The sounds of laughter and festive music could be heard down the halls of the Wilson Hall basement as more than 40 students gathered Tuesday for a meeting and in celebration of Semana Latina, or Latino Week.
Members of Culturas de las Razas Unidas, or CRU, a Latino student organization, came together for their first general body meeting and a chance to welcome new students to the group.
“CRU is the political voice for the Latino community on campus and to serve the students at large,” said Juan Flores, coordinator for CRU from the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions.
“CRU offers anything from educational programs to support for Latino students. Our mission is to promote Chicano and Latino culture at MSU while celebrating diversity.”
CRU kicked off Semana Latina on Monday with a game night, and will continue the festivities throughout the week. Christina Moreno, family community services senior and member of the CRU Executive Board, encouraged all students to participate in the events, regardless of their ethnicity.
“I want people to be aware of the Latino community even if they don’t embrace it,” Moreno said. “I want people to have a better understanding of what the Latino culture means and its influence in our country.”
The events this week include the Luchas de Independencia, or Dance for Independence, tonight at the Union, the Latino Welcome Reception on Thursday night in Agriculture Hall, and the Latino Greek Showcase on Friday night in Hubbard Hall.
“We have this week every year, not only to let freshmen and other students know we’re out here, but to celebrate the Latino culture as a community,” Moreno said.
As well as striving to increase awareness of issues facing Latinos at MSU, CRU is meant to increase the quality of student life, academically, socially and culturally, Flores said.
Social relations and policy senior Brittiany Harrison, who is starting her second year with CRU, joined the group to feel like part of a family on campus.
“Once I saw what CRU was about, advocating for the Latino population on campus, I wanted to be a part of that,” Harrison said. “They’re just trying to promote the quality of life for students on campus, helping them be not just another statistic.”
For a full list of activities, visit www.msu-cru.com.
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