Latinx students come together as communtiy


Courtesy of Sandy Velasquez

Latino students and graduates at the Marcha de las Banderas, or March of the Flags, represented their countries of origin during Latino Heritage Month on Sept. 15, 2011.

Logan Metzger

In celebration of the start of Latinx Heritage Month, students gathered Monday to connect as a community.

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion hosted a Latinx student reception in the Gold Room of the Memorial Union to connect students and offer resources.

More than 30 students packed into the Gold Room where food and drinks were provided. While there, Diana Sloan, program director for Hispanic and Latino Affairs, introduced herself and helped lead discussions and introductions.

“We decided to hold this event at the beginning of the Latino Heritage Month because we wanted them to know that we are here for them, not just during this month but throughout the year,” Sloan said.

The majority of the event was informal and conversation-based as a way to connect students in the Latinx community. There were introductions between students, as well as Sloan herself, she also gave out information for different resources on campus.

Sloan said the event was for students to know they are welcome at Iowa State and that she can provide a space for them to share ideas and engage with the community, but also as a space to voice concerns when they arise.

“This event was very successful,” Sloan said. “I am happy students brought up issues and shared about their background not only at Iowa State but all over the United States. We talked about our shared experiences, families, our connections to each other and what it means to be a Latino.”

The attendees discussed ways to keep the conversation going after the event to keep the topic of the Latinx community at the forefront, saying “nothing about us, without us.”

Sloan said the idea for the event came early on in her time at Iowa State when she was hired during the summer of 2019.

“When I joined the Diversity and Inclusion office in the summer part of my listening tour was finding a way to best connect to students,” Sloan said. “We wanted to create an environment that was friendly, approachable and everybody would be comfortable bringing up topics we should know about as faculty and staff at Iowa State.”

Sloan said that after discussions with the Multicultural Liaison Officers, she decided upon having an informal gathering in order to meet students. She said this event was the right platform to start conversations at Iowa State.