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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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    LASO Dancing in Memory of Jarelyn Lopez

    They were no more than four feet tall, but they held theaudience in their little hands. All of SAC Ballroom A wastransfixed by the performances that youths aged five through 20made last Saturday during the Latin American StudentOrganization’s third annual Winter Spectacular. Shaking tothe rhythms of American and Latin music, little tap dancers,teenage cultural dancers and on-campus clubs performed in honor ofthe Jarelyn Lopez Memorial Scholarship Fund.

    ‘This event is dedicated to the memory of Jarelyn Lopez,who lost her life in 2001 in a car accident,’ said MarcRodriguez, SBU senior and president of LASO. ‘She wasdedicated to LASO and the university as a whole. Jarelyn was nearand dear to all of us at LASO.’

    Although there was a slight glitch in the program due totechnical difficulties, LASO was able to go on with the show aftera few minutes, during which LASO members cracked jokes and madesure everyone knew that Starbucks had donated the coffee. Theprogram began with the LASO Dance Troop, which heated up the stagewith 15 scheduled afternoon performances. The Diversity School ofDance Beginner Tap was on fire, with their tiny rhythmic feettapping away to a ‘Rock Around the Clock’ remix.

    After intermission, the Diversity School of Dance Break DancePerformers wowed the crowd with flips, cartwheels and more, whilethe Bolivian Magica Caporales Nueva York Grupo Folklorico came outfor the second time and enchanted the crowd with their traditionalBolivian dance. The mood changed slightly with an Indian/Hip-hopsegment performed by the South Asian Students Alliance DanceTroupe, and the Diversity School of Dance Intermediate/AdvanceStreet Jazz closed the event in perfect form.

    Priya Issac, chair of the Jarelyn Lopez Scholarship Committee,explained that the scholarship is open to any undergraduate orgraduate student attending SBU that is actively involved in thecommunity. The goal of the scholarship is to encourage students tobe involved in the community, and to have them take a more activerole in cultural enrichment, as Jarelyn had done.

    ‘She was always helping someone out, always smiling,always positive regardless of the obstructions in her way,’said Jarelyn’s friends Ruthy Rivas, 2002 School of SocialWelfare alumna, and Ismenia Molina, management intern at the Officeof Diversity and Affirmative Action, which helped to organize thefirst show in February 2002 in her memory. Tony Ferrantinoestablished the scholarship, worked with Rivas and Molina to startthe Winter Spectacular, and initiated the scholarshipcommittee.

    ‘I think it’s a good idea that they want tomemorialize her this way,’ said Glenda Hopkins of CentralIslip, ‘so she won’t be forgotten.’

    ‘We are thankful for everyone coming out for this greatcause’ said Alexis Simeonidis, SBU senior and President ofthe Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), who, alongwith Rodriguez, emceed the event.

    If you missed the Winter Spectacular, watch Cablevision Channel20 on April 1 at 7:30 p.m. to catch the performances.

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