Hispanic Heritage

Amauri Williams (left), a senior fashion merchandising major, samples food from the Hispanic Heritage Event on the 2nd floor of the Kent State Student Center. Sept. 25, 2019

This year’s Spanish and Latinx Heritage Month kickoff included a raffle for a Chipotle gift card, a taco bar and a surprise visit from 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

The event hosted by the Flash Activities Board was held on the second floor of the Student Center Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Attendees were invited to make sugar skull bracelets, participate in Hispanic trivia and make their own personalized buttons. 

Those present could get their photos printed at the photo box which stood beside a backdrop complete with flags of Hispanic countries and goofy hats.

The photo box is one of two in the whole university. To use the photo box, you simply take a picture using your cell phone and use the hashtag #HispanicHeritagemonth and the photo box will print a snapshot of the fun you had. 

The event was briefly delayed due to 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visiting campus. Soon after Beto was done speaking, the taco bar line quickly filled. 

200 guests were expected, but this number didn’t show, which could have been due to Beto’s presence on campus. 

“I come from the culture,” Jalissa Brown, a sophomore psychology major, said. Brown added she was there for the food and to learn more about Hispanic heritage.

“I am Hispanic and I come to these events to be in the culture,” freshman psychology major Andrea Diaz said.

The button-making was a hit and many people wore theirs right after making them. Attendees danced, sang and conversed so much you might think the virgin margaritas were anything but.

Some students came to the event to see their fellow Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA) members. 

Quenell Ayers, a freshman journalism major and SALSA member, said, “I came to support SALSA and I’m also interested in joining Alpha Psi Lambda who have their own booth here.” 

Later in the evening, the raffle was pulled and the lucky winner went home with a $25 gift card to Chipotle. 

Just as the event was winding down, Beto came up the stairs to the second floor of the Student Center where he surprised attendees with an impromptu group photo. 

Everyone within earshot ran to Beto and squeezed in for the photo. Beto took a few one-on-one photos with attendees before exiting the student center as he thanked Kent State.

The next Hispanic heritage event will be a Film Friday dedicated to the celebration of heritage month on Friday, Sept. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center in room 024.

Contact Terry Lee III at tlee32@kent.edu.

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