September 08, 2010

SIUC to celebrate Latino Heritage Month

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- “Vive La Vida Latina/Living the Latin Life” is the theme of the 2010 Latino Heritage Month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The University’s celebration runs Sept. 11 to Oct. 23.

“Latino Heritage Month is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the diversity of cultures that fall under the label ‘Latino’ and about their past, present and continuing contributions to and impact on both SIUC and the world beyond. Latino Heritage Month enhances our awareness of both the similarities and differences that make us unique as individuals and unite us as human beings,” said Carl Ervin, coordinator of Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services.

“The Latino Heritage month of activities is a time for celebration, education and cultural awareness. SIUC is an institution of higher learning, which is basically the core of why we have Latino Heritage Month and many other observances like it -- higher learning. There are events planned throughout the month that share knowledge, dispel myths, break stereotypes and quench curiosity. Come absorb yourself in a culture of mouth-watering food, rhythm, talent, and most importantly, a culture with a voice. Everyone on campus should stop and listen,” said Zenetta Coleman, associate director of the University Honors Program.

Latino Heritage Month began as National Hispanic Heritage Week, first observed when Congress authorized the late President Lyndon B. Johnson to do so in September 1968. Now, the national Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. It celebrates the Hispanic population of the country, estimated at 48.4 million in mid-2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Latino Heritage Month is not only the time for Hispanics to share their cultures and traditions with others on campus and in the community, but it is also the time to strengthen their roots and discover more about their people. Ideally, LHM would foster appreciation for diversity and understanding among peoples,” said Rosalba Correa, Hispanic Student Council adviser.

Among the highlights of this year’s celebration is a presentation by Iris Y. Martinez, the first Latina elected to the Illinois State Senate, on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium. Martinez, D-Chicago, serves on a number of committees, including pensions and investment, redistricting, education, energy and deficit reduction.

She’s president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators and a member of President Barrack Obama’s Change Commission. The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, the Department of Workforce Education and Development and Omega Delta Phi Fraternity are sponsoring the presentation.

In addition, Cindy Buys, associate professor of law and director of International Law Programs at SIUC, will discuss “The Constitutionality of the Arizona Immigration Law” on Sept. 13.

Buys has extensive experience in public and private law practice in Washington, D.C., coupled with her experience teaching international law, international business transactions, constitutional law, immigration law and other international law courses. She is the faculty adviser to the International Law Society, director of the Immigration Detention Project and the summer study abroad program in Ireland. She was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2008.

The Vive la Vida Latina! Rally Sept. 15 in the lower level of Grinnell Hall provides an overview of Latino organizations, activities and community resources. Carbondale City Council member Corene McDaniel and Marcus King, Undergraduate Student Government president, will be at the gathering.

Other can’t-miss activities include Festival Latino Sept. 17 with free food, entertainment and a performance by “salsa ambassador” Julio Barrenzuela, and a performance by Capoeira St. Louis on Sept. 25. It’s a free performance highlighting the Afro-Brazilian dance/martial art form. You can also learn to make tamales and piñatas, enjoy salsa dancing, hear Roberto Barrios, anthropology assistant professor, discussing ethnic identities in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and much more during Latino Heritage Month 2010.

The schedule for the SIUC celebration includes:

Sept. 11

• 14th annual Welcome Picnic, 1 p.m., campus boat dock. Join members of Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity and Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority for free hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks. Take a swing at breaking a piñata too.

Sept. 13

• The Constitutionality of the Arizona Immigration Law, 7 p.m., Student Center, Ohio Room. Cindy Buys, SIUC associate professor of law, director of the International Law Programs and immediate past chair of the International and Immigration Law Section of the Illinois State Bar Association, will discuss Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

Sept. 15

• Vive la Vida Latina! Rally, 7-9 p.m., lower level of Grinnell Hall. The Hispanic Student Council, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Black Togetherness Organization and the Residence Hall Association are sponsoring this gathering with Corene McDaniel, Carbondale city council member, and Marcus King, SIUC Undergraduate Student Government president, as special guests. It’s a chance to learn about Latino student organizations, campus and community resources and coming events.

Sept. 17

• Festival Latino, noon-3 p.m., Free Forum Area north of McAndrew Stadium. This annual festival offers the chance to experience Latino culture with free food, entertainment and fun activities. Julio Barrenzueala, also known as “The Salsa Ambassador,” will perform. The Hispanic Student Council, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Latin American Student Association are sponsors.

Sept. 21

• Homemade tamales, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Old Main Restaurant, second floor of Student Center. Enjoy a $7.29 buffet featuring handmade tamales and other Latin cuisine. For details or reservations, call 618/453-1130.

Sept. 23

• Free bowling and billiards, 9-11 p.m., Student Center Bowling and Billiards. Enjoy free games with members of the Latino community. The Hispanic Student Council and Delta Phi Mu sorority are sponsors.

Sept. 24

• Noche de Gala, 8 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom D. Free salsa dancing with live music. More than 600 people attended this popular event in 2009 and organizers anticipate a bigger turnout this year. The doors open at 7 p.m. and attire is semi-formal. Student Center’s Special Programs and Center Events and Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity are sponsors.

Sept. 25

• Capoeira St. Louis, 3-4:30 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom B. The high-energy Capoeira St. Louis will thrill the audience with their Afro-Brazilian art form incorporating martial arts, acrobatics, music and dance. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art form that traces its roots to African slaves and their 1500’s quest for freedom. It is a family friendly event, free and open to the public.

Mondays from Sept. 27 to Oct. 11

• Make Your Own Piñata workshop, 6-8 p.m. each Monday with other flexible hours as needed for finishing, Student Center Craft Shop. Learn how to make your own paper mache piñata, filled with your choice of goodies. Groups or individuals can make the decorative items in traditional or modern styles and the cost is $15 per piñata.

Sept. 28

• Live in Harmony: U.S. Navy, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Student Center Activity Rooms C and D, third floor. The Hispanic Student Council is hosting this career exploration event by the U.S. Navy highlighting the numerous and varied opportunities for people with various talents, abilities and majors in the Navy. The evening includes refreshments.

Sept. 29

• “The Mexican Americans,” 7 p.m., Student Center, Mackinaw Room. This film celebrates the hard work, determination, strength and faith of “la familia Mexicana” and the impact within the United States. Orlando Cardenas, a founding member of the University’s Omega Delta Phi fraternity, will lead the discussion following the film.

Sept. 30

• Tamales Class, 5-7 p.m., Craft Shop, lower level of the Student Center. Learn to make authentic tamales in a family style group fashion. At the end, they will steam and sample the tamales. The cost is $10. Call the Craft Shop at 618/453-3636 for more information.

Oct. 1

• Soccer Scrimmages, 7 p.m., Jean Stehr Field (behind Pulliam Hall and along Mill Street). Join the Omega Delta Phi fraternity and the SIUC Men’s Soccer Club for a few soccer games and helpful defensive, passing and shooting tips. Refreshments available.

Oct. 2

• Live in Prosperity: Highway Clean-Up, 10 a.m.-noon, meeting at the intersection of Giant City Road and Grand Avenue. This is community service event includes cleaning up local roadways.

Oct. 5

• Sweets and Treats: HSC Bake Sale, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Faner Hall breezeway. The Hispanic Student Council’s bake sale raises funds to support its programming this year.

• Live for the Future: Preparing for Graduate and Professional School, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Student Center, Activity Rooms C and D. Career Services will be on hand with all of the information you want about pursuing graduate and professional educational opportunities. There will be light refreshments.

Oct. 6

• Iris Y. Martinez, D-Chicago, Illinois state senator from the 20th District, 7 p.m., Student Center Auditorium. Known as a “mover and shaker” in the political world, Martinez will offer an inside perspective on today’s issues. The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, the Department of Workforce Education and Development and Omega Delta Phi fraternity are event sponsors.

Oct. 7 and Oct. 14

• Western Style Tooled Leather Belt Workshop, 6-8 p.m., Craft Shop, Student Center lower level. Learn to tool your own leather belt and add decorations like your name or initials or traditional western designs. The cost is $20 for SIUC students and $25 for everyone else and it includes the leather and use of tools. Buckle purchases cost extra. Class size must be 5-8 people.

Oct. 8

• Rice and Spice, 6 p.m., Gaia House Interfaith Center, 913 S. Illinois Ave. The Latin American Student Association presents this international slow food dinner festival including food, dance and fun.

Oct. 9

• Homecoming Latino Celebration/Tailgate, 11:30 a.m., SIUC tailgate area. Enjoy a football tailgate with current and alumni members and friends of the SIUC Latino community.

Oct. 10

• Friends and Neighbors, 1:30 p.m., St. Francis Xavier Church, 303 Poplar St. Sigma Lambda Gamma sponsors this time of reflection, breaking bread and sharing.

Oct. 12

• BTO Edutainment: What does it mean to be Latino/Hispanic? 7 p.m., Grinnell Hall, lower level. Join an interactive discussion about what it means to be Latino/Hispanic in today’s multicultural society.

Oct. 13

• Study Jam, 8 p.m., Student Center, Big Muddy Room, lower level. The Hispanic Student Council offers helpful strategies and ideas for getting the most from your study time. Bring your study materials to this event promoting academic achievement. Enjoy free refreshments.

Oct. 14

• Criollos, Creoles and the Mobile Taquerias: Negotiating Affect and Identity in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, by Roberto Barrios, anthropology department assistant professor, 7 p.m., Ohio Room, Student Center. Many ethnic groups have shaped and changed the city of New Orleans in the past 200 years, sometimes creating racial differences by creating specific spaces and places for different identities thereby forming distinct personalities among different groups, something of particular interest to anthropologists. Rebuilding efforts since Hurricane Katrina have led to an increase in the Latino population in the region and the Barrios presentation will highlight the way these “new New Orleanians” are influencing their adopted region.

Oct. 19

• Study Skills Workshop, 7 p.m., Student Center, Illinois Room. Get proven ideas for improving your study habits, retaining information and focusing on academics from a trained counselor from the Student Health Center.

Oct. 21

• Free Bowling and Billiards, 9-11 p.m., Student Center’s Bowling and Billiards. Spend the evening in games with the women of Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority.

Oct. 23

• 10th annual Unity Dinner, 7 p.m., Newman Center, 715 S. Washington St. A celebration of all cultures, promoting unity among all, the evening includes speakers, entertainment and free food from different cultures courtesy of Delta Phi Mu sorority members. Participants should wear professional attire.

Along with the many special Latino Heritage Month activities at SIUC, you can enjoy correlating programming on WSIU TV. Check it out at

“I believe Latino Heritage Month is an enlightening way for students on campus as well as the Carbondale community to explore and learn about the Latin culture. I also think it encourages and promotes teamwork among SIUC’s various student organizations for the planning and execution of such an exciting festivity. The celebration of Latino heritage is an invaluable contribution to the diverse community of Southern Illinois University,” said Tai Gibson, an accounting graduate student from Bowling Green, Ky.

The sponsors of SIUC’s Latino Heritage Month include: Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services, Hispanic Student Council, Delta Phi Mu sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority, Omega Delta Phi fraternity, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Latin American Student Association, Black Togetherness Organization, Student Center Craft Shop, Student Center Special Programs and Center Events, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Department of Workforce Education and Development, Career Services, U.S. Navy, Residence Hall Association, SIUC Men’s Soccer Club and Student Health Center-Wellness.

“I believe it’s important for not only Hispanics but for all cultures and races to attend the Latino Heritage Month events because you get to learn and enjoy new experiences. Also, it is a way for Hispanics to be seen on campus. Since we make up a small percentage of the enrollment it’s important to show our roots here at SIUC,” said Jeanette Garcia, a sophomore psychology major from Anna.

The SIUC Latino Heritage Month is one of the many cultural and other programs from Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services. Other initiatives include Native American Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American Heritage Month and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month. The goal is promoting cultural awareness and unity.

“I believe Latino Heritage Month is important because Latino or not, we should be aware of different cultures and learn about how we all come together today based on the past. It’s a month of celebration and pride,” said Talea Collins, a sophomore psychology major from Carbondale.