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  • Alexandra Vivas '23 and Alexandra Sanabria '23

ALAS 50th Year Celebration


Members of the he(art) club at this year's ALAS showcase

This year the Association of Latin American students, also known as ALAS, celebrates their 50th anniversary. ALAS celebrated with their annual Showcase back in October called “Mi Gente.” Celebrating different Latinx cultures in our SI community.


ALAS has a rich history stemming from its origins as the Hispanic Club. In the Hispanic club, anyone could join regardless of if they identify as Latinx. When we spoke to Ms. Medina Zevas, she explained how it was not structured like an affinity group, but rather had sporadic meetings, which made the Latinx community less united and known. The director of equity and inclusion had the idea to make BSU, ALAS, and ASC into affinity groups.


On the SI website Affinity groups are defined as “Pro-moting awareness and respect for diversity at St. Ignatius. Affinity groups provide a safe space for students who self-identify within each affinity group with the larger goal of creating an inclusive and thriving learning environment.


When Ms. MZ became the moderator for ALAS, a lot of the students told her how they felt invisible and weren’t a part of the SI community. Even now ALAS members feel underrepresented in all various aspects of the SI community: administration, curriculum, and in social settings. Since many students felt this way, they wanted to become a part of leadership in order to make change and be seen.


Ms. MZ described the students as, “Not afraid to talk to administration and let them know what they want to see in terms of change in the school. The fact that people of our leadership are willing to do that is really important because it has told the administration that we are important and need to support our Latinx students.” We then talked about how ALAS has become a place to inspire students on what they can do in the future. She said we can “See the growth where ALAS is not just about being at SI but about where you can go.


 

“When I look to the future, I think about going back to some of the basics, like making sure ALAS is a welcoming space no matter whether or not they speak Spanish, no matter whether or not they have blonde hair, blue eyes, the Latin community is incredibly diverse and that you belong here. So I think continuing to feel welcomed is an important thing to do past, present and future.”


-Ms. Medina Zevas, Social Science Teacher

 


Alexandra Vivas '23 and Alexandra Sanabria '23 are Vol. 71 Contributing Editors

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