New organization geared toward Hispanic/Latinx students
When Alberto Huichapa started college, he wanted to join a group involving his Hispanic/Latinx identity. When he couldn’t find one, he instead came up with the idea to start his own.
The Association of Latinx/Hispanic Advocates and Allies started in the summer when then Orientation Team leader and public relations junior Alberto Huichapa brought up the idea of an organization that was student-led and presented political and cultural advocacy of Latinx/Hispanic people.
“In high school, I wanted to be involved in Hispanic/Latinx type groups, and we really didn’t have anything,” Huichapa, president of ALHAA, said. “When I came to college, I was looking forward to being apart of something like that, but then everything was either major-related or specific to a certain nationality.”
The idea behind ALHAA was to bring everybody together without any regard to nationality or ethnicity, to not restrict anyone in the community and come together in unity, Huichupa said.
As of Fall 2019, the Hispanic body was the largest demographic on campus at 32.4 percent.
“To me, it didn’t really feel like it,” Huichapa said about the percentage. “I want to see more of our presence here on campus to show people that we’re here.”
Part of the club is highlighting some of the nationalities that Huichapa said were “not in the spotlight” such as Puerto Ricans, Cubans and others from the Caribbean.
ALHAA was approved to be an organization on campus once the summer came to an end and the fall semester began. For the spring, ALHAA is hosting a new member orientation for the first time.
The idea behind an open space for anyone identifying with the Hispanic/Latinx community as well as advocates and allies are what brought the organization to the students after a semester of preparing.
The organization’s directors are planning to find speakers to come and talk about their experiences to the organization members. Another idea Huichapa shared is hosting a panel where the directors can give presentations and highlight their cultures.
Vice president and broadcast journalism senior Daisy Espinoza said a goal of ALHAA is to bring together the Hispanic/Latinx community of the University and educate people about the different issues affecting Latinx countries.
One of the events in the works is “Falling in Love with ALHAA” — a voter registration event.
“We want people to come and talk to us about different political issues,” Espinoza said. “We have a lot of guests in mind that we have reached out to that can come and talk to us about the Latinx community.”
Every director on the board for ALHAA was at one time an orientation team leader, which brought them together to form the organization.
The organization is geared towards the Hispanic/Latinx community, Espinoza said, but even in the name there is “ally,” so part of ALHAA is joined with the allies and advocates of the community or anyone who is in love with the culture.
“We see this organization going places, and I want to see where this first semester takes the organization,” Espinoza said.