ALAS Hosts Its Annual Bienvenidos Event
Written by Camberyn Kelley on September 3, 2021
NORMAL—Tamales, flags and community filled Illinois State University’s Multicultural Center. The Association of Latinx American Students hosted their first event of the year.
The name of the annual ALAS event is called Bienvenidos which signifies the introduction of ALAS and this year included presenting the Multicultural Center.
The night started with the executive board of ALAS introducing themselves and letting students get to know each other. Students were given questions and were able to discuss certain topics with students they have not met. Vice President Daisy Rodriguez explains that she is excited to hear feedback from students that made connections at the event.
“We want them to be able to connect to someone on the e-board, someone they saw in class and didn’t get the chance to speak—or too shy to speak to. We want to create that safe space inside of ALAS for them,” said Rodriguez.
Students were also served dinner which included tamales which are a staple food for Mexican and Latin cultures says Rodriguez. “It is basically a mix of dough, and we have chicken in there and some sauce and it is baked.”
Students also got to eat some snacks and try a traditional drink called horchata.
Throughout the kickoff faculty advisor of ALAS Nishly Lopez acknowledged the disappearance of graduate student Jelani Day and explained the importance of standing with the Black community during this time.
“We got prayer, we got processing and we got planning. We want to get together, and we want to give the family words of comfort. We want to process this and what it means to be in a community of color, and we want to plan,” said Lopez.
Rodriguez emphasizes that ALAS is a place for all students on campus, but she hopes that it grabs the attention of students from the Latinx community.
“We really do try to make that connection with our Latino students so that they can feel that they have a home and a safe place to come hangout and come chat—come let their feelings and emotions go,” said Rodriguez.
Students who are interested in the ALAS can visit the Multicultural Center for more information.