The Decade of TACS Ends

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1970-1975 proved to be the most successful for the organization.  By the end of the 1974-1975 school year, the first TESP class had graduated leaving a void in the dedication to the organization, though new students had come in and worked to maintain the presence original members had established.

Mary Fraga, president of TACS during the 1978-1979 school year, emphasized that they continued many of the events and causes that the organization was known for, and while membership remained consistent, there was apparently strain on the ability to raise money for the Chavez scholarship, which had been started years earlier in memoriam of TACS founder George Chavez, who had passed away suddenly in 1970.

However by 1979 the culture was changing on campus.  Ronald Calgaard began his presidency in the fall of 1979 and was inaugurated in February 1980, ushering in a new decade of campus operations and life. Latin American related programs were going through changes as well, which is discussed in the Interdisciplinary Programs exhibit. TACS changed its name to the Trinity Association for Hispanic Students for the 1979-1980 school year.

There is no known documentation that explains the rationale for this.  The term Hispanic was becoming a popular identifier and the 1980 census would be the first census to record Hispanic ethnicity. While events do not indicate a broader acknowledgement of ethnicities under the label of Hispanic, perhaps this was a way to signal broadened belonging and causes in the group. 

Another potential reason could have been that there was no longer a perceived need for activism on campus.  Many of the issues of the first wave of TACS did not appear to be a focus of the second wave. Retrospectively the Chicano label represented a more activist and separatist approach of the 1960s and 1970s, whereas the label Hispanic was comparatively more moderate and conservative in the political realm of the 1980s.  This also was arguably inline with the cultural climate of the 1980s at Trinity.  Other cultural groups, such as the Black Efforts of Trinity and the Black Student Alliance, officially disbanded at this time, even as some new groups, such as the Jewish Student Association, were established.

“‘A BSU, as well as an organization specifically for Hispanic students, existed at Trinity in the late 1970s.’ Admissions' officer Linda Vargas-Lew, a Trinity student at the time,said she feels the groups faded as issues died down in the public view. From these groups, Cultural Awareness evolved as a much broader minority organization.” - Trinitonian 2/2/1990

It wouldn’t be until the mid-1980s that Trinity would see a cultural group again, organized in a more multicultural fashion, called Cultural Awareness. But by the late 1980s, minority students indicated needs for more specific representations.  The Black Student Union in campus would be created in 1989 and a MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán; "Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán") chapter would begin in 1990.  This chapter would be the catalyst for a strong lineage of Latinx related organizations that came after.