By Felipe Sanches
Since the founding of La Comunidad Intelectual, the vision of the Learning Community has been to “recognize and critically examine Caribbean and Latin American cultures, customs and traditions as they exist at UConn and beyond… [and to] nurture intellectual diversity, inclusivity, and social activism.” As the only Latinx Learning Community on campus, we pride ourselves on sticking to that vision and creating projects, events, and social media campaigns that revolve around this vision. We pride ourselves in being grounded in various Latinx cultures- Colombian, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Uruguayan, Venezuelan, Mexican, and more—and making sure that our cultures are bound together by the common theme of fostering Latinx intellectuals on a collegiate level.
This year is going to be a year of expansion and growth for the LCI because we are closely working on significant projects in order to get the attention of the University and the future Latinx Huskies that will be walking on this campus next year, the year after, and for many more years to come. La Comunidad Intelectual is at a point in time where the Learning Community is ready to take the next steps forward. But what are the next steps forward?
- Solidifying Relationships with the Latinx Institutions on UCONN Storrs Campus– It is important for LCI’s continued growth to have strong relationships with the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) and El Instituto. These three institutions, or the Latinx trifecta, as I like to refer to them as, are vital to continue to deal with the social, academic, and intellectual needs of Latinx students. So, it is imperative for LCI to strengthen relationships with PRLACC and El Instituto. LCI already has El Instituto’s support and a close relationship with them through student liaisons, the proximity to each other. LCI has most recently joined the Latinx Student Leadership Council, which is the council that oversees all the student orgs out of PRLACC. It is a step forward for LCI because it opens up avenues of communication with other cultural and Latinx greek orgs for collaborations and gets people more aware of what our Learning Community does for our Latinx students.
- Establishing an effective marketing campaign- In a world that revolves around social media and the Internet, it is imperative that La Comunidad Intelectual stays ahead of the curve in terms of online presence. We currently have an Instagram as our main form of social media, but we will establish updated Facebook and Twitter pages in order to increase our presence on social media platforms across the board. In addition to an increase on social media platforms, we will be hosting fundraisers, events, discussions, and other activities to put our name out to Latinx students and increase awareness.
- Establishing El Concilio as a decision-maker and liaison between the Latinx Trifecta- El Concilio is LCI’s student-led leadership team established to support student leadership experiences, research experiences through an annual LCI case study, and to plan relevant events. El Concilio is an E-Board, with co-presidents, a treasurer, a secretary, and a social media coordinator. El Concilio is more active than ever before. It is planning and creating fundraisers and serves as liaison between others of the Latinx Trifecta–PRLACC and El Instituto. Since El Concilio is part of LxSLC, one member of the E-Board attends biweekly council meetings in PRLACC in order to network with other e-boards and represent the interests of La Comunidad Intelectual.
Our students are very excited for our upward mobility, relative to the expansion and growth of our program. Through our expansion and growth initiatives, LCI students look forward to strong ascension to the forefront of all Learning Communities. We are gaining more visibility and recognition throughout campus, not just the Latinx Trifecta and the Learning Communities office. We want UCONN Nation to see us and recognize that our Latinx students are here to stay and we are staying true to our cultures that we are all very proud of. Stay tuned to our projects and endeavors by following our Instagram account at @uconn.lci. Participate in our events and get to know our Learning Community.