UT Students Bring a Quinceañera to Campus
By Madalynn Lambert
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas – Three UT organizations hosted a traditional quinceañera on March 29 at the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom to celebrate Hispanic traditions and heritage.
A quinceañera celebrates a girl’s 15th birthday, but for this occasion the organizations wanted to create a space of inclusion and representation for the Latino community at UT.
The Mexican-American Culture Committee (MACC) collaborated with Latino and Latina Indigenous Leadership (LILI), and the Latino Pan-Hellenic Council (LPHC).
“This year we are partnering with LILI and LPHC because we think it is a really great chance for us to show that the Latino students should be having a community together and orgs should be partnering more,” MACC committee chair Kyara Huichapa said.
This quinceañera wasn’t for anyone’s birthday. MACC advisor Staci Rende said it was a celebration of Hispanic culture and gave students a chance to experience a traditional Hispanic event.
“I think it means celebration of your heritage and celebration of times in your youth,” Rende said.
“Being on campus, it can be hard. Especially if you are miles away, states away, even countries away from your home, it can be difficult,” she said.
“Having a community here and being able to showcase your heritage through awesome events that you did throughout your youth, it’s important and it’s fun. You get to share it with other students who might have not experienced that growing up.”
Students had an opportunity to submit pictures from their quinceañeras for a slideshow that played throughout the evening.
Stefanie Alarcon, a MACC officer, shared photos from her 15th birthday celebration.
“I think it is so cute when I look back and see me trying to fill those big girl shoes at that age but when in reality I wasn’t really,” Alarcon said. “[My quinceañera] was something I was able to share with my grandma before she passed, and to have all of my family there was really special to me.”
This was the second MACC-hosted quinceañera, and Huichapa said she hopes it will happen every year.
“While we do want people to experience a quinceañera, we also want people to enjoy themselves and see what our committee is really about. We just put on these fun events for students on campus,” said Huichapa.
The event was open to all UT students. MACC, LILI and LPHC host their own unique events throughout the year to highlight Hispanic heritage and traditions.
Their Instagram pages have more information on upcoming events: