A student group at the University of New Hampshire is demanding that administrators condemn cultural appropriation on campus such as students wearing ponchos and sombreros on Cinco de Mayo.
University of New Hampshire student Danique Montique berated one of her peers on Cinco De Mayo over his decision to wear a poncho. She posted the video to her Facebook page, where many of her classmates praised her for her courage in confronting the student.
“What’s the point of wearing a poncho? If you’re not Mexican, it’s not your holiday,” Montique shouted. “This stuff actually affects people’s lives, and I don’t think you understand that. You’re perpetuating the stereotype, Michael. It’s not just about you wearing it. It’s about you as a man—a white man, who has the most privilege in this whole fucking country—knowing what’s happening in this country right now.”
A new document from the student group “All Eyes on UNH,” makes four demands in responses to “cultural appropriation” incidents that occurred on campus on Cinco De Mayo. The students demand that the UNH administrations and local elected officials ask local stores surrounding to stop carrying items like ponchos and sombreros. They demand that the administration condemn the students who wore ponchos and sombreros on Cinco De Mayo and establish a committee to ensure that no students will wear such items in the future. Here are their demands in full:
- The UNH Administration make a public statement condemning the events on May 5th and call for the creation of a campus-wide committee to prevent similar offenses in future years.
- The UNH administration and town elected officials call on local stores in Durham to stop carrying items like ponchos and sombreros for May 5th celebrations, and instead seek out alternatives sources of revenue.
- Greek life and other party culture leaders encourage their communities to address the normalization of cultural appropriation and take action to condemn the behavior and find other ways to celebrate the end of the academic year.
- Individuals hold their friends and communities accountable. Ignorance is not tolerable.