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Bienvenidos, estudiantes! from MeChA

by Annie Kuzmanovic

If you have been hearing the distant sound of drum beats, know that you are not imagining it-they are actually drums.

On Oct. 10, Cis very own Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan Organization (MEChA) hosted an event in the Student Union Courtyard to welcome students into the student-teacher network, specifically into the Chicano/a culture on campus. They named the event Raza Bienvenida, or the Welcome Race.

“It’s a way to form communication with them,” said junior and psychology major Odalys Cardenas. “Students can form long relationships throughout their four years here.” Cardenas is a Co-Chairperson of MEChA organization and was present at the event to represent and support the club.

To open the afternoon, student club members performed a ceremony that honored men, women and their ancestors. “Danza [flaloc Olin] did a blessing of the event,” said Cardonas. “Basically, they open up the event by accepting everything into the space and spreading good energy.”

Following this was a tribal dance. In their elaborate costumes, some crowned with feathered headdresses, a handful of dancers performed a series of dances, each with a different choreography and a different drum beat.

What goes better with entertainment than food, though? MEChA set up a buffet of authentic Latin American foods and invited students to help themselves. Along with these tables were others promoting multicultural student organizations and a lottery that encouraged students to mingle with faculty and advisors. There was also a table displaying books written by Chicano/ a authors, presenting students with the possibility of exploring Chicano/a studies.

”We have advising here, who are welcoming all students to advising,” said Cardenas. “There is also University Culture, so that students can get to know them.”

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