‘Latino Palooza’ celebrates night of diversity and culture


The board of Spanish and Latin American Student Association enjoys Latino Palooza. (from left) Kelsey Leyva, senior; Natalia Roman, sophomore; Victor Benton, junior; Stephanie Rogers, sophomore; Erin Lafargue, sophomore.

Jamie Brian

The Latino Networking Caucus and Spanish and Latino Student Association celebrated Hispanic Heritage month Friday with Latino Palooza in Eastway.

“This is a great way to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month. We’ve got several things going on across campus throughout September to get students involved,” said Richard Roldan, chair of LNC.

Hispanic Heritage Month, starting Sept. 15 and ending Oct. 15, is a national event that began in 1968 to celebrate the independence of Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.  

The LNC is a Kent State University professional group, comprised of students, faculty and staff who have an affiliation or interest in Latino culture, that serves as a common resource and collaborative advocate for the campus administration, according to LNC’s website.

S.A.L.S.A. and LNC held their own celebration to kick off the month, complete with a live band to play through the night. This is the first year that S.A.L.S.A. found the traditional Latin band Al Son Del Caribe.

“The band is definitely an improvement from last year,” said Stephanie Rogers, a Spanish translation major. “It gets people’s attention and is more expressive.”

S.A.L.S.A. not only aims to serve Hispanics at the university but also to engage interaction between people of all ethnicities who have an interest in Latin culture, according to junior Spanish translation major and president of S.A.L.S.A. Victor Benton.

“We want to show people how open we are about inclusion and diversity  and make students feel comfortable being here regardless of their background,” Benton said.

Natalia Roman, sophomore organizational communication major and vice president of S.A.L.S.A. said as a leader, she enjoys integrating students into Kent State’s small, Latin community.

Contact Jamie Brian at [email protected].