HASA’s Involvement with UCOSA

HASA’s Involvement with UCOSA

Students in the University of Central Oklahoma Student Association meet with their committee to discuss the progress of their goals for the semester. Photo by Lacey Williams, The Vista. 

The University of Central Oklahoma’s Student Association (UCOSA) held its weekly meeting Monday in the Nigh University Center in order to discuss its goals for the semester.

UCOSA is a student-run government on campus and acts as a representative for the collective student body.

UCOSA is a reflection of the national government and includes an executive, judicial and legislative branch.

The association’s main areas of focus include funding for campus organizations and bringing a light to student concerns.

According to Stockton Duvall, UCOSA’s Vice Chair of Student Congress, a diverse array of students make up the congress in order to represent multiple viewpoints and organizations. Members of Congress must meet certain qualifications to ensure the diversity of the voting members.

Within the association, members are broken up into committees. The Committees include Academic Affairs; Accountability, Reform and Transparency (ART), Campus Development; Human Diversity; Graduate Affairs; Public Relations; Ways and Means; and the Executive Committee.

Each committee has an elected chair to lead discussions and keep the group focused on the goals they hope to accomplish this semester.

Sophomore Elsa Ruiz, Chair of Human Diversity, has been involved in UCOSA for two semesters. Leading her group, Ruiz hopes to create events for students to attend on campus to celebrate diversity and learn about other cultures.

Ruiz is also the president of the Hispanic American Student Association, HASA.

Ruiz stated that according to HASA’s constitution, the purpose of the Hispanic American Student Association is to promote Hispanic cultural awareness, provide a network and support system for Hispanic-American student’s academic and personal development, and promote multicultural awareness through the incorporation of all students, regardless of ethnicity, in presenting programs to aid tolerance and the interaction with other multicultural organizations.

HASA hosts events throughout the semester that celebrate the Hispanic culture. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the group recently hosted “Salsa Under the Stars” where students were able to learn new moves and enjoy a salsa bar.

HASA recently wrapped up their events for the Hispanic Heritage Month. For their final event of the month, they worked together with the Native American Student Association, NASA. They hosted a Cultural Appropriation Forum which included panelists from both ethnicities.

“The Cultural Appropriation Forum was hosted by a panel of professors and students. They discussed how the Native American and Hispanic cultures are misrepresented through Halloween costumes as well as other topics,” Ruiz said.

In addition to bringing cultural awareness to campus, HASA allows its members to learn and utilize leadership skills.

In early November HASA’s vice president, Felix Yanez, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; MeShawn Conley; Juliana Lopez of public relations; and Ruiz president of HASA, all attended the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, HACU, where they were able to interact and share ideas with members of other colleges and universities across the nation.

HASA will have their annual Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, event on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Nigh University Ballrooms. The UCO community is welcome to attend.

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