NOV. 21, 2001
CONTACT: Pat Wright, 661/664-2138, pwright@csub.edu

MEChA celebrates 30 years at Cal State Bakersfield

The student organization MEChA celebrates 30 years at California State University, Bakersfield on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Runner Cafeteria, 6 p.m. Keynote speaker will be renowned Latina activist Dolores Huerta, co-founder and former vice president of the United Farm Workers. Joining her will be David Alcaras, founding president of CSUB MEChA.

"Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano De Aztlan, better known by its acronym, is the oldest continuing student organization on the CSUB campus," said Rey Cuesta, Student Achievement, Academic and Retention (STAAR) program coordinator. "The local chapter was founded in 1971, just one year after the university opened. At the time, there were fewer than 200 Latino students on campus; today, there are nearly 2,000, of whom 1,300 are women."

"Over the years, MEChA has played a central role in the cultural, political and social life of students on the campus," Cuesta said. "It has a rich history and has been a major locus of youth leadership development for this community. MEChA grew out of the student movement of the late 1960's and was influenced by the organizing efforts among California farm workers which was led by Cesar Chavez, for whom California now celebrates a state holiday."

The MEChA 30th anniversary celebration features dinner, dancing, and a program with the theme "Reflecting on Our Past, Celebrating Our Future." Dancing to the music of the Prisoners of Love will bring the celebration to a close.

Students, alumni, faculty, community leaders, and friends from throughout the state are expected to attend. Latino activists and leaders from throughout the state will participate. A panel discussion on the history and future of MEChA is being organized. A morning youth leadership conference also is being planned.

Tickets are $15 for students and $25 for non-students. For more information call Cuesta at 661/664-2281.