Cesar Chavez Day versus Chico State party culture


Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

Kendall George

There is (probably) not one person on the Chico State campus who is upset about school being out of session on Friday. This three day weekend will be filled with sunshine, late nights and good friends. Cesar Chavez Day is a very popular day among university students to go out, wear sombreros and drink Tequila. Although I’m always down for a house party and some Margaritas, the real history of this holiday should put any drunk sombrero-wearing student to shame.

Cesar Chavez Day was proclaimed as a federal holiday in 2014, according to telesur. This day-off celebrates the legacy of Cesar Chavez, a civil rights and labor movement activist. Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, participated in walk-outs, fasts, as well as created legislative campaigns and participated in activism for workers’ and immigrant rights in California and the U.S.

So, as a party culture ridden group of young adults, we honor Chavez’s legacy and work by getting drunk at sunrise and culturally appropriating the Mexican dress. That is the most blatant example of disrespect if I have ever seen one. This holiday should be about history, education and volunteer work in honor of this man who changed the lives of so many people in around the country, especially in California.

I know that doesn’t sound as fun as going out with friends, soaking in the sunshine and dancing to good music all night long. Maybe we can come up with a compromise. It doesn’t make you a bad person to go out this weekend and get drunk at 6 a.m. or dance your butt off until 4 a.m. It does make you look ignorant and disrespectful when you do it with a sombrero on your head, mock Mexican language or post pictures on Instagram of you and your friends blacked out wearing ponchos. Don’t do it.