Mar 302004
 
Authors: Chris Kampfe

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

holiday.

“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

Ramirez’s concerns.

“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

(Moby).”

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

on campus.

“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

action.”

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

10:00-3:00 a.m.

Information Displays & Interaction Opportunities

in the LSC Sunken Lounge

Noon

Mini performance of “Papi, Me and Cesar Chavez”

At City of Fort Collins Community Room

215 N. Mason

5:00-5:45 p.m.

“Comida de Migrantes” and music from Grupo Aztlan

in the LSC Art Lounge

6:00 p.m.

Performance of “Papi, Me and Cesar Chavez” by

Su Teatro in the LSC Theatre

Friday

7:00 p.m.

“Our Children, Our Treasures, Investing in Their Education”

A banquet in the Main Ballroom of the LSC recognizing El

Centro’s

graduating seniors. Events include Malissa Quezada performing

the

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.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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