There are plenty of Hispanic/Latino groups on campus: HSF, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, SOL, and on. But Mujeres, self-described on their page as “providing an organization of cultural support for Latina women at Columbia,” is the “phoenix rising from the ashes,” as the club’s publicity chair metaphorized during Mujeres’s first meeting of the year. As the name would imply, Mujeres is an organization for Latina women on campus, although you technically don’t have to be a Latina to be part of the club. Over the past few years, it’s died and been born again more than once, hence the phoenix line. Bwog’s resident Latina quietly attended this incarnation’s icebreaker last Wednesday to observe.
As the room filled up, almost everyone there seemed to know each other; it was definitely the most social and least awkward first club meeting Bwog has ever witnessed. The icebreaker began with the extensive board introducing themselves and explaining how they came to join Mujeres. A common theme seemed to be friends of friends passing the knowledge on, and long chains of communication keeping the group alive from class to class. (See, you *can* have friends and extra-curriculars!) Every member of the board seemed to have a huge amount of affection for Mujeres, and club president Tatiana described it as “her baby,” after claiming that Mujeres had a lot of potential because of all the women in the room. Another board member mentioned “creating a safe space for all of us” as another aim of the group. There was also a detailed presentation on an SEO internship opportunity, hinting at the direction that Mujeres is aiming towards — that of helping with educational and career opportunities for its members and other Latinas at Columbia. In fact, it’s clear that there’s an extensive support network among the members in the room, and the goal of enhancing that network with current and graduated students was mentioned at brief moments.
The inevitable ice breaker bouncy ball then made its appearance, and the rest of the attendees introduced themselves with majors, preferred gender pronouns (this seems to be a trend lately), and a random question from the all-seeing bouncy ball. A very easyore than one answer featured The Jonas Brothers. Interestingly, there was no mention of anyone’s Latina/Hispanic ethnic identity; the leaders kept the focus on getting to know each other for the first gathering. Presumably that’ll be more focus on that in future meetings.
If you’re attentive and intrigued, Mujeres meets every Wednesday evening at 8 in Diana 302; in the next few months, they’re planning a host of events with other Hispanic groups and independently, so now would be the time to join (especially since it’s Hispanic Heritage Month! What a coincidence).