On Saturday, The Latino Student Union had its annual dinner entitled “Carnavalistico: Cultura, Ritmo, Y Sabor Latino.” The hosts for the evening were senior Humberto Camacho and junior Susan Velazquez who is also the Secretary of LSU.
When asked what inspired the theme for the evening, the President of LSU, Kaylina Rivera, Adolescent Education Major ’15, wanted the campus to see the fun festive culture of the Latino community.
“I always wanted to do this dinner theme ever since I became a part of the e-board. My e-board members helped me make the idea come true,” Rivera said. “The carnival theme is fun and festive and I think that represents Latinos, so I think everybody needed to see that, and now that everyone was able to see it, I hope they enjoyed themselves.”
The dinner was decorated with various carnival novelties. Throughout the night, the hosts spoke about the different carnivals that take place in Latin American and Caribbean countries around the world such as Haiti, Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Columbia, Honduras and Ecuador. Guests also had the pleasure of experiencing traditional Latin American cuisine.
Although the night was educational, it was also entertaining. LSU had various performances from its dance troupe, Ritmo, as well as the African Student Organization’s dance troupe.
The hosts also facilitated two carnival-inspired games, Wrecking Ball and Popington, which involved the audience’s participation. In Wrecking Ball, participants were asked to wear pantyhose on their head with a ball in it. They were then split up into teams and were instructed to knock down water bottles in a line without using their hands. Whichever team knocked down the bottles the fastest wins the game. In Popington, two teams of three were put together to see which team could pop balloons with their behinds the fastest. There was also a brief dance competition.
The most touching part of the evening was when Rivera made a speech thanking her e-board for all its hard work to prepare for the dinner. In return, her e-board members gave her a special thank you for her hard work and dedication to the organization, which brought her to tears.
The Latino Student Union dinners, as well as all of the ALANA organizations’ dinners, are highly anticipated events that students of color on campus, alumni of color and faculty members look forward to every year. Alumna Natasha Santiago made it a priority to attend this year’s LSU dinner.
“The Latino Student Union is an organization that I have always been involved with since my freshman year,” Santiago said. “I was on the e-board as secretary and president at one point, so it’s just an organization that I love. I’ve seen that over the years the dinners have just been improving so much so I was definitely coming to this one.”
Howard Gordon, executive assistant to Deborah Stanley, also made sure he attended the event because he believes that the students’ energy is embedded in student organizations.
“I try to make it to the LSU dinner every year, as well as the ASO, CSA, BSU and ASA dinners each year,” Gordon said. “I love the traditions and I would not want to be left out of what’s going on with the students. This is where the student energy is: in the student organizations.”
Although the dinner was a highly anticipated event, junior Maurice Antoine, a dedicated LSU supporter, expressed his disappointment about the lack of attendance and support from the Oswego community as a whole.
“I just wish more people in Oswego, like the whole Oswego community, would come out and support because the events would be much more enjoyable if everybody [came] out instead of a select few or the same faces that we usually see,” Antoine said. “It just kinda sucks.”