Which Latino/Chicano Student Interest Group Will You Spend Time with on Cinco de Mayo?

As anybody who has ever been to Spring Insight knows, UCSB hosts a plethora of Latino and Chicano student interest groups, each offering its own slice of quesadilla and culture. Today they each will celebrate Cinco de Mayo in their own unique way, and to help you decide which group you should hang with, we’ve compiled a list of the most active Chicano/Latino organizations on campus.

Chicano Chicago: The Cast

This Mexican Theater group has spent the past few months producing a Chicano adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, Chicago. We met with the director, fourth year theater major Sandra Lopez, to discuss the differences between the original and this zesty edition. “First of all, the title is a misnomer,” said Lopez, “It actually takes place in Las Cruces, New Mexico. And the star is named Roxanna Corrazon, which is Roxie Hart translated into Spanish.” The cast is entirely made up of white American students, with the exception of Billy Flynn, who is played Neville Etons, a British foreign exchange student. Featuring remixes of hit numbers such as “Señor Cellophane” and “Razzle Dazzle in Your Zoot Suit”, Chicano Chicago opens at Old Little Theater on Saturday, May 5.

La Familia de los Hermanos Chicanos de la Santa Barbara
This group, who are colloquially known as La Familia to go easy on the fragile tongues of UCSB, claims to the only true Latin student interest group on campus, citing their emphasis on family as central to the group’s philosophy. “All those other groups are just ‘brothers’. We are ‘hermanos’ which are way more Latin,” said Antonio Beltran, the group’s secretary. By allowing only 100% pure hermanos to join the group, La Familia has maintained pristine racial purity. Group President Oscar Fuentes explained their strict policy. “We have been careful to prevent the interference of the white devil, whose influence can by toxic to hermano-ly love.”

Chicanos Against Race/Culture Based Student Groups

However, there are some Latino/Chicano student-union groups who take issue with the concept of race based student-union groups. “It just seems discriminating to build a student group around race,” said Chester Gutierrez, the president of Chicanos Against Race/Culture Based Student Groups, “Why should we segregate ourselves? We need to celebrate our similarities instead of our differences.”  The majority of CAR/CBSG meetings are spent fuming about the Chicano Studies department parochial focus on Chicanos, and deterring Chicanos and Latinos who think that they can just waltz into the group because they are brown.

Brown Panthers

Gaucho Marks caught up with the ever-militant Brown Panthers at a rally in the Arbor on Tuesday. Brown Panther student leader Manolo X (aka Hermano Manolo) declined to leave the rally for an interview, and threatened violence (or so we assumed—we don’t speak Spanish) on our reporter before leading his followers in a march on the College of Creative Studies, the most dense population of  Caucasian students on campus. “Panthers are creative too!” cried Manolo X as his troops stormed the little yellow building and begin beating its eccentric white inhabitants. After the raid, Manolo X informed reporters that Brown Panther meetings are held every Thursday night in the crawl space under the UCEN.

 Junior United Farm Workers

What sets the JUFW apart from the pack are its ties to a nationally recognized union. As a collegiate subsidiary of the United Farm Workers, this group strives to inform its agriculturally minded members of the practices and problems of working in the food industry. The JUFW mirrors their parent organization in nearly every way, but junior. They hold large hunger strikes in the dining commons, demand benefits and better pay for their cousins and tios,  and are led by a severely unqualified figurehead (senior, or should I say, señor feminist studies major Michael Montez) who takes credit for the work of truly informed and competent union workers. Montez’ primary job at JUFW is leading extended chants of their slogan, “Buy any beans necessary!” which ostensibly keeps their industry afloat by promoting consumerism.


Our resident, and only, exclusively Latino/Chicano fraternity has stood for decades as a lone Mexican ranger in UCSB Greek life. ÑÑÑ (pronounced NYEW-NYEW-NYEW) plans to spend Cinco de Mayo hosting an all-day rager interspersed with typical Mexican past times. When asked what these past times were, fraternity representatives replied that the Internet was really slow in their house and that they would get back to us.

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