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Monday, April 17, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 134

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Frontier Fiesta's diverse radiance shines

Xavier Trevino

This past weekend students, alumni and others gathered upon a grassy meadow just southeast of the UH campus and erected a city where none had existed. This springtime tradition is known as Frontier Fiesta. More often than not students and alumni complain that this University has no tradition, but I beg to differ. We may not support our athletic teams as much as we should and maybe our alumni are not as supportive as we would like them to be, but every revolution begins with a vision. Frontier Fiesta is such a vision.

Many people do not realize it, but if utilized correctly, it can be a wonderful tool for this University. First off, it's a wonderful opportunity to entertain prospective incoming students. They can come and realize that there is a spark of school spirit among the Cougars. They also get the opportunity to see one of the many student organizations they can join to get them involved on campus. If they are lucky, they might even get to meet a few of the deans and other influential campus officials.

It's one thing to say that UH is a great school, its another thing to actually back it up.

Secondly, much like homecoming weekend, alumni love to come out to Frontier Fiesta and relive their college years. It's a time for them to come back to renew old friendships and start a few new ones. Perhaps the best secret to Frontier Fiesta is the fact that between the shows, the cook-off and the other events, it's a huge job fair.

Imagine that your résumé is handling a budget of more than $10,000, organizing a staff of more than 50 people and the successful marketing of your product. Overseeing the organization and construction of a 30-foot structure and seeing your organization garner profits of more than 200 percent is quite a feat. Frontier Fiesta is more than just a big party. There, you take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world. 

Perhaps this year more than any, I saw and heard of more internships and jobs given away in Alumni tents and Fronts than any other year. Employers want people who make things happen and the students who organize Frontier Fiesta are those people.

Frontier Fiesta does not go off without a hitch. There are several little things that do go wrong. Yet, as a whole, the event goes well. The Frontier Fiesta board just needs to follow the rules it sets down for the groups in competition for awards. If those who blatantly break the rules and still win continue to do so, then other groups will be discouraged from continuing or entering Frontier Fiesta in the future. Why should a group follow the rules and do a great job only to lose to someone who put forth the same effort, but chose to ignore the rules set forth by the Frontier Fiesta board? Whether it be building a front too large or having alumni participating in student shows, rules must not be ignored.

Yet despite all the good it does for UH, there have always been complaints that Frontier Fiesta is not for every "student." Even this is changing. Special recognition should be given to Delta Upsilon for putting on a variety show with actual variety. The fraternity had several student ethnic groups put on shows for the public. Delta Upsilon is the first group to do this and in doing so showed that Frontier Fiesta is for Cougars of all races, creeds and colors.

Omega Delta Phi, a Hispanic fraternity, also added some flavor to Frontier Fiesta's chili by having a showcase with a Latin flair. The group had a good variety of entertainment and was one of the most visited fronts of the event. It deserves recognition for diversifying the culture of Frontier Fiesta.

I find this more than fitting. Many people do not know this, but the cougar is found in more different environments than any other mammal. The cougar can be found among the desert mountains, the humid swamplands and even in snow-covered forests. The cougar's strength is its diversity. So it is with our University. Frontier Fiesta is an opportunity for the school's students to cry aloud atop the mountain and shine as a beacon throughout the land so that everyone can bask in our radiance. We can show the world what UH is capable of, but if students and alumni do not support us, than we are just another cookie-cutter university.

I love this University and am thankful for the opportunities it has given me. I want nothing more than to show the world what a great school this is.

Frontier Fiesta is our opportunity to do so. Your university gives you so much. Why not take a break from Napster and create something great with the rest of us?

Trevino, who partied all weekend at Frontier Fiesta, 
can be reached at ResplendentCrane@aol.com. 

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