, LUL, LTA, and several individual student performances.
The Importance of the Latino Vote
Fiorella Medina, in conjunction with LSA and the Office of the Dean of Students, invited Max Sevilla, a representative from the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, to come speak at the Newcomb Theater. Sevilla gave a thoughtful and enlightening presentation on the influential role played by the Hispanic/Latino vote in previous elections, and why it will continue to be important in this year’s presidential election. After the event, students were given the opportunity to register to vote if they hadn’t already.
Latinos in Education
Students filled up the Newcomb Gallery Room as they came to listen to Professor Amanda Kibler, Gloria Rockhold and Russell Carlock speak of the obstacles Latinos face in the realm of higher education. LUL and LTA worked together to coordinate this Q&A event, in which students were able to network with important figures in Charlottesville and learn about the status of minorities in modern society. Yummy catering from Casa Del Sol was served, and voter registration forms were provided for interested students after the event.
SHPE Research Symposium
The Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers hosted an exhibition of a wide array of research conducted by UVa undergrads. Made up of primarily Engineering students, the researchers highlighted the practical applications and large significance of research that is carried out in our very own school. Students spent the evening discussion research projects and indulging themselves in food provided by Wings Over Charlottesville.
Conexiones, hosted by LSA, offered students and faculty an opportunity to discuss various issues pertinent to diverse communities like UVa. Participants moved around the room, visiting individual stations that focused discussion on different topics like ethnic identity, language, and minority representation on grounds. Students filled the Kaleidoscope room to the brim, exchanging their different perspectives and enjoying traditional Mexican food from ‘El Jaripeo’ Mexican restaurant.
Sylvia Chong, a professor in the English department, hosted a screening of “Los Condenados” a Puerto Rican psychological thriller that focused on the hardships of coping with guilt. It was the first time that the film had ever been viewed by an audience in the U.S. Chong also invited the film’s director, Roberto Busó-García.
Students and professors came together in Casa Bolivar to enjoy an evening of great food and fun conversation. As the house rules dictate, all attendees had to strictly speak in only Spanish, adding an academic touch to the lively atmosphere. Students came home with a better understanding of Hispanic food, refined skills in the Spanish language, and full stomachs.
“Which Way Home”
LSA hosted a screening in of the powerful documentary “Which Way Home”, which followed the lives of several young Latin American Children in their journey to sneak into the United States. Students gathered in Dell 103 to view the film and absorb its deep social and political messages. After the film, attendees stuck around to discuss its significance.
The Hispanic/Latino Peer Mentoring Program worked together with “Towards a Better Latin America” to host Copa Wahoo, a free soccer tournament open to the entire student body. Male and female students alike gathered in teams of 5 to compete at Nameless field in the Sunday afternoon tournament. At the end of the day, it the team “Los Internacionales” came out on top and won the grand prize, a free dinner at Basil.
LUL and AphiA teamed up to host a fantastic show dedicated to exhibiting diverse talent on grounds. Expressions took place at the O’hill Forum and featured acoustic musical talent, spoken-word performers, and even a magician. The show concluded with an open-mic segment, when members of the audience had the opportunity to show-off talents of their own.
7 Things to know about Hispanic/Latino Culture
Students from all corners of the University gathered at Ern Commons to listen to Dr. Pablo J. Davis give an insightful lecture on the key aspects of Latino culture. Davis enlightened the audience with in-depth explanations and cross-cultural comparisons of concepts like ‘family’, ‘work’, ‘time’, ‘respect’, and more.
Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off
LSA introduced National Hispanic Heritage month with the HHM Kick-Off Carnival at the ampitheater. Every umbrella organization under LSA contirbuted with their own personal booth. Guests enjoyed the evening with free food, dance performances, salsa lessons, an inflatable obstacle course, and games of all kinds.
After having received secret gifts throughout the past few days, the PMP mentees were finally introduced to their respective mentors at nameless field. Mentors and mentees bonded for the first time over food, drinks, sports, and great weather.
The First Mixer
For this school year, the 1st years and transfer students got a chance to meet all the mentors of Peer Mentoring Program (PMP) in musical chairs style as all the mentees moved between tables and got to know the mentors individually through questions set by the executive board. The students then were able to select their top choices for mentors. The “Big Reveal” is set for Friday, September 7th where the mentors will reveal themselves to the mentees that they will be paired up with for the ‘12-’13 school year.
Latinos for Obama
La Despedida is an annual goodbye ceremony for all incoming and outgoing executive members of LSA and all its CIOs. This year it took place in Garden I, a cozy, closed-off garden where around 20 members were able to mix and mingle with one another. Each incoming position was able to gain advice from the outgoing exec as well as form strong relationships for next year.
Caribbean Awareness Week
The purpose of Caribbean Awareness Week was to bring awareness to Caribbean culture by breaking down negative stereotypes. It provided SOCA members, Caribbean and non-Caribbean students and faculty to fellowship with one another as a means of sharing individual culture and heritage. Overall the week was very successful. Below are the events.
Caribbean Awareness Week Kick-Off
Monday April 16th, 2012 @ 7:30 PM
Learn about SOCA, the week’s events, common phrases from the
Caribbean while enjoying light refreshments.
Rep. Your Flag/Spirit Day Competition
Tuesday April 17th, 2012 from 11 AM-2 PM
Tabling on the Lawn
Wear your flag and your colors and the most spirited participant will
win a prize at the end of the week. Come to the lawn to sign-up and get
your picture taken.
Wednesday April 18th, 2012 @ 7:30 PM
Newcomb Hall Gallery
Come out to hear what some of U.Va.’s faculty and your peers have to
say about their research in the Caribbean, their Caribbean heritage,
and what it means to be Caribbean at the University.
Thursday April 19, 2012
Taboo, cards, refreshments, and a guaranteed good time!!
Friday April 20th, 2012 @ 5 PM
Lorna Sundberg Education International Center
Enjoy the staple foods of the Caribbean, good company and good
conversation! There will be a cooking demonstration of a main Caribbean
dish. We encourage you to bring a food item that represents
your heritage as well!
PMP Extended Familia Dinner
April 17th, 2012
The Extended Familia Dinner is a yearly event where current mentors, mentees and incoming mentors can mix and mingle. It is a transitional dinner for everyone to share their experiences, advice and opinions on the mentoring program. This year around 50 people attended the dinner, which was catered by Wayside. The incoming PMP executive board crowned the mentors of the year, who were nominated by their mentees. PMP King was Kelvin Grullon, 3rd year in the Architecture School and PMP Queen was Vanessa Villalobos, 2nd year in the College of Arts and Science. (Pictured is Vanessa’s mentee Ana Morais.) Along with the crowning, Geril Garcia was recognized for her excellent mentorship along with her great contribution to the program while serving on the executive board for 2011-2012. Overall, the dinner was well attended and well enjoyed!
PMP Mentor Training
March 31st, 2012
The Peer Mentoring Program held its mentor training Saturday, March 31st. Students ranging in academic years, majors and interested were prepared for their roles as mentors to incoming students for the year ‘12-’13. A total of 60 students were accepted into the program, with an incoming accepted class of 500+
March 30th, 2012
The Latino Student Alliance along with all its umbrella organizations held a table at First-Year Council and Second-Year Council’s International Night on Friday, March 30th. The event was held at the amphitheater where several cultural groups performed and offered desserts.
March 19th – 23rd, 2012
The week of March 19th to the 23rd was Latino Student Alliance Advocacy’s DREAM Week. Currently, the University does not accept undocumented student and we believe this to be a policy marred with injustice. Many of these DREAMers came to the United States at a young age and had no control of the circumstances surrounding their legal statues. Continued inaction leaves these undocumented students in the periphery and with little to no options for progressing in the States. The DREAM Act provides conditional permanent residency to undocumented immigrants as they complete either two years of university studies or serve two years in the military. One of LSA Advocacy’s missions is to spread awareness of the DREAM Act, in hopes of having UVA change its policy concerning the admittance of undocumented students. LSA Advocacy holds DREAM week in an effort to spread awareness of the DREAM Act and the University’s current policy toward undocumented students.
On Monday, LSA Advocacy along with its allies held a silent march through Grounds. There were members from the Progressive Action Network (including the Living Wage Campaign) marching alongside members of LSA. The march ended in front of the Rotunda with a discussion on the future of the DREAM Act campaign at the University. Then on Tuesday, LSA Advocacy held a Latin-themed Family Feud night as a fundraiser for DREAM Week. The week culminated with Friday’s event as LSA Advocacy was proud to present the hip-hop duo Rebel Diaz to the University. The South Bronx-based duo gave a workshop on the intersections of Hip-Hop, activism, immigration, and other human rights. LSA Advocacy looks forward to continuing its efforts in the future to raise awareness of the DREAM Week and the University’s policies toward undocumented students, in hopes of bringing about policy change at UVA.
March 16th – 17th, 2012
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers hosted its annual Juntos Podemos, a program for high school students that introduces them to the engineering program at the University of Virginia. With the help of sponsors like Capital One and other companies, SHPE was able to host 70 Latino students for the two-day event. Participants were welcomed by Alan Molina president of SHPE, Carolina Vallas Director of the Center for Diversity in Engineering, and a representative of Capital One, followed by a several presentations of student groups.
PMP So You Think You Can Dance?
February 25th, 2012
Both mentors and mentees came out on Saturday, February 25th to the O’hill Forum for an evening of dancing! Led by professional dance instructor, Edwin Roa of Zabor Dance, students learned moves for several dances including merengue and samba. After a couple of fun instructive lessons, the students got together in their respective “houses” to compete for bragging rights to Best Dancing House. Eduardo Contreras’ house came in first place, while Maria Ximena Arguello’s house was in second and Geril Garcia’s house in third. Congratulations to the winners!
February 15th, 2012
On Wednesday Februrary 15, 2012 PMP held their annual Scholar’s Dinner to recognize first year Hispanic/ Latino students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to their academic career. After enjoying a delicious meal in the Garden Room, students where able to gain valuable advice from our guest speakers: Natalia Mercado-Violan, and Dean of Admission, Ryan Hargraves. A special thanks to all those who attended, especially professors and administrators who made the event a great success!
LSA General Body Meeting with Guest Speaker Amanda Fernandez
February 6th, 2012
As part of the Minority Rights Coalition’s Diversity in Education Series the Latino Student Alliance presented special guest speaker, Amanda Fernandez, the Vice-President of Diversity & Inclusion for Teach For America. She gave a presentation on the hardships minorities, especially Latinos, face in education and answered questions about TFA.
If interested in TFA and education reform visit their website:
Roots of Hope: Avenida Cuba
February 3rd, 2012
Roots of Hope or Raices de Esperanza made a presentation on Friday February 3rd on the empowerment of youth in Cuba and the importance of keeping up relations between Cuban youth both in the United States and on the island. During the presentation, attendees video-chatted with artists in Cuba and were at liberty to ask any questions, whether cultural or political. The event was a success with several students and a couple of professors attending and really becoming engaged in the discussion. Afterwards, a rap was performed by Doble Filo and refreshments were served.
Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness Screening
January 29th, 2012
The Latino Student Alliance hosted Patrice O’Neill, producer of the documentary Not in Our Town, that spotlights the story of a town coming together to take action after anti-immigrant violence leads to the attack and death of an Ecuadorian immigrant in Patchogue, New York in 2008. The town comes together over a period of two years to heal and protect its residents as well as put an end to the violence. The screening was followed by a discussion with Executive Producer Patrice O’Neill, where several members of the community voiced their opinions, their experiences and ways to become more informed and involved.
Excelencia in Education
January 30th, 2012
The president of Excelencia in Education, Sarita Brown, spoke at the Harrison Auditorium Monday, January 30th on the inequality of higher education opportunities for Latinos as well as other minorities. Presented by the Office of Diversity & Equity and the Latino Student Alliance, Mrs. Brown spoke as part of the on-going Martin Luther King Jr Celebrations.
To watch Sarita Brown’s lecture go here.
PMP Information Session
Wednesday, January 25th 2012
The Peer Mentoring Program held an Information Session for anyone interested in becoming more involved in the program. Applications for the Executive Board were due January 30th and several applicants attended the session to get a better understanding of the program and the board’s duties.