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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Latin-Hispanic Alliance creates a safe space for students

Izzy Smith

The University of North Alabama’s recently-formed Latin-Hispanic Alliance is an organization that seeks to connect students from all Latin American cultures. 

Alondra Vargas, the founder and president of the LHA, started the organization last academic year, when she was a freshman. 

“As I was getting used to being in college, I realized that there wasn’t really a place for me or any clubs for me to join,” said Vargas. “I felt like everything was very black-and-white. Time and time again, people were asking me, ‘Are you Mexican?’ It’s not that I mind, but I just want people to know my culture and my roots. I got with some other Hispanics who were feeling the same way, and I got with an advisor on how to start the group. It’s supposed to give other Hispanics and people of Latin American descent a place to feel included that isn’t grouped into one specific culture or ethnicity. It’s instead just about having a place for everybody.”

Along with Vargas, Osiris Aguilar serves as vice president, and Sonja Briceno serves as secretary. The organization is still looking for a treasurer.

The group has meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. At the moment, the organization does not have any funding, so all events are kept as low-cost as possible until allocations become available. 

“The other night we had a movie night, and we watched ‘McFarland, USA,’” Vargas said. “It was still Hispanic Heritage Month, and we wanted to do at least one event during Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s a movie about Hispanics and track. It was a good movie, and we had a good turn-out.”

Once the LHA receives allocations from the university, Vargas hopes to be able to host more events, such as game nights, where students can win prizes, or movie nights with snacks. She would also like to try to host events related to specific Latin American cultures. 

“Obviously, I’m one person, and I don’t know about everybody’s cultures, but that’s why we made the group,” Vargas said. “If somebody has a specific event going on from where they’re from, and they want to celebrate that, then we by all means will try to figure out what we can do to represent them in an event that they may find culturally significant.”

Through these events, the LHA hopes to build connections between individuals who come from different backgrounds but may share similar experiences.

“I think it’s very easy to just assume things about other cultures,” Vargas said. “It’s important for us to let other people know and educate them that there’s more than just Mexico. There’s more than just Puerto Rico. There are so many other cultures and so many things that are significant to other people. We want everyone to learn, and be educated, and be able to embrace that. We want to have fun activities to get involved on campus somehow. It’s for all Hispanics and Latinos. We want people to know that they have a safe space with us. There’s plenty of people that are in the club who share similar experiences to ones I’ve had and that other people have had. It feels good to have that community.”

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About the Contributors
Kelley Peters
Kelley Peters, Managing Editor
Kelley is a junior from Tupelo, Miss. who is majoring in English literature with a minor in applied linguistics. She is currently Managing Editor for The Flor-Ala. She has loved reading for as long as she can remember, which developed her love of storytelling and the English language. Her career goal is to become an English professor at a university. She was previously a volunteer writer in the Fall of 2021, became a Staff Writer in January of 2022 and moved to being News Editor in January of 2023.
Izzy Smith
Izzy Smith, Lead Graphic Designer
Izzy Smith is a freshman from Tupelo, Miss. She is pursuing a B.F.A. in Digital Media and a minor in HCI/UX Design. She volunteered with the Flor-Ala in the Fall semester of 2023. She is somewhat excited to "make mediocre art" for the newspaper as the lead graphic designer.

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