Movimiento Estudiantil [email protected] de Aztlán discussed Latino affairs with Mexican students residing on the U.S. East Coast, or Chicanos, at a conference in Gaston Hall Saturday.
The conference’s topic, the state of Latino affairs, was designed to encompass upcoming elections and the politics of the Latino vote, as well as topics like health and LGBTQ issues, according toMEChA Co-Chair Antony Lopez (COL ’14).
There was a heavy emphasis on grassroots action and involvement, with the aim of encouraging Latino students to become more engaged in politics.
“It is not only to unite and get to know each other but also knowing what opportunities we have, knowing what is already being done and how we can help,” Lopez said. “To the core, it was networking with each other and how we can get involved and claim our future.”
Hispanic Heritage Foundation President and CEO José Antonio Tijerino summarized the state of Latino youth and emphasized the need for Latino students to realize the stake they hold in their future.
According to Lopez, the conference’s success was largely a result of strong student involvement. Lopez cited this as a testament to the vibrancy of Chicano and Latino life on campus.
“People really want to get involved and give back and network, basically,” Lopez said.
Yale student Gloria Jaqueline Mejia, MEChA de Yale’s ECCSF representative, said that the conference was a success, citing the large variety of workshops.
The conference, cosponsored by the East Coast Chicano Student Forum, marked the third time Georgetown has held the event, which includes three conferences at separate universities over the course of the academic year. The first two of this year’s conferences were held at Vassar College and Harvard University.
“It was by far the best student conference this year,” Mejia said. “They were very organized, had very amazing workshops. We also had the opportunity to go around D.C.”
The Georgetown Scholarship Program, the Cuban American Student Association and What’s After Dark co-sponsored the event, while the Student Activities Commission also contributed funding. In addition, MEChA relied on volunteers from Hilltop Tacos, Phi Iota Alpha fraternity and Ballet FolkloricoMexicano de Georgetown. The Center for Multicultural Equity and Access also led a discussion and afternoon activities.