Month celebrates Latinos

Photo by Ilya Chigirev |

Latino students, above, march down George Street as part of La Marcha, one of several events planned for Latino heritage month.

Halfway through Latino Heritage Month, there are plenty of events still to come for the more than 25 student organizations affiliated with the Center for Latino Arts and Culture.

CLAC - created in 1992 by a combination of Latino faculty, staff and students at the University - coordinates the calendar of events for Latino Heritage Month with the numerous participating organizations.

The center, located on the College Avenue campus, provides logistical support for a variety of groups and aids students with opportunities for internships as well as jobs after they graduate.

Carlos Fernadez became CLAC director at the beginning of the school year, and had two months to plan and coordinate the center's events.

CLAC's mission is for research and scholarship to increase understanding of Latino arts, Fernadez said.

The center helps students appreciate the contribution of Latinos to others in the community, he said.

CLAC has four full-time staff members, 70 work-study students, and numerous alumni and outside volunteers who have worked on organizing Latino Heritage Month.

"I am very happy and excited [for Latino Heritage Month], but it is problematic coordinating events in two months," CLAC Associate Director Rocio Castro said.

The various Latino student organizations - some of which are cultural, religious or political, as well as fraternities and sororities - are brought together and cooperate with one another to make the month a success.

These include organizations oriented toward national origin, such as the Rutgers Union Estudiantil Puertoriquena and the Sociedad Estudiantil Dominicana, as well as broader Latino organizations, such as the Latino Student Council and the Central and South American Alliance.

The Latin Gala, sponsored by the Sociedad Estudiantil Dominicana, is a formal social event to be held Saturday at the College Avenue Gym. The following day is the Rutgers Salsa Band's fall concert at the Nicholas Music Center on Douglass campus.

Linda Nieves-Powell's play "Jose Can Speak" will be performed Nov. 29 at the Livingston Student Center. Hispanic Business magazine named Linda Nieves-Powell one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics.

Matthew Houston

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