–Compiled by Cody Boteler, Senior Editor
Over 40 students turned out to Freedom Square Thursday, August 27, to help the TU Latin-American Student Organization, or LASO, draw attention to recent remarks made by presidential candidate Donald Trump toward the Hispanic population.
“It was just supposed to be a couple of people,” Towson LASO President Walter Alvarado said. “We were just trying to raise awareness.”
The event, which occurred Thursday afternoon around 1 p.m., involved students taking pictures with signs that read #MrTrumpWeHaveAQuestion and “I have a question Mr. Trump,” in addition to #OrgulloHispano. Later that afternoon, members of LASO took the compiled photos and posted them on Twitter to spread their message.
Starting Sept. 9, LASO meetings will be held Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in the Union, Room 305
Below is The Towerlight’s Friday, August 28 conversation with TU LASO vice president, Aimy Avila.
Can you tell me a little bit about LASO? What are your goals as an organization?
LASO is the Latin-American Student Organization here on campus. We meet every Wednesday with the goal of providing the students on campus the opportunity to learn about the Hispanic culture as well as giving those the space to share and embrace their own culture. As an organization we focus on giving back to our community not just here at Towson but within the local community and in the city of Baltimore. We put together events that allow students to celebrate their culture while giving others the opportunity to submerge themselves in an unfamiliar world. LASO strives to create a safe environment for everyone no matter what their cultural background is because we believe that the more we learn about one another the more we can achieve as a collective group. We are a strong and growing organization that celebrates Latino heritage and culture through educational, political and social activities.
What has your personal experience with the organization been?
My personal experience with LASO has been an unforgettable one. Since my freshman year I have been involved, and it has been the driving force for my growing involvement on campus. LASO became my home away from home within the first semester of my freshman year, and now as a senior and a 2nd year Eboard member all I want to do is strive to make sure that LASO continues to be that close niche that our students can call home. LASO has made me a more involved student on campus and because of that my years here at Towson have all been memorable.
What happened at the event [Thursday?] Who showed up, what all did you, as a group, do?
[August 27] we held an event at Freedom Square to promote publicity on the incident that occurred with Jorge Ramos, a Univision anchor, and Donald Trump. We made signs with hashtags (#wehaveaquestion,#orgullohispano, #ihaveaquestionmrtrump) and had students on campus take pictures with them. We got as many students as we could that were walking by, our general body members and anyone who was willing. Once we had enough pictures compiled we flooded our twitter page at 3 p.m. and tagged Donald Trump, Univision, Jorge Ramos and The Towerlight in order to get our message across. As students, many of us think that we do not have political influence, but in reality we do and that was the message we wanted to get across to our campus, as well as inform them of how far the Donald Trump antics are going and how we need to use our voice and stand against it. We reached out to other Latin Organizations in the DMV and encouraged to do the same, which they did.
What was the goal or mission/purpose for the event? Was it just to raise awareness? To protest Donald Trump’s recent behavior?
The main goal of this event was to draw attention to Donald Trump’s recent behaviors and to motivate students to take a stand.
What’s next for you, and for your group?
With elections around the corner and voter apathy being so high, we want to continue to shed light to political issues and encourage students to register to vote and to actually show up to the polls. This is the first of many events that we will be having to address this issue but as a Latin Organization we believe we should be the first ones to stand up and protest against all the derogatory comments Donald Trump has been making toward the Hispanic community. However, we cannot do this alone. We need the support of as many people as possible and not just from the students here at Towson, but from all over.