Students Come Together to ‘Paint Under the Stars’

Lambda Pi Chi joins Latino Heritage Month with Annual Event

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TORCH PHOTO/GABRIELLA CAMPOS

Nickool Castro, Staff Writer

The Xi chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. hosted their annual event Painting Under the Stars on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the Sedano Coffeehouse in the D’Angelo Center. The event provided students with the opportunity to continue celebrating Latino Heritage Month by expressing themselves through this year’s theme, Power in Unity: Power, Unity, Progress.

“Lambda Pi Chi has hosted this event every year with the hopes of providing the St. John’s community with a space where they can get in touch with la cultura Latina [the Latino culture] in a very different way than what usually characterizes us [like our food and music],” Maria Helena Buitrago, the chapter vice-president and senior, said.

While the event revolves around the the Latino Heritage Month themes, students were open to express themselves and encouraged to paint anything they wanted to.

“This event highlighted the diversities in Latin American culture and how art can show many issues going on in society,” Joel Torres, a senior, said.

In the past years, the event usually took place at the Great Lawn but for the past two years it has been hosted in Sedano Coffeehouse in an attempt to avoid last-minute weather complications. More than 40 people attended the event this year.

“I have never painted before and this experience opened my eyes to expressing myself via artistic medium,” sophomore Aubrey MacGowan said.

Until Oct. 20, the Xi chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. along with t

he Latino Heritage Month Committee and other Latino organizations on campus will continue to host events to highlight Latino culture within the St. John’s community.

“One of our three main ideals is la cultura Latina [Latino Culture]. We seek to educate ourselves and others about the history, experiences and contributions of the U.S. Latina in society, while embracing the breadth of experience of all women,” Buitrago said. “But we are a Latina-based, not a Latina exclusive organization.”

Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc was established on April 16, 1988 at Cornell University. It is the first Latina-focused sorority to be founded in an Ivy-league institution and the first Latina sorority incorporated in New York State. According to their official website, their vision is a lifetime network of Hermanas dedicated to empowering themselves and their communities, while their mission is to empower women by providing a supportive network dedicated to their personal and professional advancement.