Campus events fail to deter Chavez weekend revelry

Whitney Urmann

A group of students from the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a (de) Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.) took to the streets downtown on Tuesday to protest the appropriation of Cesar Chavez Day by students only interested in partying. Photo by Caio Calado. Photo credit: Caio Calado

Despite alternative event efforts hosted by campus groups to honor Cesar Chavez this weekend, Chico State students continued the trend of throwing parties.

The university held three events to honor Cesar Chavez for his achievements as a Latino civil rights activist and to inform the community of his everlasting work.

The events on campus are also meant to inform students about who Chavez was and what he did for his community and the rights of laborers.

“I have no idea who Cesar Chavez is,” said Meg Wigmore, a nursing major.

According to the flier for the Cesar Chavez rally, the office of diversity and inclusion wanted to provide an opportunity for a respectful alternative to celebrating the holiday.

The rally was held on campus on March 25 and led by members of the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center.

On March 26, the CCLC hosted an art gallery display that showcased art done by Chico State students and community members that encompassed all that Chavez represented. Submitters of the art also explained what Chavez’s legacy as an activist meant to them.

On Monday night, University Housing and Food Services held a free viewing for all students of the 2014 movie “Cesar Chavez” which documents Chavez’s life as an agricultural laborer and a critical activist for civil rights in the Latino community.

On the Tuesday holiday students were offered a volunteer opportunity around Chico to give back and honor Chavez respectfully. Those who volunteered were given a lunch and a raffle opportunity following their hours of service at various locations in Chico such as the animal shelter and the Fire Department.

In the past, students have used the holiday as an opportunity to party. Typically, students can be seen wearing sombreros and ponchos, in an attempt to appropriate the culture that Chavez represented.

The holiday weekend usually see a higher numbers of crimes, underage drinking and DUIs than normal weekends in Chico.

According to the police log, there were a total of 20 arrests between Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Three of those were verified by the department as Chico State students.

Saturday night there was a car accident that resulted in the death of Nickolas Klein, a 21-year-old mechanical engineering major. An SUV collided with Klein as he was crossing the street and then hit two parked cars.

The incident was the only major accident to occur during the weekend but there were several calls for alcohol overdoses around downtown Chico, according to police scanner traffic.

Whitney Urmann can be reached at [email protected] or @WUrmann on Twitter.