When it comes to diversity, the University of Toledo is a melting pot. Students of different cultures and backgrounds are an
integral part of campus and specific events are hosted on campus to promote cultural awareness.
Noche de Cultura was one such event, held in Rocky’s AtticJan. 27 at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate Latino culture. Sigma Lambda Beta and other Hispanic organizations like SAHSA and Al Corazon de Mexico all contributed to this event.
Javier Gomez, a second-year accounting major and chapter vice president, said Sigma Lambda Beta is fairly culturally diverse, as its members are Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Moroccan, African American and British.
“That is seven different cultures out of only eleven brothers,” he said.
Gomez just recently joined the fraternity this past fall semester and said he loves all the brothers and the cultural diversity that the fraternity has to offer.
“One of the pillars that we share that differentiates us from others is cultural awareness,” Gomez said. “We are very open about culture, and it’s something we want our brothers to be aware of. It’s something we want to educate others about too.”
The main focus of Noche De Cultura was to showcase Latino culture by providing Hispanic food and live entertainment. Although this was the first time the event was hosted on campus, Sigma Lambda Beta hopes to make it an annual event.
“The more exposure we get on campus is better, but really it was just a cultural event where we wanted others to see something different,” Gomez said. “The ambiance was really kind of charming. I think that people enjoyed it with the semiformal attire and the performances.”
The event was not only open to University of Toledo students but also to families and anyone who was willing to learn more about the Latino culture.
El Corazon de Mexico, a Folklorico group of professional dancers, performed at the event, and members of the fraternity even held their own performances. While one brother sang, another did a spoken word to display Latino culture.
Just as passionate and excited to share Latino culture was Carolina Romero, president of the South American and Hispanic Student Association.
Although this was the first time the two organizations collaborated together, Romero said she was thrilled to see more attendees than she initially expected.
“There are not a lot of Hispanic events here for us,” Romero said. “It’s really nice to see people who weren’t Hispanic attend the event. It was nice to see how they were curious about our culture.”
Romero said SAHSA loved performing their popular salsa dance at the cultural night, and they enjoyed being asked about how to do salsa.
“We love dancing, and we love the reaction we get,” she said. “Every time we perform, we just want to show everybody what we do and how we do it for fun so everybody can see our different cultural dances. We are creating events for people to learn from us,” said Romero.
She added that she was interested in seeing other performances, learning what people knew about her culture and that she was excited to meet people who shared a similar culture.
“I was really happy to be a part of it. They did a really good job,” said Miguel Alvarez, SAHSA’s vice president of marketing and fourth-year supply chain management student.
Alvarez said it was challenging compressing an eight-minute dance routine into one minute.
“We wanted to share our culture with a bigger audience of people,” he said. “We did a salsa dance, and we just wanted to expand people’s knowledge of what kind of dances we do in the Latino culture.”
Alvarez said he was most excited about seeing all the different performances that showed the audience the diversity of Latino culture.
“They were really great people, and we have a lot of things in common, like trying to expand people’s knowledge of our culture. I could definitely see us doing other events in the future,” Alvarez said.