By Natalie Orozco

CHP: When was this organization established at UC Santa Cruz, and how?

Lopez: Sometime in the 1970s. I’m not too sure exactly, but it did start up because of the civil rights movement. Chicanos [at the UC] got together to have solidification of all Chicano organizations.

CHP: What does MEChA do?

Lopez: There are a lot of aspects to MEChA. Politically though, we are a space for students of color. A lot of work is done for these students in high school or middle school to bring them up to campus and show them opportunities. We bring up issues pertaining to the Chicano/Latino community and we work to deconstruct major issues facing us today like sexism and homophobia.

CHP: What upcoming events can we expect from you this year?

Lopez: [This week] we will hold an event in regards to the misconception of Thanksgiving and how it was really a genocide. We are also having a queer student of color open mic/dance that will be a safe space for the queer community to express themselves. We hold colloquiums like Gente: a weekend conference where we bring up students K-12 to campus and we hold workshops for both the students and the parents. We have a program called Orale, which is a three-day program for already accepted students of UCSC to come up to campus. We hold a series of workshops, activities and help them create a community of networks at the same time.

CHP: How often do you meet?

Lopez: Every Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Cervantes-Velasquez room in Baytree, a.k.a. Conference Room D.

CHP: How many members do you have this quarter?

Lopez: [About] 30 to 40 members.

CHP: What is a memorable moment you have with MEChA?

Lopez: It’s kind of hard to pick just one moment, but I guess I’d have to say going to conferences, because it’s a good time to talk and get to know one another. It’s a time to get more personal about issues because often times it’s hard to talk about them.

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