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Hispanic Heritage Month at Belmont

Belmont Vision Multimedia, Joanna Walden

The Hispanic Student Association held an opening event for Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15 and plans to encourage student engagement with events throughout the semester.

Javier Castellon Villanueva, HSA president, said he appreciated the student turnout, saying it was much higher than anticipated.

HSA is partnering with the Office of Hope, Unity and Belonging to create more events, such as “A Day of Celebration,” which is on Sept. 29 from 12 to 3 p.m, at the Bell Tower Patio.

Activites will include salsa dancing lessons, games, Hispanic food and music.

All students, regardless of their ethnicity, are invited to attend and participate.

Gabby Romo, educational studies major, joined HSA in her first year at Belmont and continues to attend the group’s events.

“It’s a fun environment and anybody’s welcome. It’s not excluding any other ethnicities. It's just a time to hang out and learn about culture and have some fun,” she said.

Daniela Mercado, a nursing major, also appreciates the community and learning opportunities HSA provides.

“I feel like if you want to meet or learn from a different culture, or if you’re from this culture--whether that be like Salvadorian, Mexican, or any - just come and meet new people,” she said. “See what it has to offer.”

Alexandria Denmark, finance major, hopes to learn more about the culture, specifically the values and beliefs in Hispanic culture.

“One of my friends was on the chairs of the club, so I wanted to come and support them. Also, it's a different culture. So getting yourself adjusted and introduced to all different kinds of cultures really helps the enrichment of yourself,” she said.

Sophomore Christopher Garcia is excited about bonding with others and connecting with his heritage.

“The reason I joined the club is because there are many people that have similarities to myself, being Hispanic here at Belmont University,” Garcia said. “Being in this club has made me feel more close to my roots since this college is predominantly white.”

Castellon Villanueva said that a sense of community and belonging is an enormous part of the HSA’s mission for Belmont.

“I would say that if you’re a Hispanic at Belmont University, a lot of time you’ll probably feel left out and you probably feel like you don’t know other Hispanics on campus,” he said.

“So if you’ve been waiting for the opportunity to meet more Hispanics, get to know other Hispanics, get close with them here at Belmont, then check out the Hispanic Student Association. Come to our meetings and come to our events during Hispanic Heritage Month.”


This article was written by Marina Powell and Kadaisha Summers

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