Five College Archives and Manuscript
Home >> Amherst College Archives & Special Collections >> La Causa/Chicano Caucus Collection MA.00337
Amherst College seal
La Causa/Chicano Caucus Collection, 1965-2008
4 Linear feet (2 record cartons, 1 mapcase drawer)
Collection number: MA.00337

Minutes, correspondence, publications, and posters related to the activities of La Causa, a student group on campus. The material covers the 1970s through the present.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

In general, there is no restriction on access to collection for research use. Selected items may be restricted to protect the privacy rights of individuals or for other legal reasons. Particularly fragile or valuable items have been replaced with copies.

Restrictions on use:

It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights prior to publication.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections

Historical Note

La Causa was established in the early 1960s. One of La Causa’s primary goals is to increase recognition of students of color at Amherst College. Throughout its history, the group has aimed to represent the interests of these students by hosting a number of lectures, concerts, and celebrations. Some events, such as Cooking Night, P’alante and Voices for the Voiceless, occur on an annual basis. In addition to La Causa’s social interests, the group has advocated for the creation of a Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies department at Amherst College since the 1970s. Along with this initiative, La Causa has promoted the importance of ethnic studies across disciplines and campaigned for the College to hire faculty of color. La Causa has also been integral in the creation of other on-campus groups supporting Latinx student interests. Such groups include the Chicano Caucus, El Arco Iris, and the creation of the Latinx Culture Theme House, La Casa. La Causa looked to Latinx groups from within the Five College Consortium and beyond for support and collaboration in their efforts. Some years, the group reached out extensively to its alumni network as well. While the efforts of the group have been aided in some circumstances by faculty/administration, La Causa is primarily a student-driven and student-oriented organization.

Content Description

Documents in the collection range from drafts of constitutions for La Causa and founding documents for La Casa, the Latinx Cultural Theme House to articles and letters from allied student groups such as Black Students’ Union. Other documents include research material for events, posters, and correspondence between guests and La Causa.

The collection is organized into the following ten series:

  1. Administrative Materials
  2. Events
  3. Correspondence
  4. Five College Consortium/Other Colleges
  5. Other Clubs/Groups
  6. Social/Political Movements
  7. Job/Scholarship Information
  8. Publications
  9. Latin American, Caribbean, Latino Studies
  10. Miscellaneous

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

In general, there is no restriction on access to collection for research use. Selected items may be restricted to protect the privacy rights of individuals or for other legal reasons. Particularly fragile or valuable items have been replaced with copies.

Restrictions on use:

It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights prior to publication.

History of the Collection

In the Fall 2016 semester, six students from “An Introduction to U.S. Latino/a History, 1848-Present” were assigned to create and organize an archival collection for La Causa. In the course of their work, the students brought the collection from the José Martí room in Keefe Campus Center - La Causa’s homebase on campus - to the Archives.

Custodial history:

As evidenced by the materials in this collections, the degree to which documents were archived by members of La Causa has historically been inconsistent. Inspired by the recent creation of an archive for the Afro-American Society/Black Students’ Union, this collection was transferred from the José Martí room located in Keefe Campus Center. Since its opening on March 20th, 1973, the José Martí room has served multiple functions for La Causa and the Latinx community. One of its primary functions has been to serve as a resource center for Latinx cultural materials, which have included a library of books gathered from past students and photographs of past members. Like the Afro-American Society/Black Students’ Union, La Causa never deposited any of its materials in the Archives. Though the group has not, to date, had a system for archiving documents; the creation of this collection is part of a wider effort to establish a process by which La Causa will be able to add to its archives for years to come.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Helena Burgueño (AC 2019) Joshua Hernandez (AC 2018) Genesis Peña (AC2020) Irma Zamora (AC 2017), and Rachel Jirka.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form:

Contents List

This series includes documents and materials related to the running of the club. Included are materials such as meeting minutes, budgetary documents, student speeches from e-board elections, and miscellaneous pictures. Folder 12 contains a series of design images that were being considered for an unknown project.

La Causa Constitution
1998-2007, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1
Student Election Speeches
2004-2008, n.d.

Box 1: folder 2
Documents Relating to the Treasurer
1978-1988, 1991-1995, 2006

Box 1: folder 3
Budgets and Related Materials
1983-1984, 1987, 1992-1996

Box 1: folder 4
Budget Proposal
1983-1987, 1990-1998, 2000-2001, 2006-2007

Box 1: folder 5
Receipts, Invoices, Bank Statements, and Undated Budgets
1978-1979, 1986-1987, 1992-1997, n.d.

Box 1: folder 6
Student Lists, Names/Addresses
1981-1987, 1990-1996, 2001, n.d.

Box 1: folder 7
Meeting Minutes
1980-1984, 1990-1994

Box 1: folder 8
1974, 1979-1980, 1994, n.d.

Box 1: folder 9
Cultural Center
1978-1980, 1984-1987, n.d.

Box 1: folder 10
Pictures and Related Materials
1996-2000, 2011, n.d.

Box 1: folder 11

Box 1: folder 12
Student Group Binder

Box 1: folder 13
Series 2: EVENTS

This series includes information about lectures, concerts, and events that were either hosted by La Causa, or related to issues reflecting the interests of the group. Included in this series is general information from groups soliciting their services to La Causa, documents from Amherst College sponsored events like Minority Orientation, and a folder pertaining to Voices for the Voiceless, an annual spoken-word performance that is primarily organized by La Causa.

Alumni Weekend
Spring 2006

Box 1: folder 14
Minority Orientation
1986-2000, n.d.

Box 1: folder 15
Minority Phonathon

Box 1: folder 16
Film Series
1979-1984, n.d.

Box 1: folder 17
Immortal Technique

Box 1: folder 18
Susana Tubert

Box 1: folder 19
Latino Awareness Week/Month
1992-1994, n.d.

Box 1: folder 20
Voices for the Voiceless

Box 1: folder 21
Ilan Stavans Lecture

Box 1: folder 22
Tato Laviera Talk
1987, 1992, n.d.

Box 1: folder 23
Fiesta Latina

Box 1: folder 24
General Entertainment Information
1978-1997, n.d.

Box 1: folder 25

This series includes mail pertaining to La Causa members or alumni of Amherst College.


Box 1: folder 26
January 1993

Box 1: folder 27
February 1993

Box 1: folder 28
March, November 1993

Box 1: folder 29

Box 1: folder 30
2000, 2003

Box 1: folder 31

Box 1: folder 32

This series contains documents related to events outside of Amherst College, whether in the Five Colleges or elsewhere.

Five College Events
1987, n.d.

Box 1: folder 33
1991-1992, n.d.

Box 1: folder 34
Mount Holyoke College
1986-1987, n.d.

Box 1: folder 35
Smith College
1992-1993, n.d.

Box 1: folder 36
Hampshire College

Box 1: folder 37
Colleges outside of Consortium
1988-1993, 2006, n.d.

Box 1: folder 38

This series includes documents relating to clubs or groups, some found at Amherst College, that represent the values of La Causa.

Black Student Union (BSU)
1967, 1982, 1990, n.d.

Box 1: folder 39
East Coast Chicano Student Forum (ECCSF)
1993-1995, 2005, n.d.

Box 1: folder 40
Latina Sorority
1994, n.d.

Box 1: folder 41
El Arco Iris
1993-1997, 2003, n.d.

Box 1: folder 42
Third World Council

Box 1: folder 43
Chicano/a Caucus
1986, 1993-1994, 2005, n.d.

Box 1: folder 44

This series includes movements outside of the college that sought to improve working conditions for Latinos throughout the country. Folder 47 contains relevant documents to a boycott led by the United Farm Workers of wine grapes.

Labor Movement
1991-1992, 1999, n.d.

Box 1: folder 45
1990-1992, n.d.

Box 1: folder 46
United Farm Workers
1988, 1991-1993, 2004-2008, n.d.

Box 1: folder 47

This series contains documents relating to careers in a variety of fields in addition to scholarship opportunities.

Job, Internship, and Fellowship Opportunities
1978-1979, 1987, 1993-1994

Box 2: folder 1
1981-1982, 1988-1989, 1992

Box 2: folder 2
1988, n.d.

Box 2: folder 3
Pre-science, Computer Science
1988-1989, 1992, n.d.

Box 2: folder 4
Peace Corps
1990-1992, n.d

Box 2: folder 5

Box 2: folder 6

Box 2: folder 7
Jobs/Internships posted in “Reach Out” newsletter

Box 2: folder 8

Box 2

This series contains publications produced at Amherst College (La Causa publications, Amherst Student) as well as those outside of the Five Colleges. The series is organized in chronological order with the exception of a folder of posters and a folder of miscellaneous material. This series contains oversize posters.

Magazines and Journals
1979-1989, n.d.

Box 2: folder 9
Organization Publications/Newsletters
1979, 1990-1993, 2001, 2006, n.d.

Box 2: folder 10
Travel Guides (Spain, Mexico, & Puerto Rico)
1983-1985, 1988, n.d.

Box 2: folder 11

Box 2: folder 12
Outside newsletters
1986, 1990-1992, 1995

Box 2: folder 13
Outside newspapers and clippings

Box 2: folder 14
Magazines and Journals

Box 2: folder 15
El Sol del Este
1991-1993, 1998, 2004

Box 2: folder 16
The Daily Collegian

Box 2: folder 17
The Amherst Student

Box 2: folder 18
Scholarly Articles/Outside University Publications

Box 2: folder 19
Amherst Committee for A Better Chance

Box 2: folder 20
1991-1994, 1997-2006, 2008, 2015, n.d.

Box 2: folder 21
Oversize posters
1991, 2006, 2014

Map case B-level 9, drawer 11
Oversize posters
1985, 2014-2017

Map case B-level 9, drawer 11
1979-1980, 1991, 1993, n.d.

Box 2: folder 22

The Five College Latin American and Latino Studies folder includes syllabi and course catalogs.

Diversity in Curriculum
1991-1992, n.d.

Box 2: folder 23
Five College Latin American and Latino Studies (Ethnic Studies)
1976-1985, 1989-1997, n.d.

Box 2: folder 24
Chicano/a studies, Latin American/Caribbean studies, and Ethnic Studies outside of Consortium
1989-1994, n.d.

Box 2: folder 25

These are documents which do not clearly fall into other series. The series is organized chronologically. Folders 30 and 31 are restricted due to personally identifiable information, but may be requested in advance.

Student papers
1979, 1989, 1992, 2007

Box 2: folder 26
Organizational notes

Box 2: folder 27
Rick Lopez

Box 2: folder 28

Box 2: folder 29
Event organization [restricted]

Box 2: folder 30
Honorarium letters [restricted]

Box 2: folder 31
Community involvement

Box 2: folder 32
Court cases
2001, 2007, n.d.

Box 2: folder 33

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • La Causa of Amherst College ([1963] - )

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search