Latino organization seeks to break down stereotypes during awareness week

Liz Sparks and Liz Sparks

University students do not have to be Latino to join the Latino Student Union.

Students who stopped by the LSU tent in the Union oval on Thursday left with Latino candy, a flier and a greater understanding of LSU’s purpose.

The informational, part of Latino Awareness Week, was to show that Latino is not a race, as well as welcome students to be a part of the LSU family.

Juan Pimento, president of LSU, said the organization wants to show the student body what LSU is all about.

“We bring you one of our most important values,” Pimento said. “Family is so important to us. When you come to LSU you are welcome and become part of our family.”

This statement is embodied in freshman Kandann Coleman.

“When I came here, there wasn’t an organization on campus that fit me,” Coleman said. “After a while, I met the people [of LSU] and I got involved. They are my family away from my family.”

Coleman said she has been involved in many LSU events, but said Latino Awareness Week is an important one.

“It’s about awareness,” said Coleman. “There are a lot of stereotypes and false information in the media.”

Under the tent there was a table with Latino candy on it, but underneath that there was a large sheet of paper.

Jonathan Sabino, the public relations chair of LSU and also the event’s disc jockey, said the paper served a purpose.

“It’s so people can write down the stereotypes that they know of,” Sabino said.

Behind the tent flew over 10 different flags of countries like Honduras, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Columbia.

Pimento said it was to show diversity.

“Hopefully the student body can see it,” Pimento said. “We have a lot of differences. We are a mix of ethnicities.”

He said the organization’s goal was to bring LSU and their purpose to everyone.

Sabino said there is an important saying in the organization:

“We always say ‘not Latino, not a problem,’” Sabino said.

Coleman can attest to the family feeling of LSU.

“I love the support,” she said. “Everybody is proud of you. At the end of the day there are people who motivate you to do better.”

The Latino Student Union will meet every Wednesday next year at 9 p.m. in the Union room 207.