Luke Reed, Correspondent
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the newly-founded LatinX alumni chapter of Jacksonville State University hosted Taco Tuesday at Heirloom Taco, located in Jacksonville’s Public Square.
After working to establish the alumni chapter for the past two years, the JSU Alumni Board of Directors voted last Saturday to make LatinX an official active alumni network.
“After celebrating Hispanic heritage month, I decided, along with other alumni, to collect names and signatures via Facebook with other Hispanic alumni,” said Sebastian Mendez, founder and president of the JSU LatinX alumni chapter.
Mendez said that, with the amount of members attending their events (following COVID-19 protocols), creating a Facebook page for the chapter with 70+ members and conducting a survey, the LatinX alumni chapter was eligible to become an official chapter.
He explained that the chapter has three goals: connect with alumni that are Hispanic/Latino descendant or alumni friends of the LatinX chapter that are interested in Hispanic/Latino culture, raise awareness of higher education to support the next generations of future LatinX students to enroll at JSU and support current LatinX students on campus.
Attendees of the Taco Tuesday event expressed excitement and inspiration as the university launches the new LatinX alumni chapter, including JSU student Giovanna Hernandez, who said that the establishment of the chapter is “something that has been in the works for a while, and it’s finally accomplished.”
“I was very happy to celebrate the establishment of our LatinX Alumni Chapter,” said Hernandez, who attended Tuesday’s festivities. “JSU has gone through much growth in the last two years to further build a more inclusive, welcoming, and supportive environment for Hispanic/LatinX students.”
Ricardo Gonzalez, a JSU student and member of El Latido, said that he experienced a huge sense of pride as the attendees gathered for a group picture.
“All members, past and present, coming to celebrate a home within our home,” Gonzalez remarked of the moment.