SALSA on the rise at Kent State

SALSA+members+take+a+group+photo+at+the+annual+Flag+Day+meeting%2C+representing+the+various+countries+of+Latin+America%C2%A0

Courtesy of Miranda Sepulveda

SALSA members take a group photo at the annual Flag Day meeting, representing the various countries of Latin America 

Jesse Khalil Reporter

Kent State’s Spanish and Latino Student Association is welcoming new members to spread the word about its mission. 

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, SALSA board members tried to keep community and culture alive while meeting strictly online. Trading weekly face-to-face meetings for ones online caused a hindrance in group attendance and participation, said SALSA President, Miranda Sepulveda. 

“It is harder to find motivation,” Sepulveda said. “Even though no one was going out, we are still sitting in front of a computer screen, and it drains you.” 

After being fully virtual, last fall the group was able to start hosting meetings in person again and recruiting new members. 

SALSA welcomes students who do not identify as Latino but want to learn more about the culture. Other members include those who were raised around the Ohio area by parents who moved to the United States from Spanish countries and international students new to the Kent area. 

“I really love seeing new faces in SALSA. We talk about wanting to expand our group,” said SALSA member and junior criminology and justice studies major, Nina Lozada. “Seeing new people joining our meetings just shows that we are helping these people get connected to the Latin community.” 

The organization hosts educational Spanish culture meetings in the Student Multicultural Center every other Thursday from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

“Latin American and European Spanish are very different. Each country is so different,” Sepulveda said. “Focusing on the culture usually makes people interested.”

To bring international and domestic members together, Sepulveda thought of a new way to bridge those gaps. 

“This semester I want to start Spanish conversation hours, because one of the biggest things that the international students and members who grew up speaking the language want is other people to speak Spanish with,” Sepulveda said.  

The group is active on campus and announces any upcoming events on its Instagram page.

Jesse Khalil is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]