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October 29, 1986 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-29

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 29, 1986 - Page 5

Lopez
(Continued from Page 1)'
where they want to go to and are self-
a ssured, which is a positive thing."
THE STUDENTS have also '
helped her sharpen up her skills,
she said.
Lopez said the key to attracting
dnd keeping students at the
University is to create "a feeling of
,lelongingness and community, that
their ideas are listened to and
incorporated, that they feel a part of
w the community and not alienated.
This is a big thing for anybody, not
Just minorities." She said that con -
~tipuing to provide cultural pro -
grams and activities is an important
part of this, but as of yet, no new
=pograms or changes are in the
,w.orks.
"I haven't really had time to
< l.ink about it. The biggest issue
right now is getting student organ -
zations to join and come together
--so they can coordinate their efforts."{
y ACCORDING TO Lopez and
University students, one problem 1
,Fispanic students experience is that'
the University and many students'
, tend to see them as one group when
in fact they are composed of many
,djfferent groups such as Puerto
Ricans, Central Americans, and
South Americans.
- Roberto Javier Frisancho, pres -I
ident of the United Farm Workers"
support group on campus, said, "A
,lot of people assume you're Puerto
-]Rican or Mexican, and assume that

will

all Hispanics are the same."
"Some may think you wear
sombreros, eat tacos, and other
things they may associate with
Mexicans-and I have nothing
against Mexicans, but Peruvians
have their own culture and food
too.",

support
University last month.
Lopez was so busy meeting and
organizing student groups that she
has only recently found an apart -
ment in Ann Arbor's tight housing
market.'
"I'm still not settled in yet," she
said last week. Her nine-year old

'A lot of people assume you're Puerto Rican or
Mexican, and assume that all Hispanics are the
same...Some may think you wear sombreros, eat
tacos, and do other things they may associate with
Mexicans. -Robert Javier Frisancho,
President of United Farm Workers support group

Because of the diversity among
Hispanic students, coordinating
activities for different groups can
be challenging, said Lopez. Stu -
dents said she did a good job
organizing Hispanic Heritage
Celebration week.
"SHE'S' PRETTY ener -
getic...I'm just amazed that she was
able to get things together so
quickly," said Anne Martinez, the
president of SALSA Socially-
Active Latino Students
Association. "She came in just two
weeks before Hispanic Heritage
Celebration and did a great job of
pulling it all together, and getting
Cesar Chavez here was a major
accomplishment." Chavez, the
president of the United Farm
Workers Union, spoke at the

daughter, who had been staying
with Lopez's parents in Cleveland,
came to joing Lopez a few weeks
ago.
L OPEZ'S parents emigrated
from Puerto Rico in the 1950s and
settled in Cleveland, where Lopez
was born and raised, the fourth
oldest of nine children.
After graduating from high
school, Lopez wanted to go on to
college, but she lacked the funds
and the support of her father, who
felt women should work, then settle
down and get married.
"He thought it was a waste. He
thought: why invest money for me
to go to school when I should get
married and have children," said
Lopez.
Lopez's father "believed it was,

Hispan
not beneficial for the family or me
to go on to college. He believed it
was more beneficial to get a job and
bring in money for our family."
Lopez said family obligations
are traditionally stronger for
minorities than for white
students-"especially in the
Hispanic culture .. .and not just for
the immediate family, but the ex -
tended family. It goes on to cous -
ins, uncles, grandparents."
LOPEZ GOT a job as a
secretary at Cuyahoga Community
College in Cleveland, working in
the Project Talent Search office,
which was involved in recruiting
minority students and helping them
pursue higher education.
"For months I saw all these
people going to college, planning
their futures," she said. "And after
seeing everbody else, I figured I can
do it too."
By that time, Lopez was already
on her own, and knew the ins and
outs of getting financial aid and
academic and counseling assistance.
Lopez was busy for the next
three years, working full-time at the
college, attending classes part-time
for two of those years, and raising
her infant daughter.
WITH THE money she earned
from work-and some support from
home-Lopez enrolled at Bowling
Green University, but she had more
hurdles to overcome.
"The first couple years, I did not
find any support. I was a non-
traditional student, a bit older, and
with a child," said Lopez. "I did
not feel any sense of belonging, I
went on campus to attend course or
to go to the library and Xerox
things, but I did most of my work
at home.
But Lopez did become active in
the Latin student group on campus.
There were no specific Hispanic
programs or offices officially linked
to the administration at Bowling
Green, so student organizations

ic

students

were especially important. She said
it was her involvement with these
groups that sparked her interest in
working with students.
Lopez graduated in 1984 with a
degree in business administration,
helping to pave the way for her
younger sisters to go on to college.
SHE SAID her father finally
realized that "women need some -
thing to fall back on...an education,
so they can survive."
But when Lopez decided to go on
to graduate school, she again had to
overcome resistance from her father,
although her sisters in college
supported her.
"Regardless of support or not, I
still did what I wanted to do," said
Lopez. "But interestingly enough.

although they never said anything
in the two or four years I was in
school,when I graduated with my
masters they were quite proud."
Her family attended her grad -
uation ceremony Aug. 16, and two
days later Lopez was in Ann Arbor.
Now her parents often ask her to
come home, and she too feels a
little homesick.
"My nine sisters and brothers
and I are real close," said Lopez,
"but being far away from home, my
daughter hasn't developed the same
sense of family that I grew up with,
which is the base for me."
Lopez said someday she hopes to
return home, to help her nieces and
nephews and serve as a role model
for them.

Author sells out Hill Auditorium

(Continued from Page 1)
THE SPEECH was part of the
il Street Forum Great Writers
ยง,eries, a program sponsored by
-illel. The group sold out the
entire auditorium at $5, $8, and $10
"aticket.
' Vonnegut described censorship
s a "disease" that has only recently
"become recognized and treated. "The
gestation period for liberty is 200
years or more. Liberty is now, I
figure, in the eighth month of
'development," he said.
Vonnegut, in his early 60s,
continually referred to children and
tfie task of improving America that
faces future generations.
"WHEN I was in seventh
grade, we looked around and saw the
Country was not nearly what it
could be," Vdinnegut said. "We
daydreamed for our children...the
kinds of houses they would have.
We designed utopian cities for them
to live in. Now it is our
grandchildren's country. We have
come a long way, and have a long
way to go.
"The youngest people here must
dream for our grandchildren and
fight for it, too."
According to Vonnegut, who has
taught creative writing at the
University of Iowa, the key to
writing great literature lies not in
command of the language, but in
the author's passion for the subject.

"You have to look for people
who are passionate, care very much
about something," Vonnegut said.
"Somebody very smooth, good
with the language but with no
passion might as well go to Wall
Street."
In addition to a writing lesson
for the audience, Vonnegut offered

advice for personal lives plagued
with "formless discontent": "People
now expect lives to have a rise and
fall. What they're saying is, 'Our
lives are lousy stories.' They're
saying to their spouses, 'Couldn't
you get cancer and get it over with?
We're boring the neighbors
shitless."'

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Toward a Jewish Theology
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Dr. Ellis is the founder and director of the Institute for
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He is the author of Faithfulness in anAge of Holocaust
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Wednesday, October 29 " 8:00 p.m.
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Co-Sponsor: Office of
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