The Latin American Student Association (LASA) hosted its first event of the semester, Under the Same Son, in UTCC on Friday, Oct. 7.

LASA represents the Latino and multi-ethnic community by celebrating and expressing their cultures while connecting cultural gaps at APU. LASA is one of six ethnic organizations on campus and is not exclusive to Latinos, but is diverse in the ethnic backgrounds of its group members. LASA is proactively dedicated to expressing the ethnic and cultural tradition of the Latino community.

The purpose of the event was to invite and educate students and parents about their cultures. Under the Same Son provided food and performances that gave a taste of the Latino culture.

The event was organized by junior biology major and LASA vice president Kelly Valenzuela, and was hosted by Luiz Figueroa. Valenzuela was originally introduced to LASA by her best friend and roommate who is a multi-ethnic leadership scholar.

“[I] instantly fell in love with the club,” Valenzuela said.

Valenzuela then became involved with the club and events, eventually leading up to last year’s president of LASA recommending Valenzuela to take the vice president position. In regard to the event, Valenzuela said she believes it helped to familiarize students on campus with LASA.

“Looking at this event and how united our group is should welcome more people into joining the club,” Valenzuela said.

Sophia Kitabijan, sophomore business marketing major and Armenian Student Association member, said she felt the event was well organized and loved the energy.

“I really thought the dances and performance from the kids were great because it brought different people to represent their culture,” Kitabijan continued. “The children performing and celebrating with their dancing made me excited to learn more about LASA here at Azusa Pacific University. It gave a young and modern perspective on the Latin American culture.”

LASA president and junior applied exercise science major Kassy Gomez became involved with LASA during her senior year of high school when she served at the Latinos Serving Latinos conference. She said the mentors she met helped influence her choice to go to APU, and she knew she was going to be a part of LASA when she became a student.

“Being president is an honor and privilege,” Gomez said. “Without my incredible team, I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own.”

LASA’s next event is the Latinos Serving Latinos conference on Nov. 17 and 19.

Students interested in getting involved with LASA can attend bi-weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in Multi Media Room 1. Follow LASA on Instagram and Facebook at APULASA.