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Spanish and Latino Students' Association

"Message from Edward J. Chafart"
S.A.L.S.A. President 1987

To Miss Jessy Sepulveda and Mr. Rory McCaw,

First, I would like to thank you for your gracious words in regards to my role in the creation of SALSA; however true or un-true it may be (I will explain).

My work in the organization was indeed one of the highlights of my college years. Sounds strange to speak of those years as long past; however, the reality is that it has been almost 14 years since I graduated (Class of 1988).

I thought I could add some history or maybe shed some light into the history of SALSA (in my words).

In 1986, I transferred to the University of Rochester (for my junior year). I knew about the school since my girlfriend at-the-time had been there since the Fall of 1984. I wish I could go into greater detail; however, that would require much more time.

In that year, a young student by the name of Regla Perez was president of the organization (at the time referred to as SALSA) and indeed, the organization had existed for at least five years prior to my participation. Although she made great efforts to move the organization forward, there was a need to formulate a constitution in order to better organize the structure and scope of this group.

Therefore in the Spring of 1987, I ran and was elected President of SALSA. At the time Patria Frias was elected Vice president, Belkis Suarez was Secretary, David Ramos was elected Business Manager and Itza Morales was chosen Social Manager.

The executive committee met twice-a-week for four months to establish and document a 'working' constitution for the organization which officially become recognized in the U of R as the Spanish and Latin-American Student Association. As you can tell the name has changed slightly since its original charter. However, I think the purpose was the same. We organized the original 'Tropicana 1988' and had our dance in Wilson Commons.

It is my hope that this letter would initiate the process to give ample credit to those individuals who made major contributions to the development of this organization in the eyes of the U of R student body.

Itza Morales was instrumental in the coordination and scheduling of the many activities at the first 'Tropicana' festival.

Patria and Belkis (the dynamic duo) were essentially the driving force for the development of our constitution.

As your history will tell you, this team continued the charter of SALSA long after I left (with Patria, Belkis and Dave) and continued the goal of 'awareness' of Hispanic culture and pride.

In closing I thank you for this short trip into 'memory lane' and I wish you much success in your current positions and future endeavors.

Respectfully Submitted,

Edward J. Chafart
WCDMO Global Project Data Management

 

Non Hispanics; an opportunity to share
their culture, learn about different
cultures, explore new customs, and try
new foods, dance, and music.

Students of Hispanic Background; a way
to explore and exercise aspects of their
heritage, while adding diversity and
enrichment to the campus

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