OMA Celebrates Latinx Heritage Month


Courtesy of Pia Fischetti/ The Fordham Ram

Fordham’s Office of Multicultural Affairs celebrates cultural heritage months at the university regularly.

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) is celebrating LatinX Heritage Month with a different event each week during the month.

During the first week, OMA organized tabling at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center, which gave students information about what OMA is and what they do. For week two, OMA had “Café con OMA,” which gave students a chance to win free coffee, explained Jose Colon, GSB ’23, who is the programming coordinator for LatinX Heritage Month.

OMA partnered with Campus Ministry for this event. The students scanned a code to learn more about OMA, and then they won a free cup of Mexican coffee and a Brazilian pastry.

“It is a way to get people interested. We really want to do this with the next upcoming activity,” said Colon. For week three, OMA is hosting an event called “Growing Up LatinX.”

“This is an interesting one because there is not much coverage about what it means to be LatinX and what it means to grow up LatinX. Also, what it means to be LatinX growing up in the United States,” said Colon. “How do you connect to your culture when you have two at once? How do you connect with family members back in your country of origin?”
Colon is most excited about this event, especially because of his own Fordham experience during the pandemic.

Colon started at Rose Hill, and then transferred to Lincoln Center during the pandemic. “I noticed it is difficult to find people, not just LatinX, but also people from Puerto Rico,” said Colon.

According to Colon, when students come to college, they want to reminisce with someone about their experiences — what is similar and different. Colon said if he was able to find people to recount experiences with, he would have adjusted to college at a quicker pace.

Colon hopes that this event will give students a chance to have meaningful conversations. He also noted that students outside of the LatinX community can participate during the month.

“There are so many ways [to contribute] because all the committees [in OMA] work together. We cater to everyone. We want to make sure everyone has a safe space, and other people understand too,” said Colon.

For week four, OMA is hoping to host a Tipico Night/Loteria. It is similar to bingo, but OMA plans to incorporate Mexican and Latin American elements. For the event, OMA is collaborating with the Commuter Students Association (CSA), Commuter Student Services (CSS) and Campus Activities Board (CAB).

“Our goal as an office for the month is to build a tight-knit community and to celebrate LatinX Heritage through many countries,” said Rashain Adams Jr., who is a graduate intern in OMA and managing the LatinX Heritage Month Committees.

“We want students to have full creative control when it comes to crafting programs and events that [they] believe accurately portrays their heritage as well as others,” said Adams.
There is a moment of adjusting to college, specifically for someone from a LatinX background, said Colon.

“There are many people that feel the same way as you. Rather than making it seem like this is only for the LatinX community, we want to make sure that we are making people feel at ease with themselves and their identity. Those who might not understand what it is like to be Puerto Rican can learn something new and go beyond preconceived notions about that demographic,” said Colon.

While the celebration ends on Oct. 15, Colon emphasized that it doesn’t mean students still can’t get involved. “We are not done for the whole year. The next month is focused on a different committee, but we still like to do more events after that.”

Colon encouraged students to come in and contribute different ideas during the semester. “We are here to help them feel comfortable with their identity,” said Colon.