Cultivating diversity on campus, celebrating other cultures and overall learning more of an area of interest from those who are a part of that culture or know of it: all of these constitute the student organization, Hispanic Organization of Latin Americans (HOLA).
HOLA is one of the many NDSU student organizations that work to promote diversity on campus. This student-based organization works to promote Hispanic culture as well as giving people an outlet to learn more.
Amanda Escalona, president of HOLA, is from Venezuela, which is why she joined the club as well as a way to continue to spread diversity on campus. “I think promoting our culture and diversity on campus is very important,” Escalona said.
To continue to learn and share Hispanic culture, HOLA has activities “such as Spanish movie nights, salsa and bachata dances, Spanish sessions and potlucks with Hispanic food,” Escalona explained.
Many see this organization as something only for people of Hispanic culture, but many of their members are not Hispanic and just interested in learning Spanish and more about the differences in culture. “Most of HOLA’s members aren’t exactly Hispanic; they are in the organization for the experience in getting involved in something new,” Escalona believes.
Although the majority of members are not Hispanic, those who are have been seen as making more friends from being involved in the organization. Escalona explained that she can vouch for this because she has made more friends herself, by being so involved with HOLA.
So why join HOLA? Many members have joined to improve their Spanish skills while others are simply interested in learning more about the Hispanic culture, such as the food and salsa dancing.
“I think that HOLA, along with other organizations, provides the opportunity to other students to get to experience different cultures and get to know different people on campus,” Escalona said. “The NDSU campus is very open and welcoming to other cultures.”
Why is it important that this organization is acknowledged on campus? “Because it plays a big role in promoting the Hispanic culture on campus and it also helps NDSU students to learn the Spanish language,” Escalona said.
Escalona explained that promoting Hispanic culture is very important because it brings light to another area of diversity seen on campus. Diversity on campus continues to grow, and HOLA plans on informing people of the Hispanic culture and promoting this growth.