Hispanic Heritage Month highlights priority of cultural diversity

The Mayborn Museum hosted a community ofrenda from Sept. 18, 2022, to Nov. 4, 2022, in celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Photo courtesy of Grace Everett.

By Olivia Eiken | Staff Writer

Sept. 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. The month is celebrated in America to recognize the influence, contributions and achievements Hispanic Americans have made in the realms of art, culture, history and so much more.

Around 17% of Baylor’s campus identifies as Hispanic and Latino. Some multicultural Greek organizations catering to Hispanic and Latino students are Kappa Delta Chi sorority and Omega Delta Phi fraternity.

Houston senior Emily Alfaro currently serves as president of Kappa Delta Chi (KDCHI) and noted that familiarity is what joins Hispanic and Latino students together, specifically during Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Coming to a [predominantly white institution] was a culture shock for me,” Alfaro said. “KDCHI gave me the comfort I was looking for. Many of the members come from a similar background and understand how the cultural shock feels, which was nice and did not make me feel alone while I figured out how to adjust to Baylor’s culture.”

San Diego junior Joaquin Torre is a member of Omega Delta Phi. He said Hispanic Heritage Month gives people the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their culture.

“It gives us a platform to share more between ourselves and have others be educated as to what it means to be Hispanic and Latino, as well as teach Hispanic and Latinos more about ourselves,” Torre said. “Personally, coming from a Mexican background, I try to learn more about the different Hispanic and Latino cultures that I am surrounded by, to see how similar yet different our lives and traditions are.”

While the goal of the month is to bring Hispanic and Latino students together in a community they can call their own, El Paso senior and Kappa Delta Chi member Minah Miranda said they are also welcoming to anyone wanting to learn more about other cultures.

“This month is a dedicated time to promote and highlight the achievements and contributions of many Latino figures from the past and present,” Miranda said. “While it should be any day of the year, it allows Latino people to showcase their culture and invite others in the community to indulge in the beauty of it all. I think I can speak for KDCHI when I say that we invite absolutely anybody and everybody. We want people to get to know who we are. While we may be Latina-founded, we are far from Latina-exclusive. Diversify the people you know and expand your connections at Baylor because it is so worth it.”