By Diana Leyva Jacob
Commuter Council is hosting a drive-in movie night tonight at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Tidwell Parking Lot.
The Disney film, “Coco”, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, will be screened. Refreshments such as Hot Cheetos, Takis, Gansitos, Sponch cookies as well as various flavors of Jarritos will be served.
To comply with social distancing guidelines, the event is being held in one of the biggest parking lots on campus. Students will be required to distance while in their vehicles, to ensure the safety of everyone and also provide an optimum viewing experience. For students who wish to sit outside, there will be 25 spaces reserved.
The Commuter Council partnered with SGA and Diversity Council to organize the movie night.
Commuter Council’s initial plan for the drive-in was to screen a movie which showcased the struggles of the Latinx Community, and how they were able to overcome them. The top choices were “Cesar Chavez”, a biographical film about the American labor activist, and “Under the Same Moon”, a film highlighting the struggles of a Mexican immigrant mother and her son. Both movies however did not meet certain ratings criteria, which led the council to choose “Coco” this week.
Mario Andrade, commuter council president, said Hispanic Heritage Month is all about empowerment.
“To me, Hispanic Heritage Month isn’t just about the past celebrities or individuals who have made an impact in my life. It empowers me to know what my roots are, to know where I’m coming from, as well as the struggles of how far we have come. Even if it’s just one month, it inspires me to have something we can be proud of,” Andrade said.
Carlos Leiva, vice president of diversity council, said Hispanic Heritage Month is a way to acknowledge everyone’s roots.
“Mario is from Guatemala, his family is from Guatemala, and I’m from El Salvador. But we share the same culture and language, we connect with that,” Leiva said. “I think Hispanic Heritage Month is a way to bring awareness and focus to a group of people that are very important in our society.”
Both Andrade and Leiva said it is important for everyone to be educated about Hispanic Heritage Month, not just the Latinx community. Leiva said knowledge is power, and that the better people are informed, the better decisions they can make.
“There is a big divide in society and in this country, but I think getting to know who these people are, instead of just listening to certain things, is important for people to be educated in that sense,” said Leiva.
Andrade says that he wants not just this event, but Hispanic Heritage Month as a whole, to be an open door for those who are interested in providing for their fellow Latinx neighbors and community.
“There is no better way to do that than by just getting to know the person as a human. I think it is important for those outside of our culture to be a part of something like that,” said Andrade.
Leiva believes it is imperative that students step outside of their comfort zone, and that these types of events help people to forget about their differences and come together.
“I think it’s beautiful that students who didn’t grow up with a Latinx presence want to be involved and I want everyone to experience that,” he said.
Andrade would like to build community from this event. Even if it’s just a small gesture like enjoying a movie and snacks, he would like to see people from all walks of life united.
“Even if it’s just one person that builds a relationship from this, that would be good enough for me. Because at the end of the day we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and we have something in common that’s greater than anything else in the world, which is the love for Jesus Christ,” Andrade said.