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The Latin American Student Union (LASU) is a student group at William & Mary founded in 2009. The initiative for LASU was led by the latino members of the W&M class of 2012 mainly Jessica Chilin-Hernandez, Daisy Diaz, and Dimelza Gonzales-Flores. The group was started as a reaction to what was then perceived as a lack of community among latino students at W&M. As of the Spring 2012, LASU is a growing and thriving group that welcomes all latin american students, students born in the US of latin american descent, and students interested in Latin America and Latino Studies.

Mission Statement

From the LASU Constitution

"The Latin-American Student Union (LASU) is a leadership student coalition. Our mission is to bring a new perspective on Latin America and on Latinos in the US to the William & Mary and Williamsburg communities. Our three goals are to get involved with community service, to celebrate our Latin American identities through the Fine Arts, and to raise awareness about contemporary issues affecting Latin America and Latinos in the US. We recognize that Latin America is a diverse region whose inhabitants speak different languages, have different cultural practices, and rich histories. We are coming together as a Union to celebrate what we have in common as well as to share what make us unique. We acknowledge that we cannot be efficient leaders without first serving our local and global communities. We shall work with established service organizations as well as introduce projects of our own. We will strive to abate stereotypes associated with Latinos, and Latin America."

Faculty Advisors

Dr. Jennifer Bickham-Mendez, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Director of Latin American Studies Program at W&M

Professor Francis Tanglao-Aguas, Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance and Founding Artistic Director of W&M's International Performance Arts eXchange (iPAX)

Latino vs. Hispanic

LASU unofficionally endorses the term Latino over Hispanic - See constitution for more details.


  • 2009 - 2010: Jessica Fernanda Chilin-Hern¡ndez; goes by "Jess" - born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador
  • 2010 - 2011: Daisy Maribel Diaz Ocon - born in Virginia of Salvadoran parents
  • 2011 - 2012: Dimelza Navil Gonzales-Flores - born and raised in Cochabamba, Bolivia
  • 2012 - 2013: Yessenia Jakeline Arias - born in Virginia of Bolivian Parents

Executive Boards

2009 - 2010

President: Jessica Chilin

Vice president: Daisy Diaz

Secretary: Michelle Querube Barber, born in the US of Panamenian parents

Treasurer: Fatima Elamin, born in the US of Sudanese parents

Publicity Manager: Chris Mariles, born in the US of Mexican heritage

Service Chair: Dimelza Gonzales

Social Chair: Jason Torres, born in the US of Salvadoran Heritage

Historian: Shani Brown, born in the US of west indian parents (martinique)

2010 - 2011

President: Daisy Diaz;

VP: Matthew Martin G³mez; born in the US of cuban parents

Secretary: Shani Brown

Treasurer: Brittney Gordon; born and raised in NJ

Publicity Manager: James Charles Valdemar, born in the US of Mexican-American parents (Fall 2010); Marcelo Enrique Aranibar Estensoro, born in Colombia of Bolivian parents (Spring 2011).

Service Chair: Dimelza

Social Chair: Cristina; born in the US of Peruvian parents

Historian: Stephany Lazo; born in the US of Nicaraguan parents

2011 - 2012

President: Dimelza Gonzales-Flores

Vice President: Daisy Diaz

Secretary: Adrianne Francis L³pez, born in the US of Bolivian Parents

Treasurer: Brittney Gordon

Publicity Manager: Marcelo Aranibar

Service Chair: Yessenia Arias, born in the US of Bolivian parents

Social Chair: Christina Miranda

Historian: Stephany Lazo

2012 - 2013

President: Yessenia Jakeline Arias, born in the US of Bolivian parents

Vice President: Marcelo Enrique Aranibar Estensoro, born of Bolivian parents

Secretary: Brittney Irene Gordon,

Treasurer: Miguel ngel V¡squez, born in the US of Salvadoran Parents

Publicity Manager: Scarlet KathyJaldin, born in the US of Bolivian Parents

Service Chair: Adriane Francis L³pez, born in the US of Bolivian parents

Social Chair: Nicholas Samman Torbati, born in the US of Persian and African-American parents

Historian: Paula Jimena Billingsley, born in the US of Salvadoran and Mexican parents

Material in the Special Collections Research Center


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A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.