Student center

Chicanx Latinx Student Center Members Celebrate Hispanic Heritage – The Daily Evergreen

The center is open to anyone who is interested; students went to the football game with Latin American flags


G. Sam Lopez is standing for a photo Thursday afternoon at the Chicanx Latinx Student Center in the Compton Union Building.

Many members of the Chicanx Latinx Student Center have their own way of celebrating their common origins during Hispanic Heritage Month.

One of these students is G. Sam Lopez, major in political science. Lopez said he’s a student mentor who has been with CLSC since he started at WSU.

“I was a mentee at the center during my freshman year when I first came here,” Lopez said. “I became a mentor in second year and I didn’t stop. “

Lopez said he spent a good part of his life celebrating and understanding his culture.

Many of his family have participated in protests and other similar events to help improve the lives of people with similar backgrounds, he said.

“My parents were activists, my grandparents were activists. So I grew up like that, ”Lopez said. “Myself, I’m interested in politics, so for me it’s always been easy to care about our heritage, growing up in America and seeing the struggles that some of our people have faced. “

Lopez said he chose to continue to embrace his family’s legacy by joining the CLSC. He also did this to help students who thought there was no one with a similar cultural identity.

Lopez said he recognizes the importance for Hispanic students of having someone to interact with in Pullman, as he found there were very few people nearby who shared his heritage. He also noticed that there were very few students with similar backgrounds in his classes.

“Just have the fourth floor [of the Compton Union Building] like a safe space where we know we’re going to see someone who looks like us and who’s going to talk like us is really nice, ”Lopez said.

Martin Navarrete-Contreras, a senior construction management major, has been a mentor at the CLSC since last year, despite challenges related to COVID-19. He said he joined the group earlier this year and served as a mentor to many younger students.

Navarrete-Contreras said he also had a lot of knowledge about his legacy from his family.

“I am a first generation student.” said Navarrete-Contreras. “I have a lot of family members who know their heritage. All carry their heritage from Mexico.

The CLSC is planning events during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.

“We did one recently with [Athletics] where we went to a soccer game and brought a bunch of Latin American flags, ”Lopez said. “They were playing Spanish music and dancing, and it was really cool.”

Lopez and Navarrete-Contreras said all interested students are welcome to visit the CLSC, which is on the fourth floor of the CUB.

“This place is for all students,” Lopez said. “I fully recommend it, especially if they have never been here before.”