Latino Student Union celebrates ‘family’ at kickoff

Michele Mathis and Michele Mathis

The Latino Student Union is big on family.

“La familia” is the term that is the central theme of all the organizations core meetings, and the theme of their Fall Kick-off.

Ana Brown, staff advisor for LSU, said that family could be found outside of the traditional home.

“Family is the people that you are not only born to, but the people that you choose because some relatives are not family and some family are not relatives,” she said.

The feeling of community was present at the event, which encouraged music and dancing, lip-syncing games and free food.

Brown said that the family established at BGSU holds accountability and supports each other academically and emotionally.

“To see their passion for their culture and their heritage for their community is really rewarding,” she said. “Their dedication to all the issues, for not only Latino students, but students all over campus [is inspiring].”

LSU creates a welcoming environment for all campus students, including students who do not identify as latino/a.

Alonso Southard, LSU vice-president said, “We’re all about culture, we’re all about fun and we’re all about the academic success of Latino students and all students.”

Southard said that his definition of family was unwavering support and accountability.

“100 percent of the time holding each other accountable… we speak as students, we speak as Latinos, we speak as people who are at Bowling Green State University,” he said. “We all have a common goal and that goal is to graduate, so having that family, having that support system, having someone there to hold you accountable is [important].”

President of LSU, Catheline Longoria-Perez agreed with Southard about family.

“It’s a big term. Anyone who really cares for me and anyone who can push me up to support me,” she said.

The LSU executive board is looking to expand their goals for the upcoming semesters.

Longoria-Perez said that one of her goals for the year is to grow LSU and create an equal balance of respect within the organization and to the community.

“I want to make sure LSU is out there and balanced with every group out there,” she said.

Southard said he wants to give his BGSU community the same enriching experience that he had when he arrived.

“I want to do things in a different way, in a more creative way, so that we can expand our [organization]. We need to show who we are and what we’re about,” he said.