Celebrating Diversity

Celebrating Diversity through Hispanic Heritage

Monmouth’s annual Hispanic Heritage Month’s opening ceremonies took place on in Anacon Hall, in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Wednesday, Sept. 25. 

The opening ceremony consisted of traditional music and dancing, that began outside the student center on teh patio, opening remarks, keynote speaker, and refreshments for students and faculty. 

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Monmouth University is hosting a series of events to celebrate Hispanic heritage. 

Activities this month have included “Lift Mentoring Circle: Imposter Syndrome and Missing Home”; “Employees of Color Networking Event”; “Intercultural Trivia Tuesdays: Latinx History Trivia”; and a “Hispanic Heritage Month Display” in the library that will be available for viewing until mid-October.

Judith Remos, Assistant to the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, who is part of the Committee that organized the event, spoke about the event’s benefits to students. “[Hispanic heritage month] helps the students, especially students of culture, feel like they belong and are included at the institution,” she said.

Monmouth holds the Hispanic heritage event annually, with a variety of guest speakers and artists, depending on their availability or who is working, Remos explained. 

Pedro Trivella, an Adjunct Professor of World Language, who teaches Spanish, said, “We’re trying to get the students to learn how to navigate in a diverse and global society. So, this is a natural way to get people to open up through music and celebration; it brings culture forward in an organic and fun way. This event is an opportunity for all students to learn.”

In addition to teaching at Monmouth Trivella is a schoolteacher in a neighboring district, who encourages his students and family members to embrace and celebrate Hispanic heritage with him every day, not just to appreciate the culture for a month every year. 

Casey Sanders, a computer technician and information management, said, “This is a long-time coming for cultural diversity. Monmouth needs to have more events like this but not monthly, yearly.

Sanders think that   Monmouth is starting to be encouraging of diversity. “There’s a door that’s opening” that Monmouth is embracing, he explained.

Remos echoed Sanders sentiment. “Slowly but surely, Monmouth is embracing diversity,” she said.

Romina Genorala, a first-year graduate student in the student affairs and college counseling program, spoke about the atmosphere of the event.

“This event is just full of so much positive energy and students are able to celebrate where they come from along with peers. There are also students here who aren’t Hispanic, and it’s great for them as well to be able to see different cultures and be exposed to the atmosphere here,” she said.

 Genorala explained that Hispanic heritage is a great way to strengthen cultural initiatives on Monmouth’s campus and universities across the country. 

The event was coordinated by the Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee and sponsored by the Center for Global Education; Educational Opportunity Fund Program; Intercultural Center; Lambda Theta Alpha; Lambda Theta Phi; Student Life; Office of the Provost; Office of Equity and Diversity; Human Resources; Guggenheim Library; Latin American Student Organization (LASO); Chi Upsilon Sigma; MU Center for the Arts; and, Student Activities Board (SAB).

The next event will be “Real Talk Tho: Examing Machismo” held in Edison 119 on Sept. 30 at 5 p.m.

The series of events for Hispanic heritage will continue throughout October and into early November.

PHOTO TAKEN by Megan Ruggles