Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misquoted what LSU Treasurer Margarita Rios said about talent search. A previous version of this article misrepresented who planned the event. It has since been updated.
Latinx Student Union (LSU) held their annual variety show, Latinxpalooza, in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center in Cardinal Hall on Jan. 21.
Latinxpalooza was a part of Ball State’s 2022 Unity Week. LSU was in charge of planning for the event.
LSU Treasurer Margarita Rios said Latinxpalooza has been around since 2011.
“This is an event where we’re trying to get all students from Ball State to come out and showcase their talents, and not in a competitive way,” Rios said. “[A way to] just have fun showing the Ball State community what you have to offer.”
The event started at 6:20 p.m. with five performances. The opening act was Joe Smith and Spencer Cox, also known as Mr. Johnson and the Juice Crew, performing the Beatles’ “Yesterday.”
The Belly Dance Club was the second and the closing act for the show. Other performers were Hezekiah Tyler performing “Cien Años” by Pedro Infante and Jarron Tichener, Jay-T who rapped four orginal songs: "Soulful", "Blow up," "Drinking Time," and "Sacrifice.”
The hosts of the show were Alvaro Lagunas, a sophomore music major and marketing minor, and Daniela Morales, a freshman communication major.
LSU began planning for Latinxpalooza in the fall semester. LSU Vice President Jenni Cruz said LSU had to decide on a theme, decorations, venue and designing “the most memorable part" — the t-shirts. This year’s theme was space.
LSU worked with Student Legal Services to create the contracts and waivers that were needed for each performer.
For their talent search, LSU had both in-person and virtual options for auditions. A performer could either send in a video of their talent or they could schedule an in-person time with LSU. To spread the word on auditions, LSU did social media posts and hung up posters.
To have a safe environment amid COVID-19, LSU took many precautions. For example, Lagunas and Morales wiped down the microphones after every act.
“We also had a backstage area that had a lot of open space so that the performers wouldn't be all jumbled together all the time,” Cruz said. “And we also had to limit the amount of people that we had. So, something new that we did was have an RSVP sheet where the guests and the Ball State students were limited so that we could social distance more.”
Cruz said Latinxpaloolza being part of Unity Week helps LSU feel more involved in the community.
In attendance at the event was the Chair of Modern Languages and Classics Jennifer Rathbun. Besides the posters and other advertising material, she heard of Latinxpalooza from the LSU students in her Spanish language classes.
“Representation is important, and support and showing up is important," Rathbun said. "So, I wanted to be here for the Latinx students so they could see that their professors support them."