UC Davis Students Cancel 'Cinco De Drinko' Celebration

UC Davis Students Cancel 'Cinco De Drinko' Celebration

Plans for a Cinco de Mayo drinking party dubbed “Cinco de Drinko” were slashed when nearly 100 students at the University of California, Davis, boycotted it, citing the name as being racially insensitive, according to the Sacramento Bee

The party, which was set to take place on Saturday, ahead of Monday’s Cinco de Mayo holiday celebrating Mexican heritage, would have been the second controversial event hosted by the student-run Coffee House in less than a month. The other party, “Holy Land,” encouraged attendees to dress up as terrorists and religious deities. Coffee House is a unit of the student government, which in turn is a department of the university, Richard Change of the Bee writes.

Perhaps one of the motivating factors in the Coffee House sit-in was a picture of four male students, sporting sombreros, attempting to hop a chain-link fence while two female students in Border Patrol attire smile. 

According to Jonathan Beatty, one of the students wearing a sombrero during the protest, “people were being overly sensitive.” He said he didn’t think a drinking-themed party for Cinco de Mayo was racist and likened the holiday to St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

The planned party was quickly condemned by UC Davis officials and student leader. Administrators are reportedly looking into internal sanctions to punish the students responsible.

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said she vowed to use education to prevent similar controversies in the future, but made it clear that “there’s no way we can change them,” as she pointed to a few students who were wearing sombreros. “It’s up to the rest of us to make sure we move forward,” she noted.

UC Davis is no stranger to racially-charged controversy. According to the Bee, in 2011, a column published by the California Aggie, the student newspaper, described a girl’s attraction to African American men, saying she had been “hit by jungle fever.” 

According to statistics released by the University of California Office of the President, this year, Latino students made up 28.8 percent of admitted students, surpassing whites to become the second largest ethnic group behind Asian Americans, who make up 36.2%. At UC Davis, 21.2 percent of freshmen admitted for 2014 are classified as Latino, up from 17.8 percent in 2012.

Image: MSNBC via Newsbusters