By Karla Cordell
The members of the Spanish Club at the Seminole campus are excited to have a Latino president and vice-president representing the Hispanic community, but they are still calling out for more Latino members to join the fun.
The Spanish Club is in need of more Hispanic representation. Even though this is the second semester in which there has been some collaboration from Spanish students, there is still a great interest to gather more forces. The presence of Latinos is important because one of the main goals of this club is to create Hispanic cultural awareness. Professor Osiris Albrecht, Spanish professor and founder of the Spanish club said, “I invite all Hispanics from St. Petersburg College to participate and make a presence in this club.”
However, it is important to note that being fluent in Spanish, or a Hispanic descendant, is not a requirement to join this club. Don’t let your language skills or cultural background stop you from becoming a member. During our interview, Professor Osiris Albrecht explained how the club has deviated from the linguistic aspect to establish a more cultural purpose. Professor Albrecht realized that not all students were interested in learning Spanish, but many of them had a friend or relative from Hispanic heritage, and that seemed to be an interest in joining this club. On the other hand, having more Latino members, who are fluent in Spanish, would also allow room for more practice and conversations for those students who may be interested in the language aspect too. Even though learning the language is not the sole purpose of this club, you could expect to practice it with entertaining games and activities. “We practice vocabulary by playing games such as bingo and hangman,” Professor Albrecht said.
For Latino students, the Spanish club is the perfect scenario to share with others about their culture. This club provides them with great opportunity to reach out to the Spanish community and bring more ideas to the table to help create more Hispanic cultural awareness. As a member in the Spanish Club, you could expect to participate in fun events, such as Flan Day, coming up soon in November. In the past, students only needed to provide a Spanish synonym for the word delicious to be able to get a piece of flan. This allows the club to get other students talking in Spanish and participating in Spanish culture. The Hispanic Heritage Day also provides a fantastic opportunity for students to present on different topics that refer to the Hispanic culture or communities. You can even take part in exciting Hispanic holidays, such as El Dia de los Muertos or, Cinco de Mayo.
If you are one of those students that love to give back to their communities, this may be the right club for you. The Spanish Club emphasizes the need to reach out to the community. Previously, Professor Albrecht and her students have participated in pet food drives and Lou Gehrig walks. For this year, she is planning to get the Spanish Club even more involved. One of her ambitions for the club this year is to have a toy drive for the children of migrant workers. Professor Albrecht expressed a deep desire for the students in this club to have a sense of purpose and become active in their communities.
In addition, this club may be the ideal place to develop artistic aptitudes, or it may offer the opportunity to exhibit artistic expressions. Professor Albrecht is a great believer in using art as a medium of expression, communication and building a sense of community. Art takes on a significant role in this club. One year the students sang Feliz Navidad to the provost, another year a student played a Spanish song with his guitar and every year students paint ceramic plates to commemorate El Dia de los Muertos.
The Spanish club meets in room PW 706 on the first Thursday of every month at 1:00 pm, and is always welcoming new members. Having more Latinos in the Spanish group would definitely contribute with the culture-centered idea behind the Spanish Club, but whether you are a Latino or not, you will find that this club is a place where you can belong. They are always in need of people who have a genuine interest in culture, arts, and giving back to the community. As the American writer Robert Alan said, “Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity.”