Movimiento Estudantil Chican@ de Aztlán, a UW-Madison student organization geared toward helping people identify themselves on campus, is looking to forward their mission throughout the upcoming school year, according to Clara Huerta, the group’s financial specialist.
MEChA is a student organization with the mission of promoting arts, education and cultural celebration of the Chican@ community on the UW-Madison campus through various events and guest speakers.
For the coming school year, MEChA wants to promote their mission on campus and reach as many people as possible, according to Huerta.
“I feel like people find it really difficult to find a space,” Huerta said. “Our mission is really to help those people find the space where they feel safe and just be able to do what we do here.”
MEChA holds various cultural events on campus to help forward their mission. Among these events is CulturArte, which aims to expose students to art forms from different cultures through workshops.
The group also holds outreach events such as the Raza outreach and the Mes Chican@. The Raza outreach program serves an educational purpose, bringing in lecturers and educators to speak on various issues. The Mes Chican@ events are cultural celebrations such as concerts held on campus.
Each year, MEChA sends members to the National MEChA Conference. The national conference brings together representatives from various regions to submit ideas for workshops that will make up the conference, according to Huerta.
Currently, MEChA has a non-hierarchical structure, with six working student staff members. Each MEChA chapter belongs to one of 10 regions that cover the United States, with a national coordinating council responsible for organizing the national conference held every year. The UW-Madison branch is part of the Tierra Mid-Atl region.
Members can choose to attend sessions covering various topics ranging from immigration issues to what it means for members to be Chican@.
One of the inclusions in MEChA’s proposed budget for next year was funding for a new financial specialist position, which the group had not previously had. This change came in order to help internal workings for the group after recent internal restructuring, according to Huerta.
The Associated Students of Madison Student Services Finance Committee approved MEChA’s budget for the 2016-’17 fiscal year at their meeting Monday. While MEChA initially proposed a $93,314 budget, the committee made changes and approved the final budget at $87,247.