Club helps students learn about Latin culture

The Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) encourages people to learn more about Latin culture by attending their events throughout the spring semester.

OLAS was created as a support group for Latin American students. All students are welcome to visit or join to familiarize themselves about the culture. (Photo courtesy of Krystal Alexis)

According to Krystal Alexis, president of OLAS, the goal of the organization is to “teach people about Latin culture to celebrate it and learn things that they didn’t know about.” Alexis added that they are able to share the Latin culture with students through the events that they plan. OLAS has two main events planned this semester, a Restaurant and Spanish Lesson and a Latin Escape.

A Restaurant and Spanish Lesson will take place on Monday, March 9, at 5 p.m. in the Rockland banquet room. At the event, students will be able to enjoy food from a taco bar and learn how to order it in Spanish. Alexis said that this event is beneficial to students as “it is good to learn another language because it can help you make new friends and just know more about another culture.”

Later in the semester, OLAS will host its annual Latin Escape. The event will be Saturday, May 2 in the Rockland banquet room. It is designed to celebrate the end of the semester and help students relax before finals. This year’s theme is “Glow in the Dark,” and it will feature dance lessons, food, and games, according to Alexis.

All students are invited to events held by OLAS to increase awareness and understanding of Latin culture. Students can bring their friends and meet new people at these events. (Graphic from SU Portal)

Another goal of the organization is to “reach out beyond the Stevenson campus,” according to Jake Baloyi, treasurer of OLAS. The club is doing this by partnering with Franklin Middle School for a mentorship program to help the students at the school “feel more comfortable with their heritage,” said Alexis. They are also planning to collaborate with the OLAS chapters at other universities, such as Towson University.

OLAS is also looking into expanding the club and gaining more members. They noticed that the same people attend their events, and they want to encourage more people to join in. “Don’t let the name fool you. Even though it says Organization of Latin American Students, we welcome anyone who wants to learn about the culture,” said Ashley Guzman-Martinez, co-marketing chair of OLAS.

Gaining more members can help the club share Latin culture throughout campus and encourage cultural diffusion. OLAS wants to “have other people show us their culture so we can see the similarities and celebrate our differences as well,” said Alexis.

Students can become active members of OLAS by regularly attending their club meetings and events. Their meetings are held bi-weekly on Mondays at 5 p.m. in the Lynn Duncan room on the first floor of Rockland. 

Alexis added that people who are interested in their club or want to learn more information can follow them on Instagram and Twitter. “We post giveaways on there, we post news that is going on in the Latin community, and we post fun videos,” said Alexis.

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