This is the first of a series written by Student Ambassador Steven Tataje, in which he will be spotlighting some of the wonderful student organizations at Cypress. In this post, Steven discusses MEChA, which he co-founded this semester and serves as President.
During my time as a student at Cypress, I have been impressed with the ability of student clubs to make a difference on campus. At the beginning of this semester, I co-founded MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano De Aztlan) along with my friend Anissa.
I had been looking for a way to further educate the College community about Hispanic/Chicano/Latin culture and traditions, as well as draw attention to the needs of Latino students. I approached Louis Raprager, the Associated Students Inter-Club Council Chair, for assistance. He informed me about the MEChA organization, which works on these issues nationally, and noted that Cypress did not have an active chapter. With help from Louis, Anissa and I were able to get the club up and running in a few weeks.
One of the ways that MEChA reaches out to the community is through service. Recently we volunteered at a clean-up in Seal Beach.
MEChA at the Seal Beach clean-up:
In MEChA, we are not only looking to represent Latino students. We hope to broadly inspire discussion and action from students, faculty, staff, and community members around awareness of various types of social injustice and stress the importance of cultural knowledge, diversity, and equality at the College and beyond. We are firm believers in the importance of higher education, and see political involvement as the avenue for change in our society.
We participate in fun events as well, such as the Associated Students Pumpkin Bash this semester. We were there doing face painting, exhibiting an element of the celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Pumpkin Bash attendees loved it, and this activity was educational as well as entertaining. We explained and gave out information about how face painting is done as a remembrance to our ancestors.
MEChA painting faces at the Associated Students Pumpkin Bash:
In MEChA, we strive to create unity among cultures. We are currently collaborating with Black Student Union to demonstrate how people of various backgrounds can come together.
We love creating a friendly, informative environment. We welcome anyone with open arms to join and get to know Hispanic traditions, celebrations, and cultural roots.
MEChA President Steven Tataje preparing for Pumpkin Bash:
If you would like to see your club featured in a future article, please contact Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org.