The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Latinx panel highlights hispanic empowerment

“I really feel like the Chicano programs really did a perfect job of kind of encompassing what I think Latinx Heritage Month should be about, the advancement of our community.”
Leah De La Torre
The Latinx Community Panel was hosted on Oct. 3, 2023, by NMSU’s Chicano Programs.

New Mexico State University is a melting pot of cultures, making it a vibrant place and community. Every year, Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated on campus, highlighting the richness of the culture that resides there. The Latinx community, comprising of students, faculty, and staff, is vital to the university’s environment and culture. A panel discussion was held to delve into the lives of individuals within this vivacious community. 

Rio Lopez, director of Chicano Programs, hosted this Latinx Community Zoom panel on Oct. 3, 2023, to promote advocacy, share experience, and create visibility. 

One key theme that emerged was the importance of Latinx Heritage Month. Student Melissa Espinoza recognized it as a time for cultural celebration and visibility.  

“I do have beef with it being a month,” Espinoza said. “Because you have to fit in so many different cultures, and there’s so much richness [to these cultures], and we’re all trying to fit it into one month.” 

This acknowledgment goes beyond just celebration; it also raises awareness about the challenges faced by the community and provides a platform for Latinx students and allies to support and empower one another. 

The panelists praised the leadership roles undertaken by Latinx students and student organizations like the Latin American Council (LAC). President Karla Robles Guzman is at the forefront of advocating for more intersectional practices beyond the typical representations of Latinx culture. Her commitment to social justice encompasses colorism, anti-blackness, colonialism, and homophobia.  

Guzman expressed her thoughts on the Chicano programs during Latinx Heritage Month. 

“I really feel like the Chicano programs really did a perfect job of kind of encompassing what I think Latinx Heritage Month should be about, the advancement of our community,” Guzman said. 

Latinx faculty and staff, including professor Dae Romero, are on the front lines regarding inclusive education. However, challenges do persist. Romero highlighted the importance of faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds to create a supportive environment where all Latinx students can excel. The need for representation also extends to the curriculum, as students want to see their lived experiences reflected in their study materials. 

Romero additionally expressed concerns about representation and inclusivity within the academic environment. 

“One of my biggest things or philosophies when it comes down to education is really just being as transparent as I possibly can be,” Romero said. “And I know that it can cause resistance within students just because of how I identify.” 

Furthermore, the Latinx community has been organizing events, such as celebrations and other outreach programs, to encourage student participation. During this period, the Latinx and Chicano Programs hosted events and activities to educate, promote awareness, and foster a sense of unity among students, staff, and community members.  

Mauricio Muñoz, vice president of the Latin American Council, highlighted the recent success of a Columbia-themed event. 

“We just recently had our Columbia [event] last week exactly from today,” Muñoz said. “It was a great turnout, and that is what I love. Having all these new students know about these programs, organizations, and events.” 

In addition to the organized events, Espinoza discussed a unique project meant to amplify voices in the Latinx community. The project involves creating a zine—a self-published collection of fiction, essays, or poetry, to provide a platform for marginalized voices to share their experiences and concerns.  

Espinoza expressed the importance of supporting students in creative expression and making a space for marginalized voices within the university community. 

“I think we believe as students we don’t have any impact, or we shouldn’t have any say in larger institutional issues,” Espinoza stated. “But I’m hoping that this theme can get the conversation started.” 

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About the Contributors
Ahmad Fairley
Ahmad Fairley, Staff Writer
Ahmad Fairley is entering his first semester with The Round Up as a staff writer. He is currently a senior majoring in Journalism & Media Studies with a minor in Strategic Communication. Ahmad discovered his passion for writing when he was thirteen and has been writing short stories since then. One of his goals is to write a novel. Ahmad loves and appreciates stories and is excited to express that love through his work. Other hobbies he enjoys are drawing, reading, listening to music, and being active outside. Ahmad hopes to contribute significantly to The Round Up and to grow as a writer for his future endeavors. 
Leah De La Torre
Leah De La Torre, Multimedia Specialist
Leah De La Torre is entering her second year at The Round Up as a multimedia specialist. She will be majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. De La Torre has been making videos with her family and friends since she was in elementary school, and her love for the camera continued through high school as she became a member of the video and broadcast team. There, not only did she learn more about photography and video making but gained an interest in journalism. Her other interests include playing the cello, sewing, and listening to her favorite music artists like Her’s and The Strokes. Working for The Round Up, she hopes to continue doing what she loves, being behind the camera and contributing to making and telling stories about her community.

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