While Cinco de Mayo has long served as a celebration of Mexican heritage, students involved in Greek life voiced fears this week that the holiday could unintentionally belittle some of their most closely held cultural practices, including casual alcoholism.
“I saw a kid last year walking down the street with a serape, a sombrero, and the dead eyes of a man who can do little more than numb his pain with liquor,” said sophomore David Valdez, of the Beta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. “Who does he think he is? Doesn’t he understand what that look of jarred desperation, of wanting so desperately to have a good time at all times that you’re willing to put your liver on the line, means for me and my people?”
Greeks of all stripes underscored worries that revelers might strip binge drinking in the daytime of its cultural significance, leading to a demonstration near the Braun Music Center on Sunday aimed at voicing the students’ concerns.
“Our culture is not a costume,” chanted representatives of Stanford’s various IFC and ISC organizations, “It is a disease that can be clinically treated, but from which you will never ‘truly’ recover!”
The University has yet to make a formal statement, but some fear that the inclusion of margaritas made from green Gatorade and plastic-bottle tequila in Stern Dining’s “Mexican Themed” menu has already gone a step too far.