ALANA student gives recap of year

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Jacqueline Luoro

It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time for everyone to look back at all of the accomplishments they’ve made and all of the improvements they can make for the future years. It’s time that we say not goodbye, but see you later to all of the seniors and wish them luck in the “real world.” It’s been a long and stressful year, but all of our hard work has paid off. For those of you who are student leaders, you know exactly what I mean. It can be tough balancing five classes, being a student leader, maintaining a social life and leaving time for yourself. It wasn’t until I became a student leader myself that I realized how much work is put into being an effective student leader.
As Vice President of the ALANA Network, I can speak on behalf of all of us when I say that it’s been a long year for all of the executive board members, but we’ve made it through. We kicked off the year with our annual welcome back barbecue at Dean Bob’s house, which was a huge success. Then we went on to have our annual Latino Festival in Hagan hosted by sophomore Shanell Cartagena and senior Nicolas Guerra, which happened to be the biggest audience we’ve ever had in ALANA history. Juniors Erika Jyringi-Lopez, community outreach, and Treasurer Miguel Duarte coordinated the entire event. We had delicious food from Maria’s Kitchen, Compare Foods Supermarket, Miranda Bread, Haciena Don Juan and Sazon Latino. To liven the event we had live music from Latin band Grupo Fantasia.

Next was Multicultural Day, run by juniors Chantal James, public relations, and Tamar Bonaventure, secretary. During the day, the offices in Charlie’s each represented a different country including, Kenya, Australia, Brazil, Vietnam and many others. Each office was full of fun facts, music, delicious food and happy faces. During the evening, Charlie’s was full of tables from different countries including Cape Verde, England, Poland, Colombia and many others. Each table included food, facts and/or artifacts representing that specific country. The evening was followed by amazing performances by Ethiopian dancers from UMass Amherst, Irish step dancers, sophomores Elizabeth Kayitesi and Fabian Rivera, senior Yethulsa Fing Fing and the Assumption College Step Squad. The event was hosted by juniors Kevin Swenson and Tamar Bonaventure, who performed an amazing poem during the event. That wraps up the Fall Semester.

Spring Semester is always the busiest for us. This year we had our second annual Black History Month event which was run by juniors President Mia-Michelle Russell and Bonaventure. It was music-themed this year and went through the different types of African American influence on music throughout the generations. It started with early African arrival (songs during slavery) all the way to early hip-hop. There were performances by vocalist first year Jurnee Ware, the jazz ensemble and duo senior Jessica Familia and sophomore Michael Blandon, who impressed the crowd with a phenomenal jazz dance performance.

This year we collaborated with OSA for the student leadership breakfast. I arranged for Lisa Wong, mayor of Fitchburg, to come in and speak for the event. She was such a great inspiration to all of the student leaders that attended the breakfast.

The next event was our fashion show, which was coordinated by yours truly and junior Chantal James. This year it was a dark twisted fantasy theme with the following categories: black tie affair, rebel in a new dress, alter ego, rocker chic, urban underground and all black everything. There were about 45 models who participated and took over the show. It started with an amazing performance by Rivera on the violin and sophomore Moe Pierre on the piano, who performed “All of the Lights (interlude)” from Kanye West’s album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Kayitesi and senior Katerina Reilly performed an acoustic version of “Royals” followed by a performance by the step team. Freymers Beaubrun, Assumption College alumni ‘11, finished the show off with a performance of his own. Of course, we can’t forget our wonderful hosts, sophomore and talented basketball player Ann-Marie Idusuyi and senior Roger Clapp.

To top the year off, we had our Step and Dance Competition, which was coordinated by Miguel Duarte and Russell. It was a long day of setting up, but it was great to see our biggest event go into full effect. We had six step and dance teams come in to show what they’re all about. Performances included Assumption College’s a cappella group, who opened the show with the “Star Spangled Banner,” and Reilly who sang Whitney Houston’s classic, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” There were members from not only the Assumption community, but also the Worcester community and many other neighboring communities as well.

Looking back at all of the hard work ALANA has done this year makes me even more eager for next year. We have a long way as an organization and I can’t wait to see what else we have in store. We hope to have continuous support from the whole student body because we have a lot planned for this campus. If you aren’t already involved with ALANA, it’s not too late. Although the end of the year has come, there is still time. Start fresh next year and become involved. ALANA isn’t just for minorities on campus, it’s for everyone. Look out for announcements about our meetings for the upcoming year, and if it fits your schedule, we would love to see you there—you won’t regret it.
I want to take this time to look back at all of the hard work the executive board has done, but to also thank those that we couldn’t have done it without. Bea Patiño, director of the cross-cultural center, Cortney Lima, graduate assistant of the cross-cultural center, general members of the ALANA Network and anyone else who continues to support us by helping us at events or even showing up to our events and meetings. On behalf of the ALANA Network, we want to thank every single one of our supporters for making it a worthwhile year.

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