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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Guest Opinion: Cinco de Drinko

cinco de drinko

We, as concerned students of UC Davis and community members, would like to declare our utter offense and disgust with an off campus event organized by UC Davis students.

It has been brought to our attention that a “Cinco de Drinko Sloshball” Facebook event page was created by UC Davis Coffee House (CoHo) student employees earlier this week. The event is a party intended to have attendees dress in “festive” attire, meaning stereotypical “Mexican” dress (a sombrero and sarape, fake mustache, etc.). In addition, attendees are given an image that demonstrates the attire they should wear, which includes a border patrol officer costume. These images are hurtful to our community and only serve to create a hostile campus climate by sending a message of disregard and disrespect for the Chican@/Latin@ and Undocumented/Immigrant campus community.

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that marks and celebrates the victory over French rule that was momentous for the state of Puebla, Mexico. This holiday is often manipulated by individuals who use inaccurate images of Mexican culture and affiliate it strongly with alcoholic consumption, despite the fact that there is no real correlation between the two. Many student organizations around the nation, including UC Davis’s own Delta Chi Fraternity, host these types of events and encourage the student community to engage in these racist actions. Many justify it by saying that these are “harmless” events and that attendees are “just trying to have fun.” However, when the communities that are mocked are communities that struggle on a daily basis to have to prove their worth at academic institutions, they are indeed harmful. They invisibilize and make a joke of the lives of students that are historically underrepresented and underserved at the University. The fact that the student employees, who represent the face of the University, planned this event, are perpetuating this ignorance with no sensitivity towards the Chican@/Latin@ and undocumented/immigrant community on our campus, is a reflection of the lack of respect for different cultures and student experiences.

Lastly, it is ironic that this event is scheduled to take place on the same day as La Gran Tardeada (the culmination of La Raza Cultural Days), which in turn marginalizes the Chican@/Latin@ community on campus even further. It is also an indication of where the campuswide community stands when it comes to cultural competency and understanding and upholding our UC Davis Principles of Community. La Raza Cultural Days and other cultural celebrations during the year are often denied adequate support. Regretful events, such as this “party,” tell us that we have not come as far as we’d like to claim with cultural competency and need to support these programs every opportunity possible. This “Cinco de Drinko Sloshball” event invalidates years of work from multiple organizations, student centers, departments and students on a day that ironically is meant to celebrate and unite the community.

Students planning and participating in this event should be trained to understand why these events are hurtful, offensive, and backward. Despite the years of progress that have been made by strides in the Chican@/Latin@ community at UC Davis, these racist actions remind us that there is still much work to be done. We urge UC Davis and the CoHo to hold its student employees accountable for their actions and take appropriate and effective steps forward to ensure that these types of events will not take place again.


Concerned Students and Community Members of UC Davis

Michelle Villegas
Chicana/o Studies & Psychology Major
UC Davis Alumni 2012


  1. So the students who are “offended” by this event:

    -make an organized attempt to target and harass the individuals who planned it.
    -demand that anyone who disagrees with them be silenced.
    -want to force students to attend “training” until their opinions are “correct”.

    Why do we even get these nuts attention?

    • Wait, the students who participated in event are not there at the CoHo, so I don’t think they are being harassed. Where did it say they wanted any disagreement silenced though?

      • Actually, students have already come forward saying they’ve received hateful attention from anonymous individuals over the internet. This includes the releasing of personal information with the intent to harass (which has become frighteningly common from these kinds of extreme advocacy groups).

        • Can I see a page or something proving this? I don’t want to take it as hearsay. As someone who used to frequent Tumblr I have seen this as well, it’s called “doxxing”.

  2. oh and let’s not forget the famous La Raza motto – “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada” – translates to FOR THE RACE,EVERYTHING, OUTSIDE THE RACE, NOTHING. Who’s really racist?

  3. After viewing the petition page to end this event – I have to say – if enough signatures are gathered to end the event I cannot disagree with that. You have to respect the opinions of a entire community, this community being the hispanic/latino student body of UC Davis. I still think the message could have been sent out in a classier way. I don’t think those who planned it hate latino/mexicans and I don’t think they take their culture as a joke. A lot of these kids grew up watching Speedy Gonzalez cartoons after all. How about keeping discourse nice and calm as the first approach – because the people who are hurting the latino community’s feelings – probably don’t even understand the impacts of planned event. If you took a moment to politely take them aside, and politely explain to them why you find it so hurtful – people will be more apt to listen. I do not agree with the word RACIST being thrown around. LATINO/HISPANIC is not even a race! It’s a culture! So at least use the right word? Culturalist?

    • While I feel the e-mail and the article weren’t formed in the best way that would make me feel comfortable with the whole sit in, I know for certain you weren’t there at the senate meeting yesterday. Had you been you would have known that there had been previous events like this, one more particular is Holy Land. That one was handled individually, a senator talked to a higher up employee in the CoHo regarding an instance where a student dressed up as a suicide bomber. Is that talked about? Not at all. No one is even mentioning it now. However this is. So, the whole “politely take them aside, and politely explain to them why you find it so hurtful” approach did not work according to the representative in the CoHo and the senator for the event that took place in Holy Land.

      But I will add this, a CoHo employee was called a “traitor” to her people by those who noticed her in a bus and felt incredibly targeted when she was just commuting to work. And I feel that the article is only furthering a sense of a hate and hostility toward the employees. At the end of the senate meeting I felt that this wasn’t looked into. And I’m mentioning this now because while everyone is attacking the author of this article, no one is mentioning either Holy Land nor the safety of the employees who may feel targeted as a result.

  4. As a second generation Hispanic, I honestly found the whole idea of the event hilarious. I don’t understand why people got so highly offended by it. (I would have totally gone to the event.) I personally understand what its like to have family members and friends who are illegal, and I know for a fact none of them would gotten offended by a themed event. No one gets overly offended if we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Columbus Day (which is really nothing to celebrate, it was just a massive genocide that he led), or even the Fourth of July by dressing up in stereotypically American ways. This is just ridiculous and people need to lighten up.

    • As a second generation Hispanic, I don’t remember electing you to be my representative. Seriously, even though I have issues with the sit in, you are literally not adding anything of value. You’re dismissing the article for being so easily offended, but you are doing so by taking up the role of a representative of those who are undocumented and are Hispanic. In an anonymous comment. Seriously, you could be a unicorn as far as I know.

      How about mentioning how CoHo employees went to Senate and mentioned how they felt unsafe when commuting to work? Or that they mentioned how they actually felt that the CoHo was a rather diverse environment. Because that was said, that was discussed.

      Not the whole, the entire undocumented and hispanic community has come together and felt that the event was not at all offensive. And that’s because you are not a representative of that community, and while your friends and family members may not express any feelings toward the event, they are not the entire community. Because otherwise no one would have been at the sit in. Because there are people who do feel offended when their culture is stereotyped in such a manner. And if you can claim this is ridiculous and people need to lighten up with just your single viewpoint, I’m pretty sure all the individuals who attended the sit in have the claim to say otherwise. And if it were to be said that you were just expressing an opinion, so am I.

      Because I don’t believe in the sit in, I think it’s over the top, but I am also not gonna overlook that this whole “I am and know Hispanics so I can claim this to be ridiculous and that the other people in the community just have thin skins” that I am seeing in these comments because they are the standard stuff that dismiss all the activism that goes on campus.

      • This is one of the complicated elements regarding issues like this. No one person in a community can truly speak for everyone there. A hundred is not a majority, but neither is a few people saying “hey, I’m Mexican and I think you’re being over sensitive!”. Many elements of the problematic event are in the line of things that offend some people but not others in the same community. Of course the part that does get offended is going to speak out and say it’s in behalf of all their members. So who creates that standard or threshold of what is offensive and what isn’t? Or do we concede that these are grey areas worthy of much needed dialogue and I mean real dialogue-spoken from both sides equally.

  5. I’d also like to say that I think the whole border patrol costume thing is where they are taking it to far. I do wish these students would have more respect for a group of people than that. Dressing up in traditional mexican garbs though??? Is wearing the hats at Chevy’s racist? Is going out to drink and playing mexican music at bars on Cinco De Mayo racist? Most people who are out partying on that day could care less what the day means? Is ignoring the true meaning and history of that day to drink and have fun instead racist? No. This is coming from someone who doesn’t go out and party on this day and I don’t eat the crap food at Chevy’s either. But give me a break. How thin is our hide these days?

  6. are you kidding me? this article and the accompanying email are so over the top. I do believe expressing your opinion should never be discouraged – but the attitudes expressed in this article and the email are just heavy-handed. Growing up in this region, I have many family members and friends who are of mexican descent – I’ve already asked them what their take on this thing is – their response? “People look for anything to blow a gasket over these days”. These students are definitely being culturally insensitive… but are they racist? NO. I would even bet that some of the people who planned on coming out to this event are of mexican descent themselves. Kids who are in college these days, for the most part, do not even pay attention to race. They are just looking for excuses to party. This party, unfortunately for some people who are Mexican, is slightly offensive. Anything more than slightly offensive though? I don’t think so and neither do the mexicans that I know (most of whom are well educated successful people, some who are 1st generation Americans and themselves were born into poverty.

    I agree – shameful article. Garbage in fact. This should have never been published. Next time try a more moderate, softer tone approach. People will listen to you more, and take you much more seriously. We all like to read people’s opinions on things (well I do), but we don’t like to feel like we’re being yelled at and talked down to.

    Viva La Mexico.

  7. Per usual, anytime anyone is called out for racist behavior, commenters and trolls online will immediately respond with the same comments: “You have no sense of humor.” “That’s not racism.” “There is no racism anymore.” “YOU are the racist.” Juggler, look up the definition of racist in the dictionary. What you have down is far from the real defintion.

    • The definition of racism is when you express the idea that one race is inferior than another. Whether this expressed that or not depends on how you interpret this event.

  8. The real racists are Michelle Villegas and the extremely vocal minority of students who use the word racist to silence anyone they have a minor disagreement with. Shameful article.

    The gender and ethnic group studies majors once again show themselves to be nothing more than fronts for ideological nuts to insulate themselves from the real world, desperately clinging to relevancy by calling anything they disagree with “racist”.

  9. As concerned UC Davis students and community members, this and the accompanying email are extreme and inappropriate. At MOST this could be considered ‘culturally insensitive.’ It is not racist. When you use the word racist to describe incidents like this, you weaken the word. You make it closer and closer to becoming meaningless. It is debatable whether this is ‘culturally insensitive,’ though because it does use a cultural holiday for non-cultural drinking purposes…kind of like St. Patrick’s day; but, of course, for that it’s not racist when people wear green (probably pretty culturally insensitive though).

    This could also be considered ‘culturally insensitive’ because of the encouraged dress. However, here, again the words you use to describe them are inaccurate. The suggested (and portrayed) dress are not stereotypical. They are caricatures. There is a big difference, as caricatures are intentionally and often (intended to be) comically exaggerated.

    Using the terms ‘racist’ and ‘stereotype’ should be reserved for actions with a foundation of hate, not just thrown around anytime someone does something tangentially related to race (this is about culture, NOT race). ‘Cultural insensitivity’ is more appropriate for situations involving (willing or unwilling) ignorance of cultural heritage and pride.

    I truly hope you correct your language so that whoever organized this event is not branded as a racist.


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