By Alexandrea Velez, Staff Writer
With the conclusion of Hispanic Heritage Month near, Fuerza Latina hosted a collaborative potluck with the two sororities at Manhattan College, Alpha Pi Phi (APP) and Sigma Delta Tau (SDT). The potluck consisted of authentic Spanish food and music and provided a welcoming atmosphere for everyone to come together to learn about Hispanic culture.
Traditional foods were served like yellow rice, chicken, pulled pork, and pastelitos. People from all the contributing groups gathered together, crowding the 4th floor of Kelly with conversation and la hermanadad (sisterhood).
The Quadrangle had the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion with co-president of Fuerza Latina, Martina Eichhorn, along with Naya Taul, on the realities of being a Hispanic student at a predominantly white institution. This directly correlated to the leading cause that Fuerza Latina tries to conquer with every event.
“We wanted to do a closing event on Hispanic Heritage Month, just because this school is so heavily populated in Hispanic culture, and there are so many Hispanic students here,” Eichhorn, a junior at MC, double majoring in political science and philosophy, said. “We wanted to make this an event where other people who are not Hispanic can come and enjoy the food and the culture.”
Integration between Hispanic and non-Hispanic students is a primary objective for Fuerza Latina, as it allows students to be more comfortable on campus and around other cultural identities.
“It is tough being in a place where you do not know if you will be accepted, or if you do not know, people will relate to you,” said Eichhorn. “That is probably one of the hardest parts, it is not just about being Hispanic in a PWI, but also just in life, in the world, in general.”
Julia Ciampa, a junior majoring in psychology and the diversity and inclusion chair for SDT, spoke to The Quadrangle about her role in the sorority and its correlation to the event.
“I serve as a liaison between the sisters,” said Ciampa. “If any diversity and inclusion issues come up, I get to help. I am also in charge of collaborating with other multicultural clubs on campus. We collaborate and make fun events to educate everyone.”
Ciampa also spoke on the sorority’s role regarding inclusion and how important it is to support clubs and events such as the potluck.
“It’s really important to foster everyone’s culture in a sorority, because it’s so important to foster such an inclusive environment,” Ciampa said. “There can be so many different diverse cultures that come together and it’s so important to cherish that and be one big like sisterhood and organization, because at the end of the day, we’re all sisters.”
Pamela Moleri, a senior majoring in biochemistry, is APP treasurer. Moleri spoke about joining a diverse sorority and joining activities that help her fellow sisters be well represented.
“APP has a lot of Hispanic sisters, and it is imperative for those from this background to feel included and seen,” said Moleri. “It is also for non-Hispanic students and sisters to join in learning about the culture.”