Students take learning out of the classroom and onto the library side walk


Perla Lara

Engineering major Neel Patel, and undecided major Aelin Lopez (right) and other Counseling 200 students listening as Puente counselor Rosa Carrillo discusses Patel’s group poster board on Tuesday Oct. 4. Carrillo was part of the Hispanic Heritage committee that planned the student presentations in the library sidewalk. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Students from the Counseling 200 class gathered on the library sidewalk to display poster boards with research on issues that affect the Hispanic community.

As part of the Hispanic heritage month activities counselor and Instructor Gustavo Romero had his students display their class projects and present them to interested students.

Engineering major Neel Patel brought his group presentation about the 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s views on Latinos on to the library side walk. His plan was to inform the students on campus about the candidate’s views.

He said, “Some people out there don’t really know who to vote for president yet so I wanted to educate them. Also some people don’t know Donald Trump’s actions toward [Hispanics].”

Other topic boards that where displayed included the Oaxaca riots where teacher protest in Oaxaca Mexico turned violent and resulted in eight dead and more injured when they faced the police.

Biology major Brenda Navarro said she did not know about the riots until her group mate Natalie Limon told the group about them and suggested the topic for their presentation.

Navarro said, “We just got into it, it’s something that is happening now.”

Business administration major Alexis Andrade, who was also part of the group said, “[the riots] didn’t solve any problems, in the student’s education, the riots kept them out of school, it was too dangerous to go to school.”

Another member of the group automotive mechanical engineer Jimesh Patel added, “There were no teachers to help [the students in Oaxaca].”

He thought students should be informed about the topic because “it is happening in the world now.”

Another topic that was displayed was on the Mexican drug cartels. Film major Alex Acosta and his five other group members thought the topic was important to discuss because it portrayed Hispanics in a negative light.

Acosta said that something that was going on in Mexico was having an effect on how people viewed Hispanics in the USA.

He said, “We get the heat for something that happens in Mexico. We decided that the drug cartel was the main negative look at Mexicans.”

Rosa Carrillo, Puente and AB 540 counselor, also stopped by to look at the poster boards and talk to the students. Carrillo wanted to get the students views after researching their topics.

She said, “I think it’s great that they are taking the time to learn about something different especially during Hispanic heritage month.”

Carrillo is also part of the Hispanic Heritage committee, “We have a large population of Latino students, we’re surrounded by a community that is primarily Latino Hispanic and I think that students are not aware of the history and a lot of the different positive contributions that our Latino community has actually contributed to the United States.

“During this election time Latinos are portrayed very negatively and there are a lot of biases and stereotypes toward us but when you look at the history that we have it’s a very rich and diverse history, it’s a very positive history but unfortunately our campus community, our students are not aware of that.”

With regard to the topics being the Oaxaca riots, the Cuban revolution, the El Salvador civil war, and the Mexican drug cartels Carrillo said, “It’s the outcome that comes from that [riots, war, revolutions,] because even though there is always some kind of civil disobedience, or some kind of revolution, revolution doesn’t mean that it’s a negative,

“Revolution means that there is a need for change, I think that’s kind of what happens sometimes with a lot of these revolutions and civil disobedience is that sometimes you have to do things that are going to create that positive change that change that we want to see for our community.”

Romero said the idea of presenting the project display boards on the library sidewalk was made by the committee for the Hispanic Heritage month celebration.

He said “I had students do research on the different topics pertaining to Latin America and focusing on Hispanic heritage, and do poster boards.”

Engineering technology major Joshua Ramos stopped by the student presentation table to look at the different poster boards.

He said, “I want to brush up a little bit on Hispanic culture, I wanted to see what this [the poster boards] was all about.”

The poster board that caught his attention was on the Salvadorian civil war because he did not know that El Salvador had a civil war so he learned something new.

He said he would recommend other students see the poster boards, however he noted that there needed to be “a little more interpersonal interaction and attention” between the students there to present and the students like himself that went to view the poster boards.