OMSS Introduces New Latinx Cultural Center Coordinator

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Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia

DePaul University Lincoln Park campus.

On Tuesday, the DePaul Office of Multicultural Student Success (OMSS) held a virtual meet and greet with the new Latinx Cultural Center (LCC) Coordinator, Mariela Aranda. 

Prior to her current position, Aranda worked at the DePaul Steans Center connecting students with service learning opportunities. She began her new position at OMSS in August. 

Mariela Aranda, the new Latinx Cultural Center (LCC) Coordinator. (DePaul University)

Aranda introduced herself before opening the floor for participants.

“Last quarter seemed like it [went by] pretty fast… I didn’t really have a chance to connect with a lot of our students and organizations so that is my first priority this quarter,” Aranda said.

In addition to getting to know Aranda, the event allowed students, faculty and staff an opportunity to discuss what they would like to see from OMSS and LCC over winter quarter.

“I wanted to make a little bit of space for us to chat about if people had ideas… things they want to see out of the LCC like more collaborations… at LCC or OMSS at large,” Aranda added. 

Event participants also shared the desire to collaborate with various on campus and city organizations.

Aranda’s emphasis on collaborating also aims to connect students of various identities with one another instead of restricting certain identities to their respective cultural centers. 

“I think having programming at the intersection of different identities [is important],” Aranda said. “Our work is much broader sometimes than the identities named in our titles. That’s important.” 

DePaul senior Georgina Stacey has been programming at the LCC for the past two years. Stacey described the changes they witnessed while being a part of OMSS, including increasing critical conversations.

“The programming does look a lot different [this year] and I think that it’s been a good thing,” Stacey said. “Change is good and I think that especially with the centers and especially with the new staff coming in and [Aranda] taking on the position has been really helpful to see the different dynamics that we are able to be flexible with.” 

Before the end of the meet and greet, Aranda mentioned an upcoming event on Tuesday, Jan. 12 — a peace circle for LCC members to meet with one another and talk about shared values and guidelines for the space. 

“I want us to start having important conversations now while we’re online so that our programming is robust so that we have a lot of things going on so that people can start meeting each other, especially first year students, before we’re on campus,” she added.