LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and a local university is celebrating with their students.
For Hispanic Heritage Month, Bay Path University wanted to give students a space to feel like they could express themselves freely.
Elizabeth Cardona, Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs and International student Life told 22News, “We’ve been working very hard to help our students understand more about themselves, feel comfortable in their own skin, and also to be able to share with other students who may have different backgrounds.”
At Bay Path University that means a symposium filled with art, poster galleries and tough discussions to celebrate the month.
More than 100 people attended the LatinX Symposium at Bath Path Saturday night to honor the Hispanic culture.
“We had some difficult topics to listen to like talking about the Latino community and LGBTQ issues as well,” said Yadilette Rivera-Colon, an assistant Biology Professor at the university. “It was amazing ’cause it was lead by our students so we really got to hear from our students things that they care about.”
More than 37 percent of Bay Path’s traditional undergraduate students identify as a person of color.
Event volunteers say events like these are important for LatinX students to find a community while attending college.
“We created not just a safe space but we also created a brave space for everyone to feel comfortable no matter where you’er at in your life with race,” H.R. Adjunct Faculty Hiring Manager, Maria del Carmen Rodriguez-Furlow told 22News.
Event organizers started planning the all-day event last June. Students who were out on summer break took time to help plan Saturday.
Organizers told 22News the event is always open to the public and happens around the same time every year.