Latinx Student Union (LSU) is hosting the Unity Ball – one of their biggest events in club history – in the Quiet Side of the Commons on April 2 from 7:30-11:30 p.m.. The ball aims to connect different cultures on campus by showcasing foods, professional performances and dances from various traditions around the world.
“We really haven't been as unified as we should be considering the state of the social world,” Latinx Student Union President Daniela Perez Vargas, said. “This is a good way for us to start and have that kind of allyship and solidarity with everyone.”
The Unity Ball is being put together by members of LSU with guidance of Vargas and other club leaders, including Angélica García, Ruby Barrera, Diana Campos Hilario, Emlyn Romero Hernandez, Citlalli Badillo, Jessy Villada Millan and LSU Club Advisor Casandra Esparza.
The event will showcase two professional cultural dances from the Portland Taiko and the Ballet Folklórico México En La Peil, as well as a dance performed by members of LSU.
While the event is led by LSU, other cultural clubs supporting and participating consist of the Filipino American Student Association, Japanese Student Association, South Asian Student Union, Mixed Student Union, Black Student Union, Vietnamese Student Association, Womxn of Color, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, International Club and Diversity and Inclusion Programming.
“I am so proud to be part of LSU’s first Unity Ball,” freshman Haniel Morquecho Beltran said. “Knowing that I’ve been able to be part of this event and seeing first hand all the components that go into creating an event like this is inspiring. I can’t wait to see this event happen this year and the years to come.”
Angélica Garcia, the lead organizer for the event, reflects on the impact that it could have for the rest of the community and thinks it could help those who feel unheard and invisible find a sense of belonging at UP.
“I have been thinking a lot about why this event means so much to me in particular,” García said. “It kind of goes back to the same thing: visibility and representation for the BIPOC community. My hope for this event is primarily to celebrate these individuals who have had to deal with unimaginable loss and hardship on top of juggling school work and other commitments.”
LSU hopes to make a statement on campus about UP’s relationship with cultural clubs and communities of color. They believe the Unity Ball will show administration the power BIPOC students have on campus.
“We've always been underrepresented on campus,” Perez Vargas said. “Just in general, UP doesn't provide as many resources as they should. Money is an issue for cultural clubs when they want to put on any event, especially anything to this caliber.”
Despite the difficulties or challenges they may face, LSU urges students to show up and have a good time coming together.
“This will be a vibrant event that will unify not only the Latinx community, but other cultures on campus,” Citlalli Badillo, said.
Kimberly Cortez is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.