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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


César E. Chávez building to see 10-year anniversary of renaming

Alexander Plaumann
Alexander Plaumann / The Daily Wildcat Head of Mexican American Studies Richard Ruiz (purple shirt) poses with members of the Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs Program Board in front of the Cesar Chavez building on Wednesday. These group members have helped coordinate Fridays Cesar Chavez event. From left to right, senior Alejandro Tapia, freshman Danae Meza, junior Carolina Ramirez, Richard Ruiz and 1st year masters student, Anamaria Ramirez.

The Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs department will host an event celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the naming of the César E. Chávez building.

The event will include a speech from César Chávez’s youngest son, Fernando Chávez, as well as from Macario Saldate, former director of the department of Mexican American Studies, and Peter Likins, who was UA president emeritus during the César E. Chávez building’s renaming in 2003.

Students from Tessa Valencia’s fourth grade class at Davis Bilingual Elementary Magnet School have prepared poems about César Chávez to present at the event as well. Daniela Vizcarra, a junior studying journalism and Mexican American studies and an intern for Davis Bilingual Elementary, worked with Valencia’s class on the poems.

“We had already done a project on [César Chávez] previously,” Vizcarra said, “so this event was a great place to show [their work].”

This celebration or “tardeada,” which means late afternoon picnic, is a dedication to César Chávez, “a great American hero,” said Socorro Carrizosa, program director at CHSA.

“He was an amazing man who was an amazing leader in this country, for this country,” Carrizosa said, “so we felt that it was very appropriate to honor him.”

UA students and community members felt the need to rename the building after a Latino because of the Latino community’s involvement in the university, Carrizosa added.

“The Latino community has been involved in the university since the beginning,” Carrizosa said. “They helped build the university, and felt it was important to have that present.”

Richard Ruiz, head of the Department of Mexican American Studies, said the event is important because once people have been gone for a while, their contributions to society tend to be forgotten.

The César E. Chávez building is also unique because most buildings are named after people who donate a large amount of money, Ruiz said, and while César Chávez had a major influence on the university, he did not donate money.

Poems, artwork and essays will be on display at the event, and there will be food and drinks for guests. Two paintings by a local artist will also be unveiled, one a portrait of César Chávez himself, which will reside permanently in the building.

The CHSA is expecting a strong turnout of Tucson community members because there was a lot of support during initial talks about changing the building’s name to honor César Chávez.

The event will be held on Friday, Oct. 11 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. on the East side of the César E. Chávez building.

– Follow Adriana Espinosa @adri_eee

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