1. How many members do you have this year, and in what year was your organization founded?
We have multiple members. If you gage from our listserv, the number is in the thousands. If you gage from this year’s Festival LatiNU (10/03/08), it’s 600+. This quarter, we have about 150 active members, ranging all class generations. Please check out the constitution on our weblog to see who we consider a “member.”
2. What are your goals as a cultural organization at Northwestern?
The purpose of Alianza, the largest Hispanic/Latino student organization at Northwestern University, is to unite and support its members to work towards the advancement of an empowered, productive, Hispanic/Latino presence at this institution. Alianza is a cultural, educational, and social programming body, which also serves as a vehicle for activism. And for this year’s goals, read: http://nualianza.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/latin-state-of-the-union-address/
3. Do you have events coming up in the near future, and are they annual?
Check out the media. Yes to all the questions. Many of our SAFB funded events are successful perennial events.
4. How do you interact/work together with other organizations on campus?
Again: http://nualianza.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/latin-state-of-the-union-address/ But the keywords are: co-sponsorships, communication, respect, multiculturalism and pluralism, to name a few.
5. What are some of the challenges Alianza has had to face in the past, and how did you overcome them?
A sign of a stable and strong organization is one that can endure change. That being said, Alianza has experienced Executive Board resignations, faced ASG de-recognition, advisor career changes, multiple attacks by individuals, groups, organizations and institutions and, really, just about everything under the hot sun. But we make the sweetest lemonade with the rotten lemons that come our way.
6. What dynamic does your club bring to the university, and what makes it unique?
Alianza is the voice of all of the Hispanic/Latino people, allies interested in Hispanic/Latino culture, and of other Latino-related organizations on campus.
In terms of integration and engagement in large institutional bodies, Alianza has been a part of the ASG Academic Committee for at least the past four years and through this committee our Senator has strived to push towards the development of a Latina/o Studies Program. In the recent past, we were able to pass a bill through Senate that was titled “LSP AHORA.” Alianza’s efforts helped encourage the university to extend three offers to faculty that will teach Latino Studies Courses. Ultimately two professors were hired in the African American Studies and Anthropology Departments. Efforts are currently being made to realize the Latino Studies Program this upcoming academic school year and to hire a program director. Our ASG Senator has also worked towards increasing minority enrollment at Northwestern. In addition to this, our Senator would make sure that the needs and concerns of the Hispanic/Latino community are taken into consideration when passing bills through Senate, and shall advocate for other multicultural groups with similar missions. Essentially, our Senator represents the voice of the Hipanic/Latino community, and thus brings diversity to Senate.
From a more humanistic approach, Alianza serves as a home-away-from-home for many of our members. For our non-Latin@ members (without discussing the inappropriateness of racial/ethnic labels) in strong solidarity with our community, we serve as an educational body. Like our mission statement reads, we also serve as vehicle for activism. Our past mobilization for various causes include, but are not limited to: immigrant rights marches, Latina/o Studies Program student initiative, speaking out on issues like the omission of Latin restaurants in the 2008 Northwestern University Parent Guide, coalition building with Evanston, Chicagoland colleges and universities and a multitude of student groups on campus, just to name a few. With an outstanding football season, our organization strives to create unity among the Latina/o community, the multicultural community and the entire Northwestern campus.
We are you, you are us.
Please contact Aldo Gallardo (President) at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.