Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Club Latino members attend Harvard conference

Four members of Whitman’s Club Latino traveled across the country to attend the 15thannual Harvard Latino Law, Policy and Business Conference in Cambridge, Mass. last Friday, April 13.

Contributed photo

The conference spanned four days, bringing together Latino students and prominent Latino professionals from around the United States.

Alumnus Pedro Galvao ’10 helped organize this year’s conference around the theme of “The Rising Latino: Latinos in the United States and Latin America on the World Stage.”

“The conference as a whole focused on Latinos as a group that is growing in power and influence,” said Galvao.

Galvao invited senior Adam Delgado and sophomore Cynthia Ramos to present findings from their State of the State for Washington Latinos research project at a student panel exploring the importance of Latino Studies programs in undergraduate education.

“I used to be a State of the State student myself, which is why I thought of them . . . Whitman doesn’t have a Latino Studies program but State of the State is the closest thing it does,” he said. “State of the State has been really influential in Washington, even changing voting systems in certain cities. I was looking at it as an example of what a Latino Studies program can do for a campus, especially at a smaller liberal arts school.”

Contributed photo

The trip was funded in part by ASWC, Club Latino, First Generation/Working Class Students, the Intercultural Center, State of the State and the Dean of Faculty. The conference marked the first time that 2012 State of the State findings were presented by undergraduates to a national audience.

In accepting the invitation to present his State of the State research, Delgado elected to bring some of the younger members of the club along to the conference.

“I thought it was really important for other students to see the kind of opportunities that are available,” said Delgado. “That’s why I’m really excited that they were able to attend, because they’ve proven themselves to be rising leaders on campus . . .  I thought this was a good opportunity for them to see what’s possible going forward.”

Attendees were enthusiastic about the conference, especially the opportunity to meet and listen to prominent figures in the Latino community.

“One thing [we were] looking forward to [was] getting to network with the speakers and learning more about their experiences,” said first-year Leslie Rodriguez, adding, “It went beyond my expectations.”

Speakers at the conference included former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Major General Angela Salinas, the first woman to serve as a commanding officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Rodriguez and the other club members said the conference inspired them to start more community initiatives through Club Latino and FGWC, citing work with the Children’s Home Society and local churches as possible future projects.

“We want to get Latinos more involved, [by] asking them to vote and get more involved in politics and in the Walla Walla community,” she said. “That’s something that we wanted to bring back to Whitman, the awareness of voting rights and issues that relate to Hispanics. [We want] to get Whitman students more involved in that.”

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