Reporter Grace Taylor reflects on what she learned from LASO members during Hispanic Heritage Month
BY: GRACE TAYLOR
Sofia Villegas spent a month celebrating her Latinx heritage and teaching other upstate students as well as part of LASO, Latino American Student Organization, a Hispanic organization on campus.
LASO, with the help of many staff and students on campus, was able to celebrate who they are with everyone during Hispanic Heritage Month.
“Visibility is so important, and it was great to see Latinx students show up for our events and enjoy them. The support we got from everyone was heartwarming, especially seeing the number of people who showed up to our Latinx prom and the monetary support we got from El Centro and the Vice Chancellor,” said Villegas, Secretary of LASO.
From September 15 to October 15 Hispanic heritage month is culturally celebrated throughout the world. USC Upstate hosted these events to embrace its Hispanic and Latin students for who they are.
Each week they had different events that students could come out and celebrate. Paint The Rock, Reggaeton Cycling with the Spartan Rec Center, Latino Prom, Aprende A Bailar! Afro-Latino Paint Session, and more.
I attended two events that LASO created. What I learned from attending these events was that they are indeed a family. A family that supports and celebrates one another for who they are.
To me, culture is who you are through your ancestors or anyone who made an impact on your life. Culture is life lessons taught to help one another succeed.
For President of LASO Andreas Villegas, his culture of being Hispanic means putting others first.
“For me, my Hispanic culture represents who I am. My childhood and the way I were raised. I was taught to always put family first. I was taught that where two people eat, three people can eat. I was taught never to be selfish and always help people however you can,” President of LASO Andreas Villegas said. “To be humble and always remember where you came from. Always receive people with a smile because we never know what they might be going through. That is what my culture means to me.”
Coming Together as Family
It was a blessing to attend a few of these events and witness such amazing bonds with these students had amongst each other who never knew each other.
They welcomed students as family, not as strangers, which felt wonderful and fun. This made the experience of celebrating with them so much more impactful. They truly represented what their culture is and will forever be.