SPC unveils surprise celebrity guest

Sam Smith / Editor in Chief

FIU’s Student Programming Council covered the GC Pit in orange and black, Monday, Feb. 1 between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. at their SPC Has a Secret event.

Handing out cupcakes and sandwiches, SPC Director Natalie Sarracino promised to reveal a secret announcement.

“We’ve been advertising this as a secret for about two weeks now,” said Sarracinio, a junior journalism major.

Just before the scheduled reveal, however, a fire alarm was triggered in GC, requiring that the building evacuate for about 20 minutes.

Upon reconvening inside, SPC revealed their next guest in the SPC Speaker series, Selenis Leyva, during the SPC Has a Secret event Monday, Feb. 1.

Leyva is a Cuban-American actress who plays Gloria Mendoza in the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.

“Except for the Eboard, nobody else knew about this,” said Erin Swink, a freshman nursing major and SPC member. “It was really exciting, even for us.”

The event is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. in the GC Ballrooms. Doors will open to attendants at 5:30.

SPC Director Natalie Sarracino, a junior journalism major, said Leyva will cover a number of topics during her talk, including her experience on Orange is the New Black.

“She’ll be talking about immigration because her parents are of Cuban and Dominican descent, and she has a transgender sibling, so she’ll be advocating for LGBT issues.”

Having recently started watching the show, Swink was pleased to hear the news.

“I really like [Orange is the New Black], so that’s how I knew who she was. I thought it would be somebody less known, but it turned out to be really cool,” Swink said.

Afterward, Leyva will hold a Q-and-A where she answers questions posed over Twitter with the hashtag #SPCITNB.

“We chose to collaborate with the Cuban Research Institute, the Cuban-American Student Organization and International Student Scholar Services – so a lot of international clubs who, hopefully, the members can relate to her story,” said Sarracino.

Admission will be free for students who present their OneCard and $5 for guests at the door.

[photo by Javier Sanlley]

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