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Hispanic Heritage Month at UMKC

ALAS officially kick starts the celebrations with first event on campus
Gracey Saavedra
The executive board members of ALAS tabled at the kick-off event for Hispanic Heritage Month at UMKC.

  The Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) hosted its first event of the semester on Sept. 13 to kick off the celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month. 

  As the largest Latinx student organization at UMKC, ALAS comes to mind when considering representation for the Latinx student body on campus. 

  In previous years, ALAS quickly informed the campus about events regarding Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. However, this year’s first event, announced on Sept. 10, gave students only a few days notice to prepare.  

  “It’s just timing, really, because we’re all so busy,” said Dolores Hernandez, ALAS president and fourth-year health science major. “Hispanic Heritage Month starts right at the beginning of the fall semester when everyone is trying to get into their own groove of things, and it’s hard to find the time to meet together and plan an event successfully.” 

  ALAS assured that despite the late start, they have so much planned for the upcoming weeks, and students should stay tuned for those announcements. 

  “We have a lot of events planned, just like we always have,” said Daisey Maldonado, vice president of ALAS and third-year criminal justice and criminology major.

  From a loteria game night to painting tote bags with ALAS, the organization planned plenty of celebrations for the upcoming weeks. 

  “Aside from the off-campus fundraisers we participate in, like ‘Cambio para Cambio,’ we’re planning a bigger event in October,” said Hernandez. “We’re having a Quinceñera party toward the end of Hispanic Heritage Month to showcase Latino culture and the special celebration of a Quinceñera that we all do a little differently.”

  Hernandez and Maldonado want to serve and represent the Latinx student body at UMKC by holding leadership positions on campus. 

  “When I started at UMKC, ALAS was where I found my community,” said Hernandez. “I know what it’s like to be a freshman searching for that home on campus, and I want to continue to create that safe space for everybody.”

  As a university that advocates for diversity, UMKC offers many student-led organizations that offer and encourage acceptance but also provide a sense of community for students.

  “As Latinos and Hispanics, not only are we minorities but we are minorities within minority groups,” said Maldonado. “Being able to find your place and showcase our culture and identity is what Hispanic Heritage Month is all about.”

  To stay in touch with ALAS, follow its Instagram or Roo Groups

[email protected]

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