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Hispanic students form club to celebrate their heritage

March 25, 2003

By Mali Nasrollahzadeh

M.E.Ch.A--Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan--is a national organization now on campus for Hispanic students. The club was started at Baylor to help diversify and educate the campus.

Crystal Garcia, founder and La Voz of M.E.Ch.A, said students decided to bring the organization to campus after letters to the editor were printed in The Lariat concerning racial discrimination against Hispanic students.

The purpose and goals of the club are to promote the unity, identity, culture, growth and development of Hispanic students from all backgrounds. The Baylor chapter will begin with a focus on education.

'We are trying to educate ourselves,' Garcia said. 'In history, we are not taught much about our heroes. Some people don't know that Texas belonged to Mexico.'

Another objective is to implement a mentoring/tutoring program in conjunction with local middle schools.

'We want these kids to know that even though Hispanics have the No. 1 high school dropout rate and teen pregnancy [rate], it is possible to go to college and be someone in life,' she said.

Members will have the opportunity to attend regional and national conferences and play an active role with fellow 'Mechistas.'

M.E.Ch.A. is for anyone who wants to work in promoting Chicano education and awareness and not limited to students with a Hispanic background.

Weekly meetings are held at 5 p.m. Wednesdays in the faculty lounge on the first floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Posters and chalking will appear on campus so students can find out more about M.E.Ch.A.