Did You Know? Cezar Chavez, Spring Break Adventures
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"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!"

~Robin Williams

<<First Name>>!

Stop and smell the roses

So here's the scoop. Spring right? Sunshine, fresh air, budding flowers, chirping birds, allergies, etc etc, SPRING BREAK! Mere days away. Can you hear it? It's calling your name, <<First Name>>. BUT just because break is in a few days doesn't mean you should take your foot off that pedal. Finish off strong. So that when you come back, your mind will be clear and you can dedicate yourself to new and exiting class topics. Keep your eyes at the horizon, <<First Name>>. Always move forward. =]

P.s Don't forget to wear green tomorrow. ;D Lest ye be pinched. 


Did You Know?

The History Behind the Cesar Chavez Holiday

If you look around Merced you'll notice fields with lots of crops. Many times you will see workers tending these fields. Reverse about 50 years in the past, that same scene was still occurring. We spoke to UC Merced Professors of Immigration, race, and ethnicity studies in 20th century United States, Dr. Mario Sifuentez & Professor David Torres-Rouff to find out why this is. Read below for the history of Cesar Chavez, his connection to the Central Valley, and why we get the holiday off!
Cesar Chavez presenting a speech in 1980

How is Cesar Chavez Connected to Merced?

You probably didn't think the Great Depression is what started the history of Cesar Chavez, but it did. In fact, as a child, Cesar Chavez's family lost their farm in Arizona because of the tremendous impact the Great Depression had on the world. This is when his family had to move to a town near Merced for survival. They settled in San Jose, California where town locals called it "sal si puedes" which translates to "get out if you can." This is where as a young adult Cesar met Fred Ross. He was a disciple of Saul Alinsky, who developed the tactics still used today for organization of workers. 
Farm workers harvesting Fuji apples at the Britton Konynenburg Partners orchards in Merced, 2014. 

What did Cesar Chavez do? 

Fred Ross followed tradition and taught Cesar his tactics and together worked in Community Service Organization (CSO). After many years, Cesar became a part of another organization called United Farm Workers (UFW) and focused on organizing workers in the central valley. This organization, based in Delano, California was very diverse consisting of Filipinos, Mexicans, Arab, and many other cultures. Many women were also engaged in this organization such as Dolores Huerta, and Esther Padia. Cesar Chavez  among countless others such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  organized marches and boycotts using no violence. Many died but those that survived are using their experience to continue to challenge oppression of all workers such as restaurants, custodial, etc and are making big impacts.
Students from California State University,
San Marcos planting crops for Cesar Chavez
Day of Service, 2014.

Why do we get the day off? 

Even if we don't realize we get the day off since it lands during spring break, it's actually a national holiday! President Barack Obama officially declared March 31st a holiday, in honor of Cesar Chavez birthday. In the words of Dr. Sifuentez, the Cesar Chavez holiday is "not about celebrating a person, it's about celebrating a movement". Professor David Torres-Rouff agrees by reminding us to, "know that this holiday is one of the few that is dedicated to community service. Cesar Chavez Day is a reminder about the struggles, successes, and enduring challenge for which we are all responsible in pursuing a country that lives up to its promises of freedom and equality of opportunity."
Cesar Chavez was able to inspire. He didn't win but he did establish a successful union movement against the exploitation of farm and labor workers. This movement radicalized a new generation of activists that are making big impacts today. It's important to remember the work he started and the work he didn't get to do so we can take step up and take action. Remember Cesar Chavez was not perfect, no hero is. So as March 31st approaches take the opportunity to be a hero and make a difference in something you believe in. 

Spring Break Adventures

Just a few more days and Spring Break is here! Instead of spending Spring Break watching away TV shows on Netflix, this year, how about utilizing that one week off to travel to different places and creating unforgettable memories? Below we've provided you with some ideas of things you can do this spring break! Some of our mentors even threw in their two cents. Take a look!

South Lake Tahoe, California

Renting Out A Cabin in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a haven for outdoor fun such as swimming,  kayaking and windsurfing. For those who prefer indoor fun, there are 24hr casinos and a flashy nightlife scene. For more information about Lake Tahoe, check out the tripadvisor website.
"Last year, some friends and I got a cabin in south side Tahoe. There's a river to float on, you can hit the lake with jet skis, go hiking, they have a village center for shopping, and casinos on the Nevada side. The crowd is diverse as opposed to just college studens on break."
~ Success Mentor Alan Ardalan
Big Sur, California

Visiting Big Sur in California

Big Sur, one of the most memorable ocean vistas in California, is known for its jagged cliffs pummeled by the surf line located near the Pacific Coast Highway. Big Sur is the perfect location to go surfing, camping, and cruising. For more information about the location, check out the tripadvisor website.
"I used to live near Big Sur when I was a kid and I didn't get the opportunity to visit it again very often. It's very beautiful there! It's a hike on the coastal mountains of California. The drive is very beautiful as well. Lots of waves crashing on the cliffs."
~Success Mentor Leah Beza

Approved Events 

SMP Events

Spring Break Voyage
Tuesday March 17th 3:00-5:00pm Crescent Arch (Half Dome 180)
COW-a-bunga! Spring Break is heading to UC Merced early with the Success Mentor Program! Come join us for a fun afternoon to unwind right before Spring Vacation. Karaoke, Just Dance, Board Games Free snacks will be provided. Surfs up and we hope to see you there!

Don't Fall, Spring into Time Management
Tuesday March 17th 2:00-2:50pm COB 260 
Wednesday March 18th 11:00-11:50pm COB 228 

Defeat the procrastination monster with your handy dandy planner! Learn various tips and resources on overcoming bad habits, setting goals and managing your time with the Success Mentor Program to achieve success!

Spring Into Office Hours
Tuesday March 31st 3:30-4:20pm KL360
Wednesday April 1st 2:00-2:50pm KL 230

Office hours are a beneficial resource that we under utilize very often. Oftentimes, anxiety or feeling unprepared keeps us from going. This workshop aims to help students prepare for office hours by talking about various ways to build confidence for, and be prepared for office hours.

Additional Approved Events

Grammar Workshops: Colons, Semicolons, and Apostrophes
Monday March 16th 12:00-1:00 PM
COB 276
Event Link
Filling in the ___: Taming Test Anxiety
Thursday March 19th 3:00-4:00 PM
KL 209
Event Link
Peace Corps Info Session
Thursday March 19th 4:00-5:00 PM
SSB 250
Event Link
Grammar Workshops: ESL Trouble Spots
Monday March 31st 12:00-1:00 PM
COB 276
Event Link
Grammar Workshops: Adjective Clauses
Monday April 6th 12:00-1:00 PM
COB 276
Event Link
Get the Most Out of Office Hours
Tuesday April 7th 5:00-5:50 PM
Tenaya 170-Alpine Room
Event Link
Boredom Busting
Thursday April 9th 12:00-12:50 PM
SAAC 219
Event Link

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