Colo. State Students Voice Concern Over Albright Speech on Chavez Day
FORT COLLINS, Colo.
Hispanic students at Colorado State University were concerned that scheduling former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to speak on a day honoring Cesar Chavez discredits efforts to educate the community about their heritage.
Albright spoke at CSU’s Moby Arena, two hours after a performance of the play “Papi, Me and Cesar Chavez” in the Lory Student Center Theatre.
Despite a compromise in starting times, members of the Cesar Chavez Day organizing committee met with CSU President Larry Penley to voice their concerns that their events were being downplayed.
“He listened to our concerns and that was very helpful,” said Mims Harris, co-chair of the committee. “It’s a serious conflict because this happened on an important holiday.”
University officials said the coinciding date for Albright’s speech and the Chavez play was not meant to slight anyone. They said it was difficult to schedule speakers of Albright’s caliber and to find a venue large enough to hold the audience.
Chavez’s birthday on March 31 is a holiday in several states and in Denver. In 2002, Colorado voters rejected a proposal to make it a paid holiday statewide. Chavez, who led the struggle for social justice for migrant farm workers, died in 1993.
Some students said they were also disappointed that Penley’s fall address in September coincided with the kickoff of Hispanic Heritage Month.
— Associated Press
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