A night of community support and dancing united Latinos of all backgrounds in celebration of their dedication to their organization.
UT’s Latino Student Union hosted its 45th annual scholarship dance March 17th in the Student Union and awarded four scholarships to deserving students. Over 250 people attended this year’s scholarship dance to celebrate Latin culture and recognize individuals who went above and beyond to serve LSU.
Assistance totaling in $19,000 was awarded to three Latino Student Union members and two incoming freshmen for the 2018-2019 school year.
Isabel Guel, LSU treasurer and second-year business marketing student, hopes her and the LSU’s efforts will encourage Latino students to fill leadership roles on campus and, most importantly, to graduate.
“We obviously want to keep a high retention rate of the Latino population, we only make up 3.3 percent of the population at UT,” Guel said. “It’s important that we keep their retention not only with the LSU but to stay in college.”
LSU has been a part of UT for over 40 years. The organization works to empower the Latino community on campus by promoting cultural awareness and providing a sense of community for Latinos of all backgrounds.
LSU funds these efforts in part from the proceeds of the previous year’s scholarship dance, as well as from the original endowment with which the organization was founded.
Past dances have been successful enough to grow the event each year and enable LSU to award more scholarships and book more prestigious musicians.
Javier Gomez, LSU president and a fourth-year accounting student, aspires that the event will reinforce the sense of community LSU works to generate.
“[The event’s purpose is] to award members who are deserving of scholarships based on an essay, on academics, community involvement, things like that, and to celebrate it with the community,” Gomez said.
Attendees were treated to plenty of music and dancing, as well as a ceremony for the recipients. Jesus Porras, a 2018 scholarship winner and second-year engineering student, expressed his gratitude to LSU and hoped that his achievement will inspire others in his family to graduate.
“I just want to have a family of graduating brothers and sisters,” Porras said.