Moving to a PWI from an inner city school can be hard. It’s different. And it’s definitely true when they tell you there will be a culture shock. I’ve found it difficult to acclimate myself to a world with different demographics than I’m accustomed to, but I can definitely say I still feel at home.
A big part of this been the presence of Multicultural Student Organizations (MSO’s) on campus and their ease of availability to students, but that is not the only resource that has helped me. Below are a few ways I’ve been able to engage with different activities on campus in and out of the class room that have helped me cope with the culture shock and engage more with the diverse community on campus.
Latino History Project of Worcester
I have a strong interest in Latin American Studies, so I’m currently in a Spanish course . One of the components of it is a Community Based Learning (CBL) experience. The community aspect of my course is the participation in the Latino History Project of Worcester, which is a local organization that aims to collect the stories of Latinxs in Worcester through interviews. Last weekend I went to the THE JOURNEY, which showcased much of the present local Latin American culture and its rich history. I even got the chance to do my first interview in Spanish with a Worcester local that day!
Cantor Art Gallery
The Cantor Art Gallery at Holy Cross strives to showcase “the intellectual and cultural life of College of the Holy Cross”. In the early fall I visited Gabrielle Thierry’s exhibit for my creative writing course, but recently I also got the chance to attend the opening for the current exhibition, Rethinking the Afropolitan: The ethics of black Atlantic masculinity on display
The Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan is reputable for their involvement on campus with current events. With the news of DACA, the MEChA hastily organized a Phone-a-ton event to show our support of DACA to our fellow representatives. Later there was also a fruta fundraiser that I was able to help in where the proceedings went to DACA recipients.
Apart from being a support group, I have enjoyed the several Latin American Student Organization efforts to explore the complex identity of the Latin American community. One of my favorite events this semester has been the Café con leche talk. During this discussion, we got to enjoy some warm coffee and donuts while Holy Cross staff moderated a discussion on the implications and history of identifying as Latinx or Hispanic.