Shippensburg University’s Latino Student Organization (LSO) and office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) hosted their annual Cookout and Crab Fest this past weekend.
LSO started the party Friday night outside of Seavers and Naugle Hall with a buffet, DJ, great music and even dance competitions.
While LSO and MSA as a whole work to celebrate the diversity of the campus community, the Latino community is one of the smallest minorities within the student body.
But for many, that makes the friendships even more significant. LSO is crucial to bringing together people of all cultures and making sure that all Hispanic people feel welcomed on campus. And that is a key mission of LSO: making sure that everyone involved is welcome and
feels like they have a place to call home on campus, regardless of whether they have Hispanic heritage.
A participant at LSO’s cookout explained how inclusion is important and works only when everyone is included and said, “You don’t have to be Latino to come to an LSO event, it’s for everyone as people we should try to immerse ourselves and others in cultures and different experiences.”
The person responsible for immersing the community together is the new president of LSO, junior Brando Aristy. Aristy kicked off the event by welcoming all people to the event and encouraging them to get up, dance and enjoy the food and festivities.
Aristy loves the culture and loves sharing it even more. Having the freedom to be able to act on his visions for Hispanics at Shippensburg University and being a minority at the university makes it only more special to him. Not only did he welcome attendees and introduce his members, but he helped with the buffet line and made sure everyone was taken care of.
Aristy is looking ahead to LSO’s biggest event, Latino Explosion, which will occur in October to honor Hispanic Heritage Month. Details are still to be determined.
The party continued on Saturday night with MSA’s annual Crab Fest at the hockey rink.
Crab Fest created a very chill environment where everyone can talk, enjoy good food, and listen to good music that isn’t played at many other campus events. MSA had a wide array of delicious food – including crabs, of course – that attendees could enjoy for just $5.
MSA also used Crab Fest as an opportunity to advertise some of the divisions within the organization and advertise some of the programs it runs, such as the Feed a Friend program, which helps provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need.
MSA’s President, senior Tamara Hightower, said she enjoys doing what her job entails and loves the people she gets to meet. She believes that having the ability to bring people together is a blessing.
“Food is the best way to bring people together,” Hightower said.