Friendship Found with SALSA
As a Toledo native, I wanted to be away from home but still stay in Ohio, so I decided to go to Kent State. I am Tori Hockenberry and I am a Geology major with a concentration in environmental geology with a minor in history. I plan to graduate in 2025, but things can change.
It was pretty easy to find the Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA) community because one of my favorite teachers back at my home school went to Kent and was talking to me about clubs and organizations I could join, and brought up SALSA. She knew that there was a small Latino community at my high school, so she wanted to make sure I had a community like that at Kent. A lot of my friends had already joined this club, most of them being a year above me.
This club has helped me find friendship and community.
I asked if I could sit with them on one of the large couches at the Student Multicultural Center and we soon started talking. There were three of us who had the same major before I changed mine, so we had one more thing in common besides the same ethnic backgrounds or similar backgrounds. After that, we all went to Rosie’s Diner in the Tri-Towers Rotunda, and now that is a thing we do after every meeting or after any event we go to.
I have really good memories of the large group we have. We had a horror movie night on Halloween, then a Friendsgiving, and we also celebrated my birthday by going to the international talent show and then watching a movie of my choice. We watch a lot of movies together on streaming services.
This club has helped me find myself because of the amount of support I have received from the friends I have made.
They have tried to make it to some of my band events and believe that I am the best baritone player in the world, even though this is my first year on the instrument.
The amount of support and security I have in the group has helped me become myself and to become more confident. They have hyped me up when we had the Unidad exhibit in the art building, and they also hype me up when I’m playing baritone. My friends are the best hypemen. One of the most formative moments we had in SALSA was when we collaborated with the LGBTQ+ Center, and I came out to them as non-binary and pansexual, and they were fine with it.
I do feel at home at Kent when I am there because of them. Without my friends, I would probably have transferred campuses or schools. I would say to high school students or seniors thinking about applying to Kent State is to come to Kent State. There is a club or community for you. We have everything. Kent State is such a pretty campus as well. Downtown Kent is also super close and super fun. I enjoy the path by the Cuyahoga River and finding shells down there as well.