Inclusive, informative, and tight-knit. These are the words used to describe the Latinx Student Alliance (LSA) at the University of Colorado Denver. The student-led organization aims to build a supportive environment for CU Denver students who identify as Latinx, Chicanx, Hispanic, and Indigenous Central and Southern Americans.
Participating in student life on campus is a great way to find meaningful connections and expand your social circle with peers at CU Denver. For many students, having this sense of community is what keeps them grounded and motivated during their time in college.
“I love the LSA because I was able to find my home away from home at CU Denver and I’ve been able to build so many connections outside of my major. I have found some of my best friends through this organization, as well as mentors that have guided me through college,” said Gallegos.
Each September, the organization kicks off the new academic year with a celebration of Latinx Heritage Month to spread awareness of the month and celebrate their heritage with the CU Denver community.
“Latinx Heritage Month is an important time for recognizing and honoring those in the Latinx community who have contributed so much to society,” shared Gallegos. “It’s also a time to celebrate many Latinx countries’ independence from colonization.”
In addition to making new friends, the LSA is a great way for students to learn about important issues happening within the Latinx community. Each month, the organization holds member meetings where they discuss key issues happening in their communities, varying from racism and immigration to microaggressions and interpersonal violence. Meetings give students a chance to grow closer, listen to others’ perspectives, and educate themselves on important topics.
“It’s important to us that in addition to having fun and building connections with each other, we have real conversations about what is happening within our community and campus. Our goal is to continue improving resources and support for Latinx students on campus as CU Denver works to become a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” said Gallegos.
For students in the LSA, it is crucial that they stay connected with and support the Latinx community beyond CU Denver. The group has spoken to local middle schools to show the younger generation how Latinx students can be successful in college. They have also worked with detention centers to write Valentine’s Day cards to immigrants.
“We want to ensure we are doing everything we can to support and give back to our community. This upcoming year we are hoping to volunteer during Colorado Latin Fashion Week as well as working at a soup kitchen over Thanksgiving,” said Gallegos.