The Alta Loma Hispanic/Latino Student Union

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Photo Courtesy of CNN.com

The Hispanic/Latino Student Union is coming to bring unity and be a safe one for the cultures.

Chris Apablaza, Staff Writer

Alta Loma High School offers a variety of clubs for students to join, ranging from the Speech and Debate club to the wonderful Key Club.

Other than those clubs, Alta Loma also offers student unions. Student Unions are student led clubs which teach students leadership, communal skills, and teamwork.  

Some of the most popular and known student unions at Alta Loma High School are the Black Student Union, and Asian Student Union.

These unions offer a space for black, and Asian students to come in and share the culture and learn more about their culture. But now there is a new student union that is upcoming and getting ready to start: The Hispanic Student Union/Latinx Student Union. 

I, Chris Apablaza, am the student who is helping start this club, with some of my fellow schoolmates. Our main goal for the HSU/LSU is for Hispanic/latinx students to have a safe space where we can share our culture, learn more about our culture and what it means to be Hispanic/latinx, and learn more about influential Hispanic/latinx people in the world.

Hispanic/Latinx students should have a space where they can feel represented, and should have the opportunity to join a community such as a student union.

Students all around Alta Loma need a club where they can feel free and have fun, and that is what the Hispanic Student Union is here for. The Hispanic Student Union is here to teach Hispanic students more about our cultura, but not only for our Hispanic students at Alta Loma, but to all students, staff, and members of the school. The question now is whether students are ready or not for another student union, and how do they feel about the start of the Hispanic Student Union?

Mariono Martin, a Junior, is the president of the Black Student Union at Alta Loma High School and he stated, “I think it (L/HSU) is an amazing idea and that it will be great for forming unity on our campus for the number of Latinx/Hispanic students that make up our school. I personally can’t wait to join to learn more about Latin/Hispanic culture,” Junior, Kristy Nyugen, who is the president of the Asian Student Union at Alta Loma High School agreed, and stated “Well I mean, it’s nice because we have another “student union” on the campus.”

As the lead for ASU, I enjoy seeing places for students to gather and share their experiences. I know there’s been a little tension between Hispanic and Latinx identities, so I’m happy that there’ll be a space where other people can come and talk about experiences. Everyone deserves a safe space”.

Kristy thought that student unions help schools out, by giving minorities a way to have their voice heard. “It depends on each individual club and their willingness to work with their school(s). But all in all, it gives any minorities a way to get their voice heard directly. As students, we really just go to school and go with the flow of events or activities made for us. 

So there’s not much wiggle room for student lead events or communal changes. The unions change that. They actively speak for the unheard”.

Mariono thought that student unions help students by actively teaching them and informing them of academic resources. “Student Unions help students out by informing them of academic resources such as how the BSU (Black Student Union)  had a HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) college expo, as well as helping students in each of their classes being that the upper class men have already taken the under class men are currently taking. Student Unions also give insight on different scholarship opportunities that a lot of students aren’t aware of”.

Both Mariono and Kristy have their own clubs and each works in a different way. For example Mariono stated “So essentially we’ll start our meetings off with an ice-breaker, a sort of trivial question that sparks conversation, then we’ll get into the daily discussion which will vary from topics including scholarships opportunities, cultural discussions, music recommendations, cultural movies days, etc.”.

Kristy stated “Mine is very dependent on the community and the students themselves. I wanted to give everyone a space to just talk about their experiences or have fun with other people like them. Because of quarantine and how everything is online, I just wanted everyone to feel comfortable amongst each other. 

Sometimes we teach a little bit about cultures like how Lunar New Year was Friday (February 12, 2021)”. Both presidents of their respective student unions, agreed upon on how another student union is necessary. “I believe another student union is necessary. 

We already have an ASU and a BSU, there really is no reason to oppose a L/HSU. Every student deserves to be represented.” stated Kristy. Both students also agreed upon the fact that they wish the L/HSU to be an educational club and advocate for the problems they (Latinx/Hispanic) experience. 

“I hope the L/HSU can be a club in which students feel welcomed in and one in which all students can learn in.” stated Mariono. “Student Unions are an important part in students’ lives and they are great ways for students to get involved and meet people that are just like them.”

With the potential rise for the L/HSU, Hispanic/Latinx students are going to have somewhere where they can learn more about their culture, and the beautiful things that make up a Hispanic/Latinx person. 

They are going to learn why learning Spanish is important, why embracing your culture is amazing, and how to ignore all the people who leave hate in this world with hurtful comments towards the Hispanic/Latinx community.

The L/HSU is going to be a powerful unity of Hispanic/Latinx students and other students who would like to learn more about the Hispanic/Latinx community.