The Association of Latin American Students held its final meeting of the semester on April 22 on the sixth floor of the Auditorium Building.
The meeting was less formal than a normal week’s and gave the organization members a change to reflect on the year’s accomplishments and begin discussion about the upcoming agenda for fall.
Karla Ortiz, who will take over as president of ALAS in the fall, is currently looking to fill the other executive board positions such as secretary, treasurer and vice president.
“There are some ideas and events we are starting to talk about, but I need to get my board complete to move forward with next year’s agenda,” Ortiz said.
One event that Ortiz has already begun to plan is the organization’s annual Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebration, which will take place in November. In past years, the event has had a large student turnout and been a successful endeavor on behalf of ALAS, according to Ortiz.
Looking back on its work over the past year, ALAS members chose to highlight a few of its more successful ventures, which included attending a major leadership conference and raising funds to support its first scholarship.
ALAS sent 16 members to the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute in February, where the organization were able to further develop leadership skills and celebrate its heritage.
“The USHLI conference is the largest cross-generational Hispanic conferences in the nation, attracting high school and college students, you and mid-career professionals, senior citizens, and public officials representing all levels of government,” the organization says on its website.
At a recent ALAS event, which they co-sponsored with Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity and Gamma Phi Omega, the group was able to raise money for their first ever scholarship, which is expected to be awarded to a graduating Roosevelt University student in fall of 2015, according to Janet Perez, an ALAS member. The event was a comedy show featuring poet Joe Hernandez-Kolski, and attendees made donations to the fund.
The scholarship will host some criteria, including the attendance of at least five ALAS meetings and one of the organization’s on campus events.
Looking ahead, ALAS’ immediate goals are to fill open positions and recruit students for general membership.
“Our mission is really to educate the university and create a sense of awareness surrounding the Latino community that is on campus,” said Perez.