Latinx Heritage Month

By Lizett Castillo

Latinx Heritage Month celebrated from mid-September to mid-October highlighted College of Southern Nevada’s Hispanic Serving Institution designation, its Hispanic President and its Latinx community.

Throughout the monthlong celebration many virtual events were held by Latino Alliance, which includes faculty, staff and students who work together to foster diversity, equity and inclusion. One of the events was a discussion with U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Latina ever elected to the Senate, along with CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza, the first Latino ever selected as president of CSN.

Latino Alliance Committee Chair Brandon Chavez said, “Having a Latino president brings a perspective of a person of color and his experiences. A Latino president is a great role model for young men and women of color. If they see someone that looks like them that has a Spanish last name, who was an immigrant and can speak their language, they may be more motivated to follow their goals in life so that maybe one day they too can be in a position of leadership. It shows students of color that it is possible.”

According to the 2019 report by Internal Research at CSN, 36% of the student population is Hispanic. That is followed by 28% White, 10.6% Asian, 10.2% African American and 15% other races or ethnicities. The Hispanic Serving Institution designation was afforded years ago due to the high percentage of Hispanic student population served at the College.

Cristian Anguina, adviser for the Latino Student Alliance Club and Latinx Outreach Ambassador, was excited to honor this celebration despite the limits COVID-19 presented.

“CSN has a large population of Latinx students,” Anguina said. “Not celebrating Latinx Heritage Month would be crazy since a huge population of our students identify as Latinx, Latino or Hispanic.” He mentioned Latinx is the new more inclusive term, than Hispanic, that is gender neutral and more commonly used today.

Elsa Hernandez, CSN student who is a Latina, said she is proud to represent two nations: Mexico and America. Hernandez said, “Knowing that my parents made it here and were able to provide us a better life is what makes her most proud.”

Many students and faculty at CSN are descendants of family members who come from different countries in Latin America. For Chavez, Anguina and Hernandez that is Mexico but that is only scratching the surface. CSN celebrates and honors Latinx Heritage Month every year not only because it is an HSI but because it knows the Latin culture, like every other beautiful culture, deserves to be celebrated and honored.

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