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.