On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the Latino Student Organization kicked off Samford’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration with a Salsa Dance Night.
Organized by the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives, the Salsa Dance Night featured two dance instructors from a nearby studio who taught students the classic steps to Salsa dancing. This event also served as an interest meeting to help revitalize the Latino Student Organization.
Faculty Adviser to the Latino Student Organization Professor Dieter Waldvogel said Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to acknowledge diversity in the United States.
“Hispanics are one of the largest minorities in the United States, and sometimes we are kind of overlooked,” Waldvogel said. “For me, being half-Hispanic, it’s a time of pride. I like to see the events going on on campus and in the community.”
This is Waldvogel’s first year as the faculty adviser to LSO.
The LSO experienced a decline in membership after the departure of its former faculty adviser, coupled with COVID-19 and the graduation of many of its members. This year, LSO hopes to make a comeback under Waldvogel.
Waldvogel discussed being approached with the offer and how he hopes to find students that are passionate about building LSO.
“I grew up in Latin America and I’m a Spanish professor, so they asked me if I would be interested in being a faculty advisor,” Waldvogel said, “We have a pretty decent sized Latino population at Samford. It’s just a matter of getting the right students involved and creating a good community.”
Waldvogel said he hopes the LSO can help educate students at Samford as ambassadors of the Latino culture.
“We have students from Argentina at Samford. We have students from Columbia, from Peru, from all these different countries. I want them to showcase their culture and their heritage to the rest of the population at Samford,” Waldvogel said. “Because diversity is a good thing! It’s always a good thing. It would be a very boring world if we all only had one culture, one type of people, one type of history.”
Future events in the Hispanic Heritage Month event series include a film discussion in the planetarium on Sept. 29, Culture in the Caf on Oct. 4, and a presentation on deportation on Oct. 7.
Arts and Life Editor