Hispanic Student Association holds Latinx Craft/Movie Night

Students gathered for craft-making and movie watching for Hispanic Heritage Month

Andrew Havens, Staff Writer

When the Hispanic Student Association on campus announced their Latinx movie/craft night on Thursday, October 6th, several involved in the organization were ready and willing to assist.

Highlighting Hispanic heritage is of great importance to many students at PennWest California and the entire month of October should be dedicated to it, according to Andrea Verganund, a senior Global Studies major and former immigrant from Barranquilla, Colombia.

This included Vergnaud, who wanted to highlight Hispanic culture and bring the greater California community closer together.

“With Hispanic Heritage month happening we wanted to bring together all people, not just Hispanics,” Vergnaud said, “We want to celebrate diversity and inclusion while sharing our stories through films and activities.”

Vergnaud stressed that HSA has many events planned for the month of October, including a Salsa Night, as well as a Day of the Dead celebration in the Gold Rush. For now, though, her efforts were focused on providing eco-friendly crafting activities for the event’s guests, like bead-making and reusable bag decorating.

Having been involved with HSA since last year, Vergnaud has taken on a leadership role with the organization. She stressed inclusivity for all students into the organization.

“Just email me,” Vergnaud said excitedly, “everyone is always welcome.”

An Argentinian historical movie blared in the background from a projector, voiced fittingly in Spanish. The small group of attendees were seen colorfully painting on reusable burlap bags, all intensely focused on their designs. Sitting at the edge of the table painting her favorite flower pattern was Daija Swain-Williams, a Senior Biology major with a minor in Spanish. Swain-Williams said that she was there for two reasons: a mental break, and extra credit.

“Oh my God, are you kidding?,” Swain-Williams said, “Of course I needed this break. I’m a Bio major, my whole life is stressful.”

Humanities Professor, Andrea Cenich, offered Swain-Williams extra credit for attending the event, which she gladly accepted, but her main reason for attending was for a relaxing night with some HSA members.

“I’m not officially a part of the group (HSA),” Swain-Williams said, “but I’d say I’m affiliated. Either way, it’s a nice brain break.”

HSA Vice President and Social Work major, Bethany Diaz, certainly sees the value in a craft night like this, and wants to bring it back every year from now on.

“It is a very relaxing and calming event that allows students to learn more about the culture as well as socializing with other students,” Diaz said, “We’d love for this to become a yearly thing.”

HSA has many more events planned for the month of October including a Salsa Night this week on October 14 and a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration on November 1 in the Gold Rush section of the Student Center, wherein students will be able to bring in photos of their deceased relatives and celebrate their lives posthumously. The latter will include a specialized food menu from the team at the Gold Rush, according to Vergnaud.