Story by Alicia Quiñones–
El Sol is a new student-run newspaper that covers politics related to Spanish speaking people and countries, education, art, sports, and entertainment at Viterbo University. In addition to helping Spanish language students at Viterbo use their language learning in meaningful ways, the newspaper also helps foster connections to La Crosse community. The Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council interviewed Dr. Jesús Jambrina who has helped the students make the newspaper a reality and we would like to thank him for giving us his time. We would also like to congratulate the staff and students working on El Sol on the success of this wonderful newspaper!
Why is El Sol important to have on the Viterbo campus and for the community?
“It is important on campus as a tool for teaching and learning in the classroom for faculty and also for both Spanish major and minors, the latter being one of the most popular minors at Viterbo. Writing along with speaking and reading is an important aspect of language learning, so with this newspaper students have the opportunity of practicing their writing.
It is also a vehicle for students to share their experiences with the Spanish speaking cultures, for example, when studying abroad. Around half of students traveling abroad on campus go to Latin America and Spain, and not only for courses, but for service trips, and family vacation, so the newspaper offers the opportunity to tell these stories to their classmates, but also to the Viterbo community.“
Who do you hope will be served by El Sol?
“In our Department we have been trying to bridge our courses with the La Crosse community through several projects like collaborating with Centro Latino, Catholic Charities, and Lugar the Reunión, among other local and regional organizations. We organize a Hispanic Heritage Month reception every fall, and also program cultural events like performances and music concerts open to the public.
The Latino community in La Crosse is around 2,500, but if we count Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa then we reach several thousand of Latino Spanish speakers plus the student population at Higher Education Institutions who are immersed in Spanish language and culture in one way or another.
Finally, this newspaper is part of our Department efforts on hospitality, which is one of the core values at Viterbo. Welcoming diverse languages and cultures is an educational tool to expand and value other experiences, which will hopefully enrich students experiences on campus.“
What was the driving force in starting El Sol?
“The Department received a small grant to develop Hight Impact Practices (HIP) for first and second year students, so we decided to upgrade our Newsletter to an actual Newspaper and students loved the idea. This is a project that is mainly elaborated by them with some mentoring, but they are the one choosing and writing the articles. This year, the Department decided to integrate the project into a course and now the plan is to offer this course (SPAN 406) every semester so we can have a Fall and Spring Edition. In the future, we would like to have a Summer edition as well.”
Is there a sponsor for El Sol?
“Spanish Club and also from a few advertisements sponsor the newspaper. If someone is willing to support this project, please, get in contact with me: firstname.lastname@example.org“
Additional Information about El Sol:
Twitter account: @elSolLC & Facebook page: El Sol LC.
“We want to serve as many people as we can by offering information about the Hispanic/ Latino community in tristate area. If you have something to say about this community or want to help, please contact us at email@example.com“