Hispanos Unidos offers fun and inclusive atmosphere

By: Lydia Braswell

Bella Haraguchi’s dance skills are paying off.

The president of Hispanos Unidos taught a Latinx hip-hop dance class on Nov. 21 that represented the culture of the Purdue Fort Wayne club well.

“Dancing is what brings families together,” says the PFW sophomore, explaining that Hispanos Unidos is an inclusive campus club open to all PFW students– not limited to students of Hispanic heritage.

The environment of the fitness studio transpired that sentiment during the dance. Some who attended had a background in dance, and others– like me– had very little prior experience. All six of the dancers continually encouraged each other to keep going and focus on having fun.

Daddy Yankee’s song “Que Tire Pa Lante” played repeatedly from a loudspeaker as we practiced the routine for a total of two hours– including several much-needed breaks for water and fruit snacks. We had an ever-changing audience as students continually peeked their heads in to see what we were up to, and some even stayed to learn a section of the dance.

Libni Sedano attended the hip-hop class and loves to dance in her spare time. Rather than dancing professionally, Sedano learned from her family, as she says dancing is a key tradition for Hispanic families.

The PFW sophomore is majoring in finance and Spanish, and has been part of Hispanos Unidos for two semesters. She said she joined because she likes to be part of people sharing her cultural background.

Haraguchi says that, at parties, dancing isn’t really about getting a work out. The purpose is to feel connected with friends and family, especially in Hispanic culture – whether it’s dancing with a partner, a friend, or a group.

“You eat and then burn [the calories] right off!” Sedano says. “If you get hungry again, there’s more food!”

The Latinx teacher has a diverse background in dance. Starting for fun in elementary school, she began learning elite dance in a studio in middle school and continued through high school. She has competed in a variety of competitions, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop.

The 20-year-old has stopped dancing professionally but still does hip-hop dances, and her skills were evident as she taught the Latinx class with ease.

“I still love dancing a lot,” says Haraguchi. She also had a chance to teach in September– another Latinx hip-hop combo that was a fundraiser for Hispanos Unidos. The club president and chemistry major stepped up as a leader after the scheduled teacher of the class never showed up.

Teaching hip-hop is not the first time Haraguchi showed her leadership skills. When the soon-to-be-freshman was touring PFW in 2018, she found out that Hispanos Unidos would no longer be a club unless someone volunteered to be president and get students involved.

Haraguchi took on the role and has since been a leader for her club and for her campus.

Haraguchi volunteered to teach on Nov. 21, planning the event herself following the success of the last class. She hopes that those who attended learned more about dancing.

“Dancing doesn’t require much experience or technique,” says Haraguchi. “It’s about feeling the music and having fun with others.”

After fine-tuning our dance moves, we recorded the routine and it is posted on the Instagram page for Hispanos Unidos. None of us were required to be featured in the video, but after a little extra self-esteem boost for the more shy dancers in our group, all six who learned the routine agreed to be recorded. Once again, an encouraging atmosphere was fostered with the help of the Hispanos Unidos club members, and the attitude was contagious.

 

Carolina Baltazar has personally experienced the inclusive nature of the club.

Baltazar attended a private school for most of her education. Born in America and growing up in a family with Mexican heritage, Baltazar’s family speaks Spanish at home. She thought that going to a public school in third and fourth grade would allow her to feel more included after being in a private school with very little diversity, but even though she found a group of people to hang out with, she still did not feel fully accepted.

Baltazar says she thought people at the private school viewed her as a Hispanic girl who didn’t have high standards and acted “ghetto” with no manners. Her friends at the public school would tell her that she acted “white” and Baltazar could not find the balance between the two labels.

The PFW freshman says she was so excited to join Hispanos Unidos and finally be with a group that does not care about labels. “I’m with my people,” says Baltazar.

Baltazar hopes to be part of the club’s advertising committee to spread the word and form a stronger PFW community.

Haraguchi says future classes may be possible after the night’s turnout, with a grand total of 11 who signed the safety waiver and attendance forms. The free class was open to all PFW students and staff.

The Latinx hip-hop dance class was taught in the Hilliard Gates Fitness Studio, located inside the Hilliard Gates Sports Center, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 21 as posted on the Instagram pagefor Hispanos Unidos.

Anyone who wants to learn more about Hispanic culture and be involved in a group dedicated to inclusivity is welcome to join Hispanos Unidos.

Closure of College Access TV impacts activities on campus

By: Sam Frick

This video describes the impacts of the closure of College Access TV (CTV) at Purdue University Fort Wayne. CTV unexpectedly closed in the Summer of 2019, which led to the firing of all of the CTV staff, and leaving the basement floor at Helmke Library mostly empty. Rooms and equipment that could have been in use by faculty and students (CTV Edit Suite, the Broadcast Newsroom) are all locked up, and access is restricted.

Appreciation for the recognizable Notre Dame stadium

Created By: Jeffrey Collier Jr.

Almost 90 years ago the Fighting Irish played their first home at Notre Dame stadium in South Bend, Indiana. The original seating capacity was 60,000 and stayed that way for six decades. It patterned one scale around the stadium and was built according to the design of Michigan Stadium.

More than 21,000 seats were added for the 1997 season, which increased the capacity to over 80,000.

Notre Dame Stadium Usher and graduate John McDonald added, “the original stadium was made up of over one million bricks mixed with limestone to add more of an Indiana feel since we don’t like those guys from Michigan”.

After the Campus Crossroads renovation to add more lighting, the number of seats decreased to 77,622. The playing surface was changed to artificial turf in 2014 after 84 seasons on natural grass.

The stadium is known for its view of the large mural looking over the stadium called Touchdown Jesus.

There have been 249 consecutive sellouts at Notre Dame Stadium. The stadium host other sporting events such as soccer and hockey.

“No matter who plays in this stadium or how much it changes it will always be the house that Knute Rockne built.”