Mississippi State University Students Celebrating Culture
National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15th-October 15th
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – National Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15th.
And Mississippi State University’s Latino Student Association is celebrating all month.
The group is working to bring more awareness to the diverse backgrounds it represents.
Hispanics currently make up nearly 3% of Mississippi State University’s student population.
And students say having a cultural-based organization helps give them a sense of connection when they are away from family.
College brings its own set of challenges. But they can be compounded when the campus crowd may not look like you.
Jonathan Calzadilla says that Mississippi State University’s Latino Student Association Center is helping students navigate college life while embracing their culture.
“Here when it comes to a small portion of us, I kind of learn how to change or tweak the way I say things or kind of camouflage into this certain group, and with the LSA, it just says, yeah you don’t have to be ashamed you can express yourself,” Calzadilla said.
George Santamaria says he grew up in a predominately Hispanic community in Forest, Mississippi, and moving to MSU came with a little culture shock.
“I feel like most ethnicities are most comfortable with people that celebrate similar things. As for me, I would say the importance of having that community with my own culture is what drove me to really join Latino Student Association and try to look for different people to be around so I can be comfortable and make this campus my home,” Santamaria said.
He also sees that the LSA organization helps them with career networking. He says the first step to finding a career path is finding yourself.
“If you are trying to go into something with your career. You can’t just go into feeling uncomfortable being who you are. And LSA really makes you feel comfortable with getting to know your culture and then being able to use that to go down a career path,” Santamaria said.
The Latino Student Association welcomes all cultural groups to learn and grow a greater appreciation of the Hispanic Culture.
“We want to display that our culture matters and cultures shows that we all have different forms of thinking, communications and want to show how we believe and who we are as a human being, ” Santamaria said.
To find all the upcoming events the Latino Student Association is having check out the Cowbell Connect.