UChicago MEChA

Who is M.E.Ch.A?

El Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A) is part of a larger movement and our specific M.E.Ch.A. chapter is both an activist and cultural recognized student organization, that uses community service, political involvement and education as a means for change. M.E.Ch.A. is not only open to Chicana/o or Latina/o students but also to anyone who identifies with and commits themselves to promoting culture, history and higher education as devices of change among the oppressed.

Our weekly meetings are held every Tuesday at 7:00PM in OMSA: 5710 S. Woodlawn

Donations are always welcome! Mail checks to 5706 S. University Ave. Chicago, IL 60637
Payable to: The University of Chicago- M.E.Ch.A

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chicago Contacts

Latinos Progresando
1624 W. 18th St., Second Floor
Chicago, IL. 60608

For inquiries regarding the Legal Services program, contact Marcy Gonzalez at marcy@latinospro.org

For inquiries regarding College-Bound Youth Group, community forums or Teatro Americano, contact Melissa Gonzalez at melissa@latinospro.org

Friday, October 24, 2008

¡Dia de los Muertos 2008!

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday traditionally celebrated on November 1 and 2. It is a gathering of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. Remembrances are traditionally in the form of self-constructed altars dedicated to the memory of those passed.

Our specific Dia de los Muertos celebration this year feartured two altars displays, one dedicated to those lost in their attempts to arrive in the US and the second will be dedicated to the memory of family and friends lost to members of the UofC community.

Furthermore, we had musical guests Fandanguero and Meztizarte perform and invited guest artists to display their work.

Dia de los Muertos 2008 was a hit!

Thanks to everyone who came out and thanks to all of our great guests that made our event possible!

In case you missed it or just want to look back on it, see the slideshow below for pictures of the afternoon's events.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

UChicago Contacts

MEChA Website

UChicago Listhost

Request to be placed on the organizing listhost for active members

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
5710 S. Woodlawn Ave.

Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities
5706 S. University and 1212 E. 59th

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MEChA-Unity Project

Purpose of MEChA-Unity

The mission of MEChA is to promote education and awareness of Latina/o and Chicana/o issues, and to provide community service to Latino communities. The MEChA Unity Community Service Project aims to guide Unity Jr. High School students in learning about the work and history of the national MEChA organization while immersing the young students in service to their local Chicago community of Cicero. The short-term objective of our program is to provide Unity MEChA with tutoring, mentoring in developing service projects and in acting as a functioning organization, and college-readiness sessions.

Throughout the course of the project, we provide MEChA Unity members with the skills and opportunities of planning and carrying out community service projects in Cicero. We hope to include projects such as, but not limited to, recycling, street-cleanups, murals and tree-planting.

As the MEChA of the University of Chicago, we believe we are responsible for guiding the younger MEChA Unity students so that they may continue leadership and service in the future, and most importantly, attain a higher education. Ultimately, this project aims to instill a sense of pride within the MEChA Unity members, as well as in their culture and in their community through tutoring, mentoring and guidance in local service projects so that they may be more college-ready.

Program Structure

The MEChA Unity project will recruit 7th and 8th graders at Unity Middle School who will meet with UChi MEChA members at Unity Junior High School after school on Mondays, from 2-4 pm.
Transportation to Unity MS will be provided. The first meeting of the 2008-2009 year is to TBA.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Social Justice Meeting 10/8

I wanted to fill you guys in on the first meet-up of the the Social Justice resource center at the UofC http://sjuofc.wordpress.com/ It's pretty much just that, a resource center, a place for RSOs to collectively organize projects/campaigns, etc. It's a good way to find out what other SJ RSOs are up to and how to better collaborate with one another.

The first meeting will be Wed. Oct 8th 5:30-6:30, in the RSO Conference Room of 5710.

I and at least one other MEChA rep will be in attendance but of course more are welcome.

If you have any questions feel free to direct them to Hannah Jacoby hwjacoby@uchicago.edu


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mechistas in Chicago

Hello my fellow Mechistas:

I have schedule a meeting this Tuesday September 2, 2008 at 1 p.m @ Hutch for all Mechistas who are in Chicago. During this meeting we will try to start outlining a budget and list of events for next year. We will also go over our strategies for the beginning of the quarter to recruit more Mechistas as well as details on O-week events. Also, any of you who are NOT around and you have ideas or comments for this particular meeting you can just email the mecha-organizing google group and we can bring these points up at the meeting. I am exited for the new year and all the wonderful things we can achieve! Hope to see all of you who are around at the meeting!



Education Conferences

The student drop-out rate continues to overwhelm Latino/a communities across the U.S. However, the cause of the problem has frequently been traced back to a lack of information about the various aspects of the educational system past high school years. Many students may not fully comprehend the long-term benefits of attaining a college education while others are led to believe that a college education is out of reach because of financial constraints or legal residence status. For those reasons and others, MEChA hosts annual Education Conferences in which high school sophomores and juniors receive information regarding the various aspects of attaining a college education. We make certain to cover anything from the importance of high school GPAs and extra curriculars to the SAT/ACT exams and financial aid resources after acceptance. Additionally, the students are given a tour of the UChicago campus as well as multiple opportunities to speak to MEChistas as once college applicants and Latino/a college students. This coming school year we are hoping to extend our efforts and host Education Conferences once every quarter in order to better inform seniors and juniors in high school.

Education Conference
Spring 2008

Education Conference
Fall 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Officers 08-09

Victoria Alvarez
International Studies
Dallas, TX

Mayra Lopéz
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Chicago, IL

Alejandra Leon
International Studies
Chicago, IL

Edgar Hernandez
International Studies
Chicago, IL

Community Service Co-Chair
Sarah Farr
History, Latin American Studies
Seattle, WA

Community Service Co-Chair
Karla Fernandez
Los Angeles, CA

Melanie Tova Morales
Newark, NJ

Social Chair
Jessica Gutierrez
Philosophy, Political Science
Dallas, TX


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

RSO Collaboration

Aside from being MEChistas, various MEChA members also hold membership and leadership positions in other campus organizations. As a result of such connections, MEChA frequently collaborates with various RSOs on campus including the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), the Puerto Rican Student Association (PRSA), Students Organizing United with Labor (SOUL), and the newly formed Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha Latina Sorority.

Several MEChA ladies participated in the OLAS Cultural Show performances of 2008.

The Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha work closely with MEChA to get involved on campus and in the community by organizing various service projects, fund raisers, and most recently through the support of the Uncommon Fund, the first UChicago Cinco de Mayo Celebration.

MEChistas along with other Latino/a organizations on campus attend the annual Latino/a Night hosted at the beginning of fall quarter by OLAS.

MEChA continues its commitment to the labor movement by staying up to date and involved in campus worker issues. In the fall of '07, MEChA and SOUL members organized several worker rights rallies in support of a 4% wage increase for clerical and janitorial staff at the University of Chicago. Read about the most recent campus worker rights campaign here.

MEChistas gathered with interested UChicago students to attend the May Day rally of '08 which focused on immigrant rights.

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday traditionally celebrated on November 1 and 2. It is a gathering of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. Remembrances are traditionally in the form of self-constructed altars dedicated to the memory of those passed.

Our specific Dia de los Muertos celebration this year will begin with a brief introduction to the event, either by a MEChA member or a guest speaker from the UofC community. We will display two altars, one dedicated to those lost in their attempts to arrive in the US and the second will be dedicated to the memory of family and friends lost to members of the UofC community.

Furthermore, we will have musical guests Fandanguero as well as artists visit to perform and display their work.

Snapshots from Dia de los Muertos Fall 2007

Chavez/Huerta Week

Formerly known as Cesar Chavez Week, the newly re-named Cesar Chavez-Dolores Huerta Commemoration Week is a series of educational and informational events promoting involvement and activism in varying fields including but not limited to education, politics, legal justice and the labor movement. The events are hosted by MEChA with input and participation with other campus RSOs and take place at the beginning of spring quarter.

This year's events include:

Thursday April 2nd
Immigrant Bashing: Human and Civil Rights Violations in the U.S.A. Today
A teach-in by the Latino Union of Chicago 
7:30pm @ OMSA 5710 Woodlawn

Monday April 6th
The Bandana Project: Sexual Exploitation of Farmworker Women
6:00 @ OMSA Community Lounge

Monday April 6th
What is a Chicano?
A Panel on Chicano Identity
7:30 @ OMSA Community Lounge

Wednesday April 8th
Dolores Huerta: A Woman in Pursuit of Justice
MEChA's Chavez-Huerta Keynote
7pm-9pm @ OMSA 5710 
(for more information on Dolores Huerta see 
http://www.greatwomen.org/women.php?action=viewone&id=81 and http://www.doloreshuerta.org/ )

Tuesday April 7th
Dreaming of Higher Education
A DREAM Act Informational
6:30 @ OMSA 5710

Thursday April 9th
Arte Popular: Activism Through Art
5:30-7:30 @ SMART Museum

Friday April 10th
Movie Night
Screening of "The Fight in the Fields"
6pm @ OMSA 5710

See here for a link to our facebook event!

Hope to see you this week!