Mechista of the Week: Cristal Suarez

Cristal Suarez, Class of 2016

Cristal Suarez, Class of 2016

Residential College: Trumbull

Hometown: Visalia, California

High School: San Joaquin Memorial High School

Why did you join MEChA? I wanted to educate myself about issues important to the Latino community, and to discover the role I could play to encourage society to be more equal and fair. I also found that the MEChA community itself was very welcoming and I was encouraged to join by students I met at Bulldog Days!

What other activities are you involved in aside from MEChA? Being a freshman liaison at La Casa has been one of the most rewarding activities. I am also a part of Community Health Educators and I teach middle school classes on nutrition. I also volunteer at Yale-New Haven Hospital, through a program called the Living History Project. I prepare a narrative after interviewing patients in order to help their doctors better understand them. I have also loved being a part of BookMarks, where I read with kids at an after-school program.

What is your favorite experience with MEChA? I've loved the many moments when I have connected with someone and discovered how much I can share with others. MEChA has been great at giving me chances to get to know what people are passionate about and what inspires them. If I had to choose a single moment, it would be attending ECCSF at Harvard because it was amazing to see so many Latino students working to have their voices heard.

Mechista of the Week: Chris Teran

Chris Teran, Class of 2016

Chris Teran, Class of 2016

Residential College: Morse

Hometown: Patterson, California

High School: Patterson High School

Why did you join MEChA?  One of the main reasons that I joined MEChA was to try to get more involved and educated about political issues facing Latinos and just the U.S. in general. So through the discussions at MEChA, I’m definitely able to get a better perspective about the issues and learn more about them. Also, I joined because I come from a very Latino community, so I wanted to be able to still stay close to the [Latino] culture even though I’m so far away from home.

What is your favorite experience with MEChA? My favorite experience with MEChA so far has probably been the weekend I went to the Harvard ECCSF [East Coast Chicano Student Forum]. It was just great getting to meet and talk with MEChistas from other colleges. I also liked listening to all the speakers, especially María Elena Salinas, was pretty awesome.

Mechista of the Week: Emma Fallone

This is a new segment in which MEChA de Yale will recognize one outstanding Mechista every week!

Emma Fallone, Class of 2016

Emma Fallone, Class of 2016

Residential College: Ezra Stiles

Hometown: Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin (a suburb of Milwaukee)

High School: Whitefish Bay High School

Why did you join MEChA? I am Latina, and grew up in a very ethnically homogeneous area (95% Caucasian, maybe 2% Latino). So, throughout high school, I never really had much of a chance to connect with my cultural community. I could see that there were important political issues coming into play, like immigration rights and wage theft, and I wanted to discuss and fight for them – but I didn't have an outlet to do so. When I came to Yale, and learned about MEChA, I was so excited to get involved, because so much of its purpose is to bring Latino/a students together and be a force to fight for positive political change on these important issues.

What other activities are you involved in aside from MEChA? I am the Co-President of SERVE New Haven, a Dwight Hall service group that works to connect Yale students to the New Haven community through a wide variety of service opportunities. So, I help to organize weekly trips for our members to volunteer at soup kitchens, refugee service centers, mental health facilities, and food distribution centers, to name just a few. It’s a great way to get out of the “Yale bubble” and become involved in New Haven, and to really make a difference in the community! I am also on the Copy Editorial staff for the Yale Daily News, and am involved with the Yale Democrats. And, when I have time, I like to de-stress by doing yoga.

What is your favorite experience with MEChA? Definitely the discussions that we have at our weekly meetings. I love getting the chance to talk with a group of awesome students about issues that I am passionate about, such as Latino/a identity and the portrayal of Latinos in the media. It’s so great to have a forum to share my thoughts, and to engage in a really intelligent discourse on the topics. I’ve learned so much from my fellow Mechistas!