University of Miami’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) helped launch the Latin Leadership Council (LLC), a new cultural student council designed to empower, support and encourage collaboration among Latin and Hispanic students.
The LLC — which launched last semester and plans to host its first meeting of the semester on Feb. 7 — was conceptualized in the summer of 2020. At the time, many Latin and Hispanic student leaders met to discuss how they could best manage their respective organizations in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Something that I noticed over my years at this school is that there was not a lot of collaboration between Latin and Hispanic student organizations,” said Michel Pinard, a student advisor of the LLC and senior at UM.“Before it was more like a competition rather than a collaboration. So, there was an idea and a push to change that.”
This initial collaboration between Latin and Hispanic student leaders at UM would then be referred to as the “Todos Juntos Initiative” or the “All Together Initiative” in Spanish.
Pinard said the development of the LLC was a means of cementing the progress these student leaders made with this original initiative over the summer of 2020 and the 2020-2021 academic year at UM.
“The goal and purpose of the council is to serve as a place to unite the UM community by being a support system to the Latin and Hispanic population,” said Victor Rios, a graduate student at the School of Education & Human Development and Interim Chair overseeing the LLC. “These students can voice their opinions about campus programming, leadership representation and advocacy at the U.”
Utilizing their platform, the council hopes to achieve several goals this semester to amplify Latin and Hispanic voices in our community.
Some of these goals include promoting Hispanic Heritage Month, advocating for the expansion of the UDreamers Program and hosting UM’s first ‘CaneFiesta, a spinoff of UM’s ‘CaneFest that will aim to highlight the vibrancy and complexity of Latin and Hispanic UM student organizations.
In the long-term, the council aims to launch initiatives that range from interacting with the greater Miami area to potentially building a graduate organization for even more Latin and Hispanic UM students to join, Pinard said.
Stephanie Nuñez, assistant director at the MSA, said she encourages all students to attend LLC’s meetings regardless of their current or previous involvement on campus. All of the meetings will be held on a bi-weekly basis after the first meeting on Feb. 7.
“I am always eager to hear from our students how we can better serve and support them,” said Christopher Clarke, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. “The Latin Leadership Council was built with the vision and input from our students. Now that the Council has officially launched, our goal is to ensure that it operates effectively and benefits those that join.”
Keep up to date with the LLC and their progress on campus via their Instagram page, @umlatinlc.