Recently, a new club, Unidad, has become a part of the Ashland University campus. This club allows students to learn more about Spanish-speaking countries, culture, dance and lifestyle.
Unidad, while small to start out with, has offered much to the campus community by ingraining more information and knowledge about Spanish culture into their lives.
President of Unidad, Angel Ortiz, aims to create a long lasting organization at AU for years to come. With an emphasis on Spanish culture and lifestyle, Ortiz hopes to share much information about different cultures with students at AU.
“We want to promote and share knowledge on Spanish-speaking countries and maybe cultures that are not familiar in the U.S. All of ‘em,” Ortiz said. “I’m second-generation Puerto Rican. I was born and raised here, but I was basically raised in a Spanish household.”
Ortiz also wants students of any background to be comfortable and welcomed into Unidad if they wish to learn more about Spanish-speaking cultures. Unidad is open to any student at AU.
“It’s a cultural organization. We are more on the stance of creating a space where Latino students can join us and build a kind of community. It’s not just for Latino students though. Anyone is free to come and learn and enjoy and share if they want to as well.”
While learning Spanish is not necessarily on the table at the moment, Ortiz wants it to be a part of Unidad at some point in the future, along with other parts of Spanish culture.
“As of right now we haven’t really incorporated a lot in terms of speaking Spanish because we’re so new and right now we’re sort of just keeping it in English presenting a little bit about Spanish culture, food, dancing, music and history. What I want to incorporate is more colloquial language—like slang,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz wishes for more physical activities, such as cooking, dance and other cultural activities to arrive once pandemic restrictions are lifted .
“My goal is just really to be a little more engaging in terms of activities. We’re a little bit restricted due to COVID obviously. Basically the idea is to kind of expand and give a little experience of other countries to whoever wants to come and learn.” Ortiz said.