So far this semester, OLA has hosted two activities aimed at spreading awareness of the Latino culture. The first activity was OLA Bash, an information night filled with food, while the second was a showing of the documentary “La Clave.”
The events thus far were a success according to OLA’s leaders.
“It was really good,” said Maddy Hutchison, Brighton senior. “We had a big turn out.”
OLA has been teaming up with other departments on campus to help increase the number of people in attendance and to spread awareness about Latino culture to a wider audience.
“There has been at least a decent, consistent showing of people, which is better than three,” said Erika Buckley, assistant director of global diversity.
Not only has OLA begun to spark more attendance at its events, but there are students who have officially joined the organization, too.
“We’ve gotten 18 registered members for the semester, which is really good,” Hutchison said.
OLA aims to have genuine and consistent involvement from its members.
“The more people who are willing to do the work, the merrier, not just the more people the merrier,” Buckley said.
Hutchison, OLA’s president, and Buckley, OLA’s advisor, both see leaders blossoming within the group. They are confident there will be members who can support and cultivate this organization in the semesters to come.
Mariah Phelps, Lawton sophomore, is one of those rising leaders.
“Maddy is really trying to bring [OLA] back,” Phelps said. “It is really important to her, and it is really important to me.”
Phelps, like others involved in OLA, takes true pride and shows genuine passion about OLA as an organization, partly because of her exposure to the Latino culture through her schooling and factory work at home in Lawton.
As for OLA, Phelps foresees this passion producing results.
“I really do have high hopes that it will become a larger organization,” Phelps said.
“We have thought about pairing with the Asian Awareness Group on campus to help encourage our image.”
Phelps and her peers keep OLA’s main vision of spreading awareness of the Latino culture present. By doing so, Phelps believes OLA can help make a difference in the Latino community.
“I think it’s really important to raise awareness about [Latino culture] through social construct, and I think this is the way to do it,” Phelps said.
OLA has made substantial advancements since the start of the semester and plans on maintaining that trend.
For those interested in getting involved and/or learning more about this umbrella organization, OLA has meetings every Sunday at 9 p.m. in the Umbrella House.
Photo by Holly Pyper