By Tony Parra
Eastern New Mexico University students were unable to celebrate Cinco De Mayo on Thursday in the patio area of the Campus Union Building at ENMU, but earlier during the week were able to recognize students and faculty during the recognition banquet.
Hispanic students wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo to mark a victory by the Mexican Army over the French Army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Lilia Martinez of the Spanish Club said weather and a schedule change to the festivities on Thursday caused organizers to cancel the festivities.
The recognition banquet took place on Tuesday. Diana Cordova, multi-cultural affairs director for ENMU.
“I think it was great,” Martinez said about the banquet. “It was very exciting to see all of the students who are the future. It’s celebrated a lot here.”
Martinez, who comes from Mexico, said Sept. 16 is celebrated more because it’s officially considered Independence Day.
Cordova said 20 Hispanic graduate students were given sashes with the flags signifying where the students came from. Cordova said the students will be able to walk with the sashes during the ENMU graduation ceremonies at 10 a.m. on May 14 in the Greyhound Arena. She said it will be the first time the students have been able to do so.
Faculty members recognized 14 Hispanic students and were given clocks. Hispanic students recognized four faculty members, Steven Gamble, Jose Villarreal, Mary Ayala and Susan Cramp as outstanding faculty members. There were also scholarships given out to ENMU students in memory of Monica Martinez, a former 20-year-old ENMU student who died in a one-vehicle crash on U.S. 84 near the Amherst, Texas, city limits last year.
A parade, dance and other events are scheduled for Saturday, sponsored by the city. The parade is scheduled for 10 a.m., to begin at Lindsey Park and conclude at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds, where the rest of the events will take place.