I think we have waited long enough. LANSU was charted in 2009 with the goal of bringing our alumni together. Over the last few years goals were established so that people who knew about us, understood our over all mission. Now is the time to move forward and establish our voice amongst the rest of the Syracuse University Alumni.
For those who do not know, I am Anthony Otero from the class of 1996 and the President of LANSU. 2013 is a brand new year in which we have already seen considerable Latino achievement. If you saw the second inauguration of President Obama then you know that it had a certain Latin flavor to it. Whether is was a poem being recited, a benediction being given, administering the oath to the Vice President, or helping to design the very dress that Michele Obama wore ( Diana Heredia ’04), the signs are all there; our time has come.
If you add my student life, after graduation life, and my employment, I spent 17 years of my life at Syracuse University. While this does not make me an expert at all things SU, it does qualify me to tell you that Latino Students (the one’s we have paved the way for) are increasing in size. While I have spent the majority of time at SU trying to mentor and assist as many students as I could, it was simply not enough. Students are still going through the same issues that we did. Books are more expensive than ever and the Financial Aid and Bursar Offices are still a popular spot amongst all students of color. Consider this, the cost of attendance is $55,600 per year.
So what am I asking? Well before I get to that, I think you need to understand that I know what it is like to be on both sides of the table. I know what is like to be broke and have to reply on a work-study job. I know what it is like to not be able to afford a book. I also know what it is like to get a phone call a year after I graduated asking to give money back to Syracuse University. I know what it is like to feel as if I have given so much money for a my degree only to have my Alma-mater ask for more. I am here to tell you that I am not asking for you to give money back to SU.
Since I joined LANSU, many people have asked me what they can do to help. Well, first donating time is one of the biggest things we will ask you for. You have to remember that there are many young alumni who struggle to find jobs and many times, struggle to find mentors. We will have events that I would like people to attend so they can strengthen their own personal network. Joining our Linkedin page is a good start. More importantly, helping us get the word out on events and who LANSU is a very huge help to us.
I am also asking you to consider giving to our LANSU Scholarship fund. This is a fund that will give need based aid to Latino students that qualify. This is very important because I know what many people are saying about the Latino Alumni. People believe that we do not give back. That we do not believe in paying it forward. I will tell you and to them that this is simply not true. I understand that not all of us had a great experience at Syracuse University, but the one thing we had in common was each other. We had the dance parties, the concerts, the dinners, and graduation. These are the same things our future alumni will have in common. We need to show them they we are here for them.
Honestly, I wont even ask you for much. Twenty Dollars perhaps? Just think about how grateful a student would be if he/she was able to pay for a year’s worth of books. How happy would you have been if someone had done the same? Consider it. All you have to do is go the The Office of Program Development website, plug in your information and select the Latino Alumni Network of Syracuse University Scholarship Fund from the drop down menu. You can make a recurring payment or not, up to you. Either way, just consider it.
If you can’t spare the money, that is ok too. Just help us with getting the word out. We want to make the Latino Alumni heard this year. Why? Because we waited long enough. THIS is OUR time.