Written by: Katherine Braunstein
It’s time to kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month! Here at Montclair State University, the Latin American Students Organization is a class one organization which celebrates Latin Pride Month from September 19th – October 24th (nationally Sept. 15-Oct.15). This is a very special and patriotic time where every country in Latin America is celebrated with focus on their cultures.
On Tuesday, September 20th , LASO began the festivities with their Flag Raising Ceremony and their BBQ (La Barbacoa). The flag raising ceremony started with a march from College Hall where every flag in Latin America was represented being held by LASO members, and other MSU students and guests. Holding the flags up high, people all over campus stopped and looked as their colors decorated the air.
When asking the significance of marching with the flags, Vice President of LASO, Jade Grullon was excited to answer:
“Carrying these flags shows everyone on campus but also throughout the country that we are here, and we are proud. We want everyone to see that we stand in unity with one another, but also that we invite others to learn about Latin Pride Month and what it represents. These flags really are here to show that we are here, and we are representing all Latin Americans.”
Some bystanders even joined the march, which ended up at the Student Center Flagpole. With all of the flags standing in a semi-circle, many gathered around to listen to the President of Montclair State University, Susan Cole, give an address on the incredible job LASO has done on campus ever since it began. She emphasized how them making their presence known on campus brings many people of other cultures and backgrounds to learn about their culture, and experience the sense of unity that LASO brings to the MSU campus. The flag of LASO was then raised as the growing crowd cheered.
According to LASO President Madelyne Montes, the entire idea of Latin Pride Month is exactly this: “To spread a sense of unity and pride. We want everyone to see how unified we are, and that this is our time to celebrate”.
The event ended with a delicious barbecue known as “La Barbacoa” in the Blanton Quad. LASO provided mouth-watering chicken and vegetables for everyone on campus who stopped by the grill. After this event, it was clear that LASO made yet another incredible impact on the student body here at Montclair State.