Tag: Events

Mocktail Madness encourages fun without alcohol

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol is a serious crime.

Drinking and driving is referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), or driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, even consuming a small amount of alcohol can lead to harmful situations.

This is what the Alcohol and Drug Committee (AoD) at South Plains College was trying to teach students at the Mocktail Madness event which was held March 5 in the Sundown Room in the Student Center Building on the Levelland campus.

“At least 103 students attended the event, and I had several students after driving the peddle car with drunk goggles say, ‘Man, I don’t ever want to drive drunk,’” said Crystal Gilster, director of Health and Wellness at SPC. “So, I would say the event was a great success.”

Mocktail Madness was a great way for clubs and organizations to get involved, because it was a way to promote their organization, along with a chance to win money for their organizations. The purpose also was to show students how to have fun without drinking and encourage safety.

IMG_0326.JPG “This is the first year that our president, Denisha Lewis, brought back Black Student Union to SPC,” said sophomore Josiah Spence. “We wanted to come back and try to raise money for our organization, but we also want to raise awareness of what BSU is and tell students that it is a club for all races. BSU is a club to bring cultural awareness and bring people to the culture of Black people and the society that we live in.”

The 10 clubs involved and their booth themes were: Black Student Union, Speakeasy, Prohibition; 6th Man, Shooters Basketball; Design Communication, Dead End Kids; Student Government Association, Beach theme; Residence Hall Association, Pep in your Step; Plainsman Press, Newsies; Law Enforcement Club, Folsom Prison Blues; Catholic Student Ministries, Fiesta; Intramural Sports, Sports Bar; and Anime Club, Drink of Fate Death Brigade.

In order for clubs to participate, they each had to come up with a theme for their booth and serve a signature non-alcoholic mocktail to students. Once students checked in at the event, they were given a punch card and two poker chips to participate.

The punch card was used to keep track of how many drinks they had throughout the night. If a student had too much to drink, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) would give them “drunk goggles” and the student would have to drive a pedal car through an obstacle course.

The poker chips that were given out were used as a way for students to vote on the best mocktail of the night and the best booth. The club with the most poker chips by the  end of the night was awarded cash prizes. The winner for best mocktail was a tie between Catholic Student Ministries  and their Horchata Mixer and Black Student Union and their Prohibition Punch. The winner for best booth was Black Student Union.

“I think students are going to get a lot of opportunities from coming to this event and IMG_0336enjoy their time with their friends without the influence of alcohol,” said sophomore Erica Wiggins.

Students who attended the event had the opportunity to enter a drawing for Uber credits and gift cards. Winners were Autumn Bippert, Ulises Cardoza, and Ricardo Torres.

“I’m really impressed with the outcome,” said Miranda English, the director of Student Life at SPC. “We really did get to engage students in the safety aspect that we wanted to. So having students sit down with TABC representatives and realize that even though they’ve only had two drinks, what it does to their body and how it impairs their ability to function really opened some eyes.”

Hispanic Heritage night immerses students in Latino Culture

Celebrating the history and contributions of Latino culture can empower a better understanding and appreciation for Hispanic-Americans and the positive influence they have within a community.

The Hispanic Heritage event was held on Oct. 1 in the Sundown Room of the Student Center on the Levelland campus of South Plains College.

The purpose for this event is for students to come together and encourage discussions of Hispanic-American culture.

IMG_0188.JPGThe first guest speaker for the event was Yolanda Salgado, who is a currently an advisor at the Reese Center campus.

She began by speaking of her father, who grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico. At the age of 10, he became the man of the house when his father passed away. At a young age, he found himself helping his grandmother provide income for the family, including his three younger siblings.

Her mother also grew up on the outskirts of Chihuahua, Mexico with her family. Her highest level of education was the 6th grade, because, at that time in Mexico, families had to pay their way through grade school, similar to college. It was difficult for Salgado’s grandparents to pay for her mother’s education, and they only had enough money to send her brother to school. They did this so that he would be able to provide for his future family.

After her parents met and got married, they decided to immigrate to America.

“Back in the day, my dad said it was very difficult to immigrate to the United States,” said Salgado. “Compared to today, it’s almost next to impossible.”

In her family, Salgado has four sisters and two brothers. She is the sixth child out of the seven. Since she is one of the youngest, she jokingly admits to being one of the spoiled children.

Salgado also spoke of her mother, who “instilled the value of faith, hard work, and never losing where I came from,” into her life and the lives of her siblings.

She recalled from her childhood that their education was something that was taken seriously in her home, “not just through books, but through study.”

Her mother taught her children to cook, and her father instilled a sense of pride in their heritage and how to adapt to their surroundings.

Growing up, Salgado’s first language was Spanish. Her parents wanted all of their children to understand that their native tongue is what is going to connect them to the people in all of South America and even abroad.

“The greatest thing I can tell you is no matter where you’re from, learn who you are,” Salgado said. “My father’s words still ring true in my ears. Know who you are, because it is a part of you. But don’t be afraid to adapt to the culture around you.”

The following guest speaker was Maikol Iván González Figaeroa, who is a student at SPC from Puerto Rico.IMG_0205

He discussed different traditions that he would celebrate with his family, specifically around the winter holidays.

“We have a different Christmas tradition than other Hispanics or Latinos,” González said.

He explained that the celebration of Christmas for his family begins on Christmas Eve, and they continue to celebrate every day until February.

“This just keeps going and going, because where I am from, we all have a party mentality,” González jokingly admits. “Whether we have work or school, we always make time for a party.”

He recalls memories of celebrating with his cousins and talked about how he would spend time with them on a daily basis.

“Puerto Rico is such a small island,” González explained, “Texas is a lot bigger than Puerto Rico. At home, to travel from one side of the island to the other, it may take up to three hours. I like that it’s small, because in the United States, family is too far apart.”

The third guest speaker of the night was Miguel Barrena Galiano, who shared his experiences from living in Spain.

He discussed a tradition that is popular in Spain, running with the bulls.

This is an important tradition in his family, as it is something that they take part in every year.

IMG_0209“It’s part of a festival, San Fermín, which is a seven-day party that takes place in my city, Pamplona, Spain,” Galiano explained.

This celebration takes place every year from July 7 to July 14.

Galiano explains that every morning throughout the seven-day celebration, roughly 3,000 people will go early in the morning to prepare to run against six bulls.

“Trying to run away from them is just a rush of adrenaline,” Galiano said, “and even though it’s dangerous, I would definitely say that it’s worth it.”

Before the announcement of the award winner for the evening, the SPC Ballroom Dance Team performed a tango and another dance routine.

Darryl Cox, a member of the SPC Ballroom Dance Team said, “We learn a variety of dances from different parts of Latin America and dances from Europe, like a waltz.”

After the performances, Christy Martinez-Garcia of Lubbock was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Honor Award.

“To receive this award is very humbling, because South Plains College made a huge impact on my life, and I’m proud that I had to opportunity to come here,” Garcia said.IMG_0239

According to Miranda English, hostess for the event, Garcia received this award because she continuously contributes to the Lubbock community and encourages those around her to never stop achieving their goals.

Garcia says that after she graduated from Texas Tech University, she used her public relations and marketing skills to create a monthly publication, Latino Lubbock Magazine.

Latino Lubbock Magazine is a publication that covers a variety of topics such as health and wellness, community, politics, art and culture, business, youth issues, education, faith and religion, and employment, among others.

“We try to cover a lot of topics because the Hispanic community is very centralized,” Garcia said. “But the great thing is that it is bilingual. This publication is for anybody who wants to learn more about Hispanic communities and culture.”

She also talked about the importance of attending events, such as the Hispanic Heritage event, to encourage students to engage with others of different cultures.

“You don’t have to be Hispanic to appreciate Hispanic Heritage Month,” Garcia said. “I think it’s important that students are open to learning, and I know this is something you can find at this campus.”

Food trucks offer variety, unique aesthetics

Barbecue. Street tacos. Sweet treats.

Among other options, food trucks offer a variety of choices that encourage individuals to try new foods that cannot be found anywhere else.

Food trucks are growing in popularity across the United States, creating a local and authentic vibe that people of all ages can enjoy. The mobile food industry is rapidly becoming a popular sensation that almost everyone is taking part in, especially in Lubbock.

Hungry college students and residents within the community are beginning to see that some of the best food in Lubbock lies in the up-and-coming food trucks.

Hundreds of people brought their appetites to the first West Texas Food Truck Championship on Oct. 7 in south Lubbock.

The event was hosted by Hub City Food Trucks at Cook’s Garage, with all proceeds going to the Boots and Badges non-profit organization to help benefit first responders and their families who experience traumatic events.

Early in the morning, despite the windy weather, long lines quickly began to form in front of the variety of trucks available to choose from. According to many attending the event, the favorite was of course, Barbeque.

Chopped and Sliced, a food truck that has been around for almost 10 years, has become even more popular during the past three years.


“Lubbock is finally catching on to all the good food that these trucks have to offer,” says Shawn Stevens, owner of Chopped and Sliced.

“You know, I think the people of Lubbock are getting more into food trucks because there is such a wide variety of choices, and it’s something to go out and do with your friends and family,” Stevens added. “Just walk around and enjoy all there is to be offered.”

According to Stevens, the best seller on their menu is the pulled pork grilled cheese sandwiches and frito pies.

From brisket sandwiches, smoked ribs, and a variety of sausage, the employees of Chopped and Sliced all agreed that the biggest complement they have been given would be attributed to their homemade barbeque sauce.

“We try to go to as many events like this as we can,” said Rachel Wills, who attended the event. “My favorite truck so far definitely has to be the street tacos. It’s convenient that they are super cheap, but the tacos are so good.”


Josh Gutierrez, owner of Now We Taco’N, ran one of the more popular street trucks at the event.

While attending a music festival in Michigan, Gutierrez waited in line for more than 30 minutes for a $9 taco. He knew that he could make a better street taco for half the price.

After returning to Lubbock, he and his brother, Albert Gutierrez, began their business in 2014. For him, the taco business is a fulfilling way to positively impact people’s daily lives.

“I’m a person who enjoys cooking,” Gutierrez said. “Making people happy and seeing how much they enjoy your food is the best part.”

Gutierrez explains that they mostly sell their food at music festivals or food truck festivals. They have plans to expand all the way to Colorado in 2019 and bring their truck to ski resorts for the summer.

“We mainly serve tacos, burritos, and quesadillas,” Gutierrez said. “Although, we are trying to expand our menu and serve full plates with sides like beans and rice, or fajitas.”

Another food truck at the event had an interesting menu, as a crowd of people waited patiently in line to buy waffles that were mounted with sweets.


The truck was started by Texas Tech student Brandon Bell, who started experimenting with breakfast items one day with his sisters.

“I started the truck myself, and for the past three years, I have been trying to perfect my recipes for different waffles,” Bell said. “What I sent to the judges is one of my most popular items on the menu, the Mama Mia.”

It featured a waffle with a Nutella spread, layered with strawberries, bananas, a scoop of ice cream, a sprinkle of crushed Frosted Flakes, and finally a drizzle of caramel and chocolate syrup.

Bell says that he normally caters to smaller events. However, this was his first competition and is excited to have the opportunity to share his creations with others.

His mother and sisters also drove out from San Antonio to support Bell during the event.

After a full day of food, live music, fun games and more, the judges announced this year’s winners at the first West Texas Food Truck Championship. They are: Best Drink, The Coffee Can; Best Dessert, Kurbside Sweets; Best Mexican / Street Taco, Dos Hermanas Restaurant & Food Truck; Best Barbeque, Lubbock Pacific Grub; and Best Main Dish, Angel Star Food Truck.