The facility brought together dozens of Elon students, faculty and staff for its opening—something it aims to do routinely to foster community.
It was fitting that Angel Garcia used an analogy about food to convey the goal of Elon’s new Hispanic/Latino(a) Resource Room during its grand opening celebration on Monday, as dozens of members of the Elon community ate traditional stuffed tortillas called “pupusas” before touring the new facility.
“Imagine that we are all a salad,” Garcia, the assistant director of Residence Life for the Station at Mill Point and the assistant director of Elon’s Multicultural Center, said of the Hispanic and Latin American population on campus. “Each of us is an ingredient.”
He hopes the new resource room, located in Moseley 209, will bring all the different ingredients together in a place where Hispanic and Latino(a) students can spend time together being “who they truly are, without reservation.”
“Come be yourself,” Garcia encouraged the crowd. “Celebrate your culture.”
More than a dozen flags from Spanish-speaking countries are displayed in the resource room—a nod to the places Elon’s Hispanic and Latin American community members call home. In addition to celebrating those different heritages, Garcia aims for the room to be a place where students find ways to emphasize the importance of their presence and their cultures on Elon’s campus.
“One of the main reasons for this resource room is to allow these students to come in and help us understand what they need,” he said.
Doing that, Garcia believes, will help foster an acceptance and understanding across all the different cultures on campus.
“This resource room is for everybody,” he said. The more it’s used, the more it will achieve its purpose of providing “connection points to build alliances and friendships across differences.”