Latinx student union holds first meeting

Latinx+Student+Union

Photo by Cecilia Conery

The Latinx Student Union meeting in Kate Henning’s room after school on Tuesday.

Cecilia Conery, Podcast and Online Editor

Clubs in the school are growing, and with this, new clubs are being created. One of these clubs is the Latinx Student Union, lead by the district’s cultural liaison, Cornelius Rish. This club was created for Latino and Hispanic students in the school to get together and feel included.

This club was meant to be a safe space for all students, and to be a way to spread unique cultures and traditions throughout the school.

Jason Caballero, a U.S. History teacher and varsity football coach, is also a leader for the club. His inspiration for being a leader in the club was sparked by some of the students he has had in the past who spoke different languages.

“When I taught ninth graders last year, I had a lot of students who came and didn’t know a lot of English. To see a Hispanic male teacher teaching them made them feel welcomed and comfortable, and they knew that they could always go to me. I think that’s the kind of bond that we want to create with this group,” Caballero explained.

English teacher Andrea Schueler is another adult supporter of the club, also aiming to make all students feel included.

“My role is to be a supportive adult.  We have eager student leaders who are getting this club started.  This is a chance for these students to develop as leaders, and I’m happy to walk alongside them,” Schueler said.

Schueler and Caballero both expressed that the biggest motive for the club was to make people feel included.

“You don’t even have to be Hispanic or Latino to be a part of this. Anyone can be a part of it,” Caballero said.

Natalie Rivas Olvera, member and possible future president of the club also expresses this point.

“The ally turn out in our first meeting was great, and it felt so empowering. We have tons of non-Latinos who are there to learn about and love Latin Culture. We do not discriminate, we promise you will not be excluded if you are not Latino. We are grateful to have anyone there that is willing to learn new things,” Olvera said.

Helping people feel included is a goal the club definitely accomplishes. Many students who have English as a second or third language can struggle in the social aspects of school and feel extremely left out. Learning with students who are predominantly white and speak only English can be extremely stressful for these individuals.

“Students who aren’t fluent in English are finally heard and are able to communicate without the stress of being misunderstood. It feels great to have us all together in one room, you don’t see this very often at a predominantly white school,”  Olvera said.

Culture at school is something that makes Latino students feel comforted and accepted. It is evident that the club does good for students with Latin culture, as sometimes, being surrounded by students from similar settings is the best for growth. Even for others, being an ally and learning about other cultures is something that is very important for life skills. Seeing and understanding other students is a beautiful way to become closer with others.

“Now we have our place to feel seen, and like we belong. It’s comforting to be around what you know best.””

— Natalie Rivas Olvera

“For so long we have felt like the ‘black sheep’ in a predominantly white school, but now we have our place to feel seen, and like we belong. It’s comforting to be around what you know best,” Olvera said.

Along with making students feel included, one of the main focuses in this club is recognizing and honoring cultural foods.

“Members want to see more historical based lessons, such as amazing, good food from different countries,” Caballero explained while talking about the types of activities performed in the club.

The Latinx Student Union is used as a tool for bringing students together.

“One of my main priorities is for this club to bring people together,” Olvera said.