News Release

Hunger Strike commemoration

Monday, April 26, 2010

Flyer for 1995 Hunger Strike anniversary

The 15th anniversary of a St. Cloud State University student Hunger Strike which resulted in an agreement with administration on the strikers’ 13 demands will be commemorated on campus May 4-5.

View the event flyer (PDF).

The celebration is co-sponsored by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), the student group that organized the 1995 Hunger Strike; African Student Association; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center, Multicultural Student Services; Atwood Administration; and the Office of the President.

The events will include a preview screening of a new documentary about the Hunger Strike, a ceremonial celebration with Aztec dancers, an educational panel featuring St. Cloud State activist alumni who were members of MEChA, and 24-hour fast and ceremony at the Hunger Strike site.

The documentary tells the story of the seven hunger strikers whose vision and goals included urging the St. Cloud State University administration to make systemic changes that would go beyond recruiting for more students, faculty and staff of color – to provide the tools, resources and environment that encourage them to succeed. Executive Producer Jerry Lopez was a MEChA leader during the 1995 Hunger Strike.

Included in the agreement was the establishment of a Student Cultural Center, the creation of a Multicultural Resource Center, the plan to establish and maintain a Chicana/o Studies major, a commitment to recruit and retain more students/faculty of color, the creation of a student Cultural Diversity committee in student government and the hiring of a legal advocate for students.

“Our campus is proud to celebrate the accomplishment of the students, staff, faculty and administrators who have worked together toward the goals & vision of the Hunger Strike,” said St. Cloud State Human Relations faculty member Semya Hakim, adviser to MEChA.

To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the SCSU Hunger Strike, the campus and community are invited to the following events:

May 4
7 p.m. in the Atwood Theatre: preview screening and discussion of the Hunger Strike documentary with the film’s Executive Producer Jerry López and Co-Director Teresa Konechne.  This film chronicles the 1995 Hunger Strike as well as the events leading up to it and after it.  López was one of the Hunger Strikers and is 1997 graduate of the university.

Noon May 4 to noon May 5
MEChA will honor the hunger strike with a 24-hour ceremony and fast at the hunger strike site.

May 5
Noon at Hunger Strike site between Centennial Hall and Administrative Services Building: Ceremonia and celebration with Danza Mexica Cuauhtémoc (Aztec dancers).  A feast will follow.

2 p.m. in Atwood Ballroom:  educational panel Mujeres Mechistas “Women of MEChA,” featuring MEChA alumni discussing their experiences with campus activism.

Contact: Semya Hakim, shakim@stcloudstate.edu, 320-308-3264; Steve Ludwig, slludwig@stcloudstate.edu.

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