Today Colorado is one of seven states in the nation that
recognizes March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day. The holiday marks the
birthday of Cesar Chavez, a Mexican-American worker who was
instrumental in creating the United Farm Workers (UFW)
organization, which has established many labor rights for farm
workers in the 1960s, most of who were immigrants.
El Centro, an organization for Latino students at CSU, has been
sponsoring activities all week but is frustrated with CSU and
Bridges to the Future. Members’ frustration comes from Bridges to
the Future scheduling Madeline Albright to speak on the
“It’s not about Madeline Albright, because she’s obviously a
very accomplished woman,” said Jesse Ramirez, a senior political
science major in El Centro. “It’s about timing.”
Many in El Centro, including Director Lupe Salazar, shared
“When we learned on Feb. 12 that Madeline Albright had been
invited on the same day, we were angry that the decision had been
made without informing the structures that exist,” Salazar said.
“Ultimately we knew that we couldn’t compete.”
Crissie Snow, the assistant to the president, is involved with
Bridges to the Future. Snow said the circumstances surrounding
Albright coming to speak were not very flexible.
“Certainly it wasn’t intentional,” Snow said. “But it was the
only date that could accommodate Albright and the facility
Representatives from El Centro and organizers of Cesar Chavez
Day met with CSU President Larry Penley and representatives from
Bridges to the Future to try to reach a compromise on the events
for the day. Now the events this evening for Cesar Chavez Day are
scheduled to conclude before Albright speaks, so interested
students will be able to attend both events.
“I was told it was impossible to reschedule the speech,” Salazar
said. “President Larry Penley did apologize and we feel good that
he will work so that this doesn’t happen again.”
Jesse Ramirez, a senior political science major in El Centro,
said it was only after tickets for Albright’s speech were sold out
that he started noticing more talk and support for Cesar Chavez Day
“It’s one thing to speak in terms of rhetoric and literature
about diversity,” Ramirez said. “It’s another to see it in terms of
Ramirez said that though the holiday is not yet well-known, its
significance should not be devalued.
“We recognize that it’s a young holiday, but an important
holiday,” Ramirez said. “We have a duty and an obligation to
recognize the holiday.”
Last year Bridges to the Future and El Centro brought Dolores
Huerta to come speak on campus. Ramirez said he was not satisfied
with the funding the university provided for the Huerta event, and
he and his fraternity Sigma Lambda Beta raised nearly $7,000
dollars to make the event happen.
Schedule of Events:
Today – Cesar Chavez Day
Information Displays & Interaction Opportunities
in the LSC Sunken Lounge
Mini performance of “Papi, Me and Cesar Chavez”
At City of Fort Collins Community Room
215 N. Mason
“Comida de Migrantes” and music from Grupo Aztlan
in the LSC Art Lounge
Performance of “Papi, Me and Cesar Chavez” by
Su Teatro in the LSC Theatre
“Our Children, Our Treasures, Investing in Their Education”
A banquet in the Main Ballroom of the LSC recognizing El
graduating seniors. Events include Malissa Quezada performing
National Anthem, entertainment by Mariachi Vasquez, and Mindy
Vigil, a CSU alumna, and
Ernie Chavez will be acknowledging the graduates.
Tickets for the dinner and ceremony are $30 per person.
To make reservations, contact Shirley Guitron at 491-1926.