The sound of Mexican music filled the room, students lining up to with their cowboy boots start doing the Mexican traditional dance. Kennedy Stabils’s brown hair and white skin stand out from the rest of the group.
Stabils is a sophomore studying university studies and comes from Northern California. Stabils said she has a deep love for Mexican culture and started learning Mexican dance since she was seven.
“When you are learning someone else’s culture, you understand them differently,” Stabils said. “When I’m learning other people’s culture, I love that person more.”
Stabils said although she does not speak Spanish, she loves to hang around with people from Mexican Association and to celebrate their culture.
Jospeh Paiz, a sophomore studying sociology who was also the assistant manager of the Mexican association, said Stablis and 14 other students have been rehearsing for Cultural Night for almost two months.
Cultural Night is a show for students to celebrate and perform their culture. After the discontinued of the Student Association, Talent Activity took over Cultural Night and was held on Nov. 16.
Paiz said without the official associations they cannot reserve a room to practice, and they no longer receive funding from the school to buy costumes.
Piaz said they usually practice from 9 to 10 p.m. so they can find an empty room on campus. Paiz said that because no one knows the school is continuing Cultural Night, they did not start practicing until a month into the semester.
“I would say (the performance of Cultural Night this semester)is a little simpler,” Paiz said. “We (used to) have more choreographed dance, something that is more precise.”
Paiz said 25 to 30 people used to perform at the cultural night, but now they only have 15 people.
“Without the association, it’s kind of hard to get the word out to people about all this stuff,” Paiz said. “Now, we just have friends who have done (Cultural Night) before so we got them to do it again.”
Paiz said this semester they are doing a dance called “La Cala Vasiato.” It is a traditional Mexican dance from Northern Mexico. The costume for the dance is very similar to the American cowboy.
Paiz said the thing he enjoyed most about Cultural Night is that students see the colors and culture of Mexico.
“I really like sharing that stuff with other people and being able to have fun,” Paiz said. “It is also a really good way for me to socialize and meet with other people have the same interest as me and people who come from the same culture.”
Diana Angulo, a sophomore studying music, said there are 31 states in Mexico, and each state has its own dance and costume.
“I always love Mexico and I always love to be a Mexican,” Angulo said.
Angulo said she was shocked when she heard the school discontinued the Student Associations.
“For me to know there is a place I can talk about (Mexican culture) and a place I can meet with people that can understand my situation and Mexican craziness makes me really want to be involved in everything,” Angulo said.
Angulo said every international student goes through the phase of starting to appreciate their culture and Student Associations became just like their home.
“We are happy to be members of the Church and to know the gospel, but still I think that to be part of the certain culture is part of the blessing that we can count,” Angulo said.
Amy Singh, the Student Associations former director, and a senior studying communication, said now the original events in Student Associations are being put in a different section of Students Activities.
“We are giving that responsibility to the students,” Singh said.
Singh said the school wants to support culture, and as long as there are students volunteering to continue the cultural activities there will always be a chance for students to share their culture with others.
“We give the opportunity for students to continue culture in the school, having them be able to build leadership, being able to express their culture and helping others to be involved and appreciate culture as well,” Singh said.