Southern Nazarene University’s Hispanic/Latinx Student Society hosted their first event of the semester, Amigos Unidos, on Thursday, September 15th. The event took place on Bracken Lawn at 7pm and featured a showing of McFarland, USA in addition to food and fellowship.
The Hispanic/Latinx Student Society, also known as HLSS, is an organization that celebrates Hispanic culture and serves to provide information and awareness for students on campus unfamiliar with said culture. HLSS was founded as an organization here at SNU in 2019.
Amigos Unidos is a Spanish phrase that’s English translation means “Friends United.” This event contained good food, good music, gathering of friends, alongside the showing of the movie McFarland, USA. Hosted on the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, their overall goal is not only to celebrate and acknowledge Hispanic culture, but to create an atmosphere of welcomeness to all cultures and to celebrate each other.
McFarland, USA is a film based on the true story of a cross country coach based out of a small California high school. He took an unlikely team of Latino immigrants and changed them into a distance-running dynasty, finishing with their team winning the 1987 CIF Cross Country Titles.
“We decided to watch McFarland USA because it talks about how the runners came up from being pickers at fields, alongside waking up early with their families working interminably to earn a living wage, and still being student athletes,” said Laisha De Léon, Sophomore President of HLSS. “We have a lot of athletes here at SNU so we just decided that this was a great movie for awareness.”
The HLSS organization provided freshly made tacos and two flavors of yummy horchatas, while also providing a friendly environment with cultural music. SNU is home to many thriving Hispanic students and athletes. Our campus and organization strives to support our Hispanic community by creating an ecosystem that supports the improvement of social and educational opportunities for Hispanic students here at SNU.
“My favorite thing about this event is seeing everybody talking, eating & having fun and seeing everybody enjoying each others company,” said De Léon. “Whether they’re watching the movie or not, it’s really important that everyone’s here and learning our culture with what we’re eating and the things that we have going on.”
Amigos Unidos captures the overall importance of what HLSS is doing here at SNU. The Hispanic Latinx Student Society strategically focuses on creating social and instructional opportunities that open doors for undergraduate students at SNU, alongside fostering fellowship, and understanding among all individuals.
“I very much enjoyed the atmosphere of this event,” said freshman Cherish West. “The food was fantastic, and I am pleased by the friendliness of this. It introduced me to a new culture.”
President De Léon’s primarily focus is on bringing unity unto everyone, regardless of their walk of life. “If you look around, not everybody here is [solely] Hispanic, white, Asian, or black. Everybody is welcome here,” she said. “We just are developing this unity, which is the overall aim and goal of throwing these events for the school!”
HLSS plans to continue to host more events, gather students, and celebrate everybody’s culture to simply just continue to celebrate each other.
Photos by Jim Smith