Hispanic Heritage Club Changes Name, Expresses Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
The Hispanic Heritage Student Association (HHSA) is growing and changing with the times. The student club is now called the Association of Latinx and Ally Students, or ALAS. “The name change is an effort to become more inclusive,” said Anjolina Horzynek ’22, ALA'S vice president. “Some students, including Chicano students, didn’t relate to being called hispanic and Latinx is gender-neutral. We want to maintain and expand our sense of community not just with Latinx students but all students.”
That commitment to community was evident at a recent executive committee meeting where ALAS drafted this statement expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for social justice:
The Executive Team for the Association of Latinx and Ally Students (ALAS) stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We understand that people of color have been experiencing police brutality and other injustices for years, especially people with darker skin tones. The Latinx community is made up of people from different cultures, identities and skin tones. We recognize that there is racism and other -isms within our own community that we need to address. We will work towards creating safe spaces and brave spaces on campus and within our club meetings for students to be able to learn and heal together. We ask others in the community to stand together and take care of each other and your neighbors.
The 2020-2021 goals for the student club include a more robust social media presence, a video newsletter, summer outreach to Latinx students before August orientation, connecting students to scholarships, jobs, and conferences and supporting other diverse clubs on campus.
In addition to changing its name, the association is also now sporting a new logo. According to ALAS President Jessica Monje-Perez '21, “Our logo is a quetzal bird from Central America and Mexico known for its bright colors. ‘Alas’ in Spanish translates to wings, and we are ready to fly. The quetzal can mean different things to different people, but to me it’s a reminder that there are students who can spread their wings and fly within our community.”
If you're interested in getting involved with the association, or simply want to learn more, you may contact any of ALA'S executive members or follow them @pacificualas.