As president of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Eddie Rodriguez is able to accomplish their mission. With the mission to spread the Latino culture at Kean University, he is adamant about enriching and stimulating the members on campus.
LASO provides an environment for all Latino and non-Latino students to feel connected to each other. They also aim to build success within their community through the following areas:
- Unification and organization initiatives within the Latino community.
- Education about Latino cultures throughout all areas such as the Caribbeans, Central America and South America.
- To increase awareness and membership of their organization within the Kean community.
As the adviser for LASO, Sandra Espinal explained that Rodriguez was excited to restart the group on campus, as it had previously been known as Association of the Latin American Students (ALAS).
"Eddie is very excited to recreate this organization and sees the need to put a team of dedicated individuals together," said Espinal. "He is a hard-worker and is very hands on. He wants to build a name for LASO on campus. I believe that as president he has a passion for this organization which is great."
She also mentioned the importance of leaving a mark for future generations, which is what he is doing now.
Rodriguez, a junior studying physical education with teaching certification K-12, has many responsibilities in regard to the improvement of his organization.
"As president, I am in charge of understanding and adhering to Kean’s organizational guidelines, establishing goals and objectives of the organization, recruiting more members by networking with others, providing leadership and guidance to the organization, assembling meetings, overseeing activities of the organization, coordinating club events with the executive board and providing leadership opportunities for new leaders to grow within the organization," said Rodriguez.
In reference to joining LASO, Rodriguez became familiar with it from other campuses who administer this organization.
"After doing my research, I realized Kean did not have L.A.S.O on campus. This immediately sparked my interest to bring LASO to Kean because it would provide an opportunity for Latinos and non-Latinos to unite and help each other succeed."
Overall, the goal of LASO is to unite the Latin American Community here on campus and to bring students together while having an opportunity to get involved. Rodriguez is determined to expose the college community to Latin American influences in music, art, literature, history, cuisine and culture.
"Through active participation in educational and sociopolitical concerns, this organization provides the members of this institution and surrounding communities with a better understanding and acceptance of the Latin American culture," said Rodriguez. "Now that LASO is officially a recognized organization at Kean, my primary goal is to give LASO as much exposure on campus as possible to recruit students. This will get accomplished through strategic programming for our Kean community."
Being a factor of influence for others can aid in developmental skills, which Rodriguez is grateful for.
"This organization has made my time-management and organizational skills more efficient. It’s important for me to balance my academics and club responsibilities to successfully meet all my deadlines on time."
Furthermore, Rodriguez encourages students to become involved and strive for growth in whatever they aspire to achieve.
Rodriguez abides by a quote from Lao Tzu that says, "Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."