The Daily Gamecock

LASO welcomes students from all backgrounds

<p>LASO, the Latin American Student Organization at USC, provides students of all backgrounds with creative leadership and access to Latin American culture. </p>
LASO, the Latin American Student Organization at USC, provides students of all backgrounds with creative leadership and access to Latin American culture. 

Once upon a time, there lived an armadillo whose sole dream was to be able to sing. One day, a man with a cage of canaries passed by the armadillo. The canaries sang even more beautifully than the frogs and crickets. The armadillo followed the man with the canaries until he was too exhausted to continue.

When the armadillo stopped, he realized he was near a wizard’s house. He begged the wizard to make him sing. The wizard, however, knew the trade the armadillo would have to make: his life for the ability to sing.

The wizard transformed the armadillo’s shell into a beautiful instrument and gave the instrument to the finest musician to play. The armadillo’s wish had come true.

Legends like these are what the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) works to preserve. LASO’s mission is to unite people for the sake of Latin American cultural awareness and excellence through service and community activities. 

LASO gives its members an outlet to be innovative and develop as leaders through enjoyable experiences with other students who are passionate about the same causes. Members come from a variety of academic studies, from mechanical engineering to pharmacy.

Many members, including secretary of LASO and first-year pharmacy student Elizabeth Rodriguez, emphasize the strong friendships they have made through the club. Fourth-year media arts student Christine Shestko, LASO’s Creative Director, attests to LASO’s welcoming atmosphere.

“Jaime Ortega, the former president, approached me in the library,” Shestko said. “I was studying at a table in Thomas Cooper by myself and he came over and invited me to study with his friends who are all members of LASO. The rest is history. This goes to show how welcoming, friendly and caring LASO members are on a daily basis.”

Its last large event was the Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff on Sept. 15, the day Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all declared independence. They are closely followed by the independence days of Mexico and Chile.

If you are interested in joining LASO, meetings are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Russell House. Be sure to watch out for their upcoming events such as Salsa Night in November.

“LASO is not only for people from a Latin American country, we welcome anyone who is interested in learning about our culture,” said fourth-year mechanical engineering student Eric Reyes, vice president of LASO. “From the student that wants to practice their Spanish to the ones that simply enjoy our food and traditions, we welcome all.”