Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and 10-Year Anniversary
There's a lot to celebrate on campus when it comes to our Hispanic and Latin@ students and community this fall.
Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 - October 15
Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States is celebrated to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic and Latin@ Americans, and Ferris State Unviersity loves to be a part of the celebration.
The Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center (CLS) has had a huge influence on the campus community over the last decade, and they are gearing up for one of their biggest Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations yet.
"We partner with a number of departments across campus. The Office of Multicultural Student Services, mainly leads the Heritage month planning, but we aid that process," says Kaylee Moreno-Burke, executive director and co-founder of CLS.
They have a number of events, both fun and informational, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Hispanic Heritage Month Events
Our students are going to be telling their stories, discussing what it means to be a Hispanic, Latin@ student in the U.S., in higher education, a first-generation student, an immigrant, etc.
We are turning the UC into a Salsa nightclub from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.! We will feature classes on how to dance salsa, merengue, bachata, and cumbia. After the classes, the UC will turn it into a nightclub so we can dance the night away.
The event will serve as a scholarship fundraiser to endow a scholarship. The formal ticketed event is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. After, we will turn one of the ballrooms into a nightclub again and dance the night away, which will be open to all of campus.
CLS Celebrates 10 Years
For a decade now, the Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center has become a space, resource, and home for students and members of the Hispanic and Latin@ community. Before the CLS was founded in 2012, there wasn't a place for students to feel included and get some of the help and guidance they needed.
"I still remember when I was a student my freshman year at Ferris, I was the only student of color in my dorm," says Moreno-Burke, who helped create the CLS. "We didn't have First-Gen initiatives. We didn't have half the things that we do as a university now. So, to see us now, when ten years ago we didn't have a Hispanic student organization, we didn't have any Latin@ Greek letter organizations. We didn't have Spanish language club. We didn't have a center dedicated to Latin@ student success."
Now, after many years of growth, success, events, and lives impacted, the Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center has become a staple on Ferris' campus.
"To see us shift from, 'should they be here' and being less than 100 of us enrolled at the university, to be now over 600 of us, to being 6% of our campus population, to be talking to doctorates that have gone along this pathway, it makes me excited to see that," said Moreno-Burke.
The Hispanic and Latin@ communities are one of the fasting growing populations on campus, and the CLS wants to be there for any and all students who wish to continue their education at Ferris. They aim to be a resource and place of belonging that Hispanic and Latin@ students need.
"We're going to continue to grow and evolve, and we're going to continue to transform this campus," says Moreno-Burke.