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Introducing FSU’s Cuban American Student Association

Having a community where you feel accepted and valued is one of the most essential pieces of succeeding at college. There are so many diverse and inclusive clubs here at Florida State University (FSU), and I adore absolutely any opportunity I get to bring attention to them!

This week I wanted to highlight one of FSU’s student organizations that I personally commend: the Cuban American Student Association.

When thinking of who I wanted to interview for this, I instantly knew the perfect girl for the job. I sat down with one of my closest friends, Fernanda Morales, who is on the executive board of CASA, and is one of the most passionate people I know.

Her Campus (HC): Hi, Fern! Before I begin, I just want to say thank you so much for letting me interview you! I’m so excited to learn more about this organization. But, before we begin, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Fernanda Morales (FM): Hi! My name is Fernanda, and I was born in Cuba, but I moved to West Palm Beach when I was five and have been there ever since. I’m a freshman majoring in Psychology and Economics. In my free time, I like to read, spend time with my friends and go to the beach! I’m also on the executive board of CASA as the secretary.

HC: For those who don’t know, can you tell us what CASA is?

FM: CASA is the Cuban American Student Association! Our goal is to provide a home away from home for Cuban American students that feel like they need a community at Florida State. Our goal is to spread information about Cuba and advocate for Cuban issues, while also showing people our culture!

HC: How did you discover CASA, and why did you join?

FM: I was actually at the involvement fair. I saw they had a Pitbull at their table…. so obviously I went over there. And then, I saw that it was the Cuban American Student Association! That was last semester, and ever since then, I’ve been a part of CASA. I think it was the Cuban protest that I went to with CASA that got me really involved!

HC: What has been your favorite part about being in CASA?

FM: Just having a space to showcase my culture and be myself. I feel like when you’re at a PWI as a minority, it can feel like you’re surrounded by a culture that you don’t know anything about. I love being able to just sit at executive board meetings and make funny jokes and little comments in Spanish. It just feels good to have a space where I can just act like I’m with my family. 

HC: Recently, Victoria Marina (the Public Relations Co-chair of CASA) was also interviewed for Her Campus. In that article, staff writer Meagan Planas asks her to give insight on how her experience has been and what CASA means to her. Victoria talked about how CASA helped her form a close connection with people here at her new school. My question to you is the same: What does CASA mean to you?

FM: Our little slogan is CASA away from home (because casa means home in Spanish) and that’s exactly what it is: a home away from home. I really do feel like I have a second family to go to. A lot of the other executive board members are older than me, so I feel like I have a bunch of older siblings! I know I have people to go to when I’m struggling with something. I also just love feeling involved and having this community around me.

HC: Why should others join CASA?

FM: I genuinely feel like the people that I’ve met at CASA have changed my perspective on how I see Cuban culture and how I see culture at FSU in general. Everyone is very welcoming and friendly. Plus, we have a bunch of fun events planned for Valentine’s Week!

HC: That leads me to my last question! What events should people be looking out for?

FM: We have our Valentine’s Week coming up from Feb. 7 to Feb. 12. We have events ranging from a sexual education partnership with CHAW (with pizza afterward!), social media takeovers, a mock wedding, a coffee painting social and a bonfire. And on Saturday we have a party, which I’m super excited about! Plus, this upcoming month, we’re having a dominoes tournament with the Dominican Student Association. We’re also planning an advocacy event soon and a cultural event with the Hispanic Honor Society, and that’s just for this month! This semester is going to be filled with a lot of fun activities and I would love to see everyone there! 

You can find more about the Cuban American Student Association on their Instagram!

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FSU freshman Public Relations major from Atlanta, Georgia. Lover of all things green or Frank Ocean related. Bonus point for both.
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