OLAS helps to unite students unite students

By Maria Tortorello

Latin American students around campus have the opportunity to come together at fundraisers, social activities and athletic events through the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS).

“It is a way for Latino students to get together and to get to know one another,” said Rachael Pina, secretary for OLAS.

OLAS began at NIU in 1975 with a small group of Latin American students. Since then, the group has grown to 85 active members.

Students interested in becoming an active member are required to attend three meetings each semester.

The organization is divided into several subcommittees. These committees include the athletic committee, which plans intramural sports through the Office of Campus Recreation, the social committee, the newsletter committee, which produces a newsletter once a semester, and the fundraising committee.

Members get to choose which committee they would like to be on.

The major event of the year for OLAS is Intercambio, which will take place in April.

Intercambio is a chance for Latino organizations from surrounding schools to come together for a weekend.

The weekend will include olympic activities, a formal ball and a chance to learn about other students.

“It is a good chance for Latino students from other schools to come together to share different ideas and projects they do throughout the year,” Pina said.

The most recent activity planned by the social committee is the pot luck dinner and talent show, which the students will be presenting to several families.

The event is planned for noon on Oct. 2 in the Evans Field House.

“We are expecting at least 200 families for the pot luck and talent show,” said Lisa Jaquez, President of OLAS.

OLAS has had several positive effects on its members.

“It is because of OLAS that I met some of my closest friends,” Jaquez said. “It also has helped me become very familiar with the campus.”