Latinx students hold event


Photo courtesy of Gaby Eyzaguirre Musicians from one of Michigan’s most popular Latin bands, Orquesta Tradición, play for attendees at a dance workshop during a Latino Heritage celebration sponsored by NMU’s Latino Student Union.

Sophie Hillmeyer

To celebrate Latino Heritage Month, the Latino Student Union (LSU) held an event with food, live music from Orquesta Tradición, musicians from Puerto Rico now living in Grand Rapids and dancing to celebrate on Oct. 26. The “Baile” brought in more than 200 participants.

“The Baile was a creative way to connect with prospective students, current students, faculty, staff and community members,” Jessica Cruz, chief diversity and inclusion officer said in an email. “A great, fun way to build and maintain a strong sense of belonging and community.”

LSU organized this event in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Attendees were invited to a food and dance workshop after a panel discussion titled “Aim North: Equality, Pathways and Success” with members of LSU.

Since the response to the Baile was so positive, LSU is planning a Latino dance workshop series this winter, LSU advisor María Arenillas said.

LSU is an inclusive group of Hispanic and Latinx students who host events that highlight their culture on campus to create a supportive community, LSU Vice-President Marissa Bekkering, sophomore communications and Spanish major said. She added that students who don’t identify as Hispanic or Latinx are invited to join
as well.

“Everybody is welcome. [Involvement] teaches you a lot about life and what to be thankful for,” Bekkering said. “We’re a big group of friends, it’s really awesome.”

Bekkering added that LSU also creates a community to help the transition for Hispanic and Latinx students coming to a more isolated place like NMU.

The LSU meets at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Jamrich room 2319.