LHSU creates new beginnings

Carmen Karsonovich, Social Media, Broadcasting, and Web Manager

As of December 2021 LOHS has seen the revival of a Latino Hispanic Student Union. Revived by juniors Samantha Jarquin, Margarett Jarquin and Carmen Karsonovich, the Latino Hispanic Student Union’s mission is to provide a safe space for Latino/Hispanic students and allies to come together as a community. “I was inspired by the success of the other student unions and I saw that there was a hole in our community and someone needed to step up and do it,” said co-leader Margarett Jarquin. Many years ago LOHS had a solid Latino Student Union but as founders moved beyond the LOHS campus, a space for Latino/Hispanic students faded. “I saw some of my friends create other unions and…I thought that we (Hispanics/Latinos) could use the representation because as Latinos and Hispanics, we are already so different. I think that we need to be together as a community in a place like Lake Oswego where it’s really hard” said co-leader Samantha Jarquin.

The LHSU held their first meeting on Dec. 7, 2021. Over the past few months, the community within the LHSU has gradually grown as they gain more recognition within the school. “I would like to build a solid base of people that we can turn to… a solid group of members that will go to all the meetings,” added Margarett Jarquin.“ I also want us to be more recognized and supported by students and staff and treated like other clubs and student unions.” 

Because the amount of Latino/Hispanic students within the school is so small to begin with, building a consistent body of Latino students has been challenging. “Even if we have people in our community who don’t come to our meetings often, I still want them to know that LHSU is here for them and they can come to us as a safe space to turn to when they need that support. I want all the different identities that are encompassed within the words Latino and Hispanic to be able to come together and have a safe space to do things together and be there in solidarity for each other” said Margarett Jarquin. 

As the year continues, LHSU hopes to collaborate with other affinity groups within the school to foster a welcoming community in addition to creating an ongoing dialogue within the LHSU collective. “As we plan out our contributions for Women’s Heritage Month and Hispnic Heritage Month, I am excited to work with the club members and have a back and forth conversation about what we should do. I want to be able to take their ideas and make something out of it, we don’t want to be the only ones controlling all of it. I think it’ll be nice to be able to work together with the club members as a group of peers and not as ‘members and leaders,’” said Margarett Jarquin. Because Hispanic Heritage month is at the start of the school year, planning for it is challenging. LHSU has already begun to put plans in the works for Hispanic Heritage month 2022: “We want to do some fundraising ideas with other alliances… For Hispanic Heritage month we want to decorate, do some fundraisers, and raise awareness because we hope by spreading our culture, people will be one: less racist, two: normalize other races and 3: make Lake Oswego more interesting” said Samantha Jarquin.