By Natali Perez and Jacqueline Ayala

La encuesta dice (survey says) that scholarships are here. “Cien Mexicanos Dijieron,” the Mexican version of “Family Feud,” was brought to campus to celebrate family and culture while also getting the chance to mingle with students and faculty.

The Latino Faculty Staff Student Association (LFSSA) hosted Tiempos Juntos on Feb. 26, where it introduced the importance of scholarships and networking. 

Students were given the opportunity to speak to faculty about how they were able to accomplish their careers. It was also a time to learn which scholarships would be offered to students and discover the best tips for applying to scholarships.

Third-year industrial engineering student and student representative of LFSSA, Marlon Gaytan Jr., says he believes the success of the event is important and it should have the aspect of “familia” because he was awarded the Founders Scholarship in spring 2017. In fall 2018, he became the student representative and hopes to give back to LFSSA as a thank you for the award. 

“As student representative this year, I wanted to promote the organization and I thought it would be important to make Tiempos Juntos more festive and the ‘Family Feud’ theme fit perfectly,” Gaytan said.

Marlon Gaytan Jr. (right) hosts a game of “Cien Mexicanos Dijieron,” a Mexican version of the game show “Family Feud.” NATALI PEREZ | THE POLY POST

Also, he wanted to bring in a twist to the panels and not make it a certain number of faculty sitting at a long table and students asking them questions. 

Panels tend to bring in low attendance and as a student representative, it was crucial to bring in more students and that is when the “Cien Mexicanos Dijieron,” Mexican Family Feud,  idea came to mind.

“I knew adding an element of fun will likely lead us to higher engagement in the future,” Gaytan said. 

Apart from the game show, there was also a lot of networking going on the entire time. Gaytan brought in Latino professionals to talk about their paths to success; students were able to talk to whomever they wanted and get their perspective. 

President of LFSSA Christina Araujo believes that it is important for students to network and creating events like Tiempos Juntos can help students talk to a variety of people.

 “The LFSSA is focused on trying to get students to network,” Araujo said. “Tiempos Juntos is something we do annually to address the student needs and help students get connected with other Latino faculty, LFSSA alumni and staff.” 

Networking is very important nowadays and it brings a lot of benefits especially for Latino students. Some of the benefits include: career advice, general support, and possible job or internship opportunities. 

LFSSA strives to help Latino students on campus. According to statistics on CPP’s website, Hispanics/Latinos comprise 44.9 percent of the student body as of fall 2018. There are also many faculty and staff who share the same cultural background and can talk about their experience as Latinos in the workplace. 

“Latinos are very family-oriented so we decided to set up a game show that would allow students and staff to network together in that environment as well as getting to know each others’ similarities,” Araujo said.

Latinos are traditionally told to be silent and work hard. The best advice that was given to students was to become their best advocate, make themselves be seen and ask for help. These three things will offer more chances to achieve personal success.

Alondra Cruz, a fourth-year sociology student, expressed her thoughts on the event and thought that bringing a fun game like “Cien Mexicanos Dijieron” helped Latinos better understand Latin American culture. 

“I thought it was a really good event and I hope next time more people are able to come and experience it,” Cruz said. 

“I also learned that not a lot of people know what countries are [located] in Latin America, so I thought this game was a perfect way to learn that.”

Gaytan would also like to emphasize that LFSSA is looking for next year’s student representatives and if students are interested they can email him at mhgaytan@cpp.edu for more information.

If anyone would like to get involved with LFSSA,  students can contact the group through Facebook @cpplfssa and Instagram @lfssacpp.

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