Miners ‘Chalk the Plaza’ with their art


SalmaPaola Baca

Memes, abstract art, and TV show references are just a few things found in the designated areas students choose to express themselves artistically.

Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter

One new event that has become part of UTEP’s student welcome festivities is Chalk the Plaza, which took place from 6-9 p.m. Aug. 30. Like many other events that are part of Miner Welcome, this one encourages students to get to know each other through art.  

What makes this evening different is that Miners can express themselves through the creative act of drawing with chalk at the Union Plaza. 

Organized by UTEP’s Student Engagement and Leadership Center (SELC), this event first made its appearance in last year’s Miner Welcome and the student organization is happy to bring it back. Last year there was an attendance of 180 students and now SELC was expecting at least 200 students to attend this year. 

“The purpose of this event is to give students, both new and returning, the opportunity to engage with their campus and to express themselves artistically and have fun,” said Stephanie Rivera, the Campus Engagement Coordinator for SELC.  

During this evening, not only were students able to draw with chalk at Union Plaza, but the event also had a tie-dye station where they could color their own UTEP shirt to take home. With colors ranging from bright pink to midnight blue, students were able to dye their shirts with any sort of patterns or shapes they pleased. After coloring their shirts students were able to put them in a bag and continue the tie-dye process at home.  

“So actually, this is my last semester (at UTEP and) I’m trying to do all the events that I can.  So, I saw the Chalk the (Plaza) thing on the UTEP SELC Instagram page, and I was like, ‘I want to do this,”’ said senior Alexandra Arinduque. 

With the chalk that was given to students by SELC volunteers, memorable scenes or characters from cartoons and street art decorated the floors outside of the Union. Students flocked to the tie-dye station and created their wearable souvenirs. Although the clouds looked dark, the grounds were decorated brightly with pastel colors.  

I wanted to participate in something for the Miner Welcome Week (since) I haven’t done anything yet. I feel like this is like a cool, laid-back activity,” said Nalani Maldonado, a nursing major at UTEP.  

Though the event only lasted three hours, students, new and graduating, made the most of the event by expressing themselves through art. While Chalk the Plaza is a relatively new event, it has become a reoccurring event for Miner Welcome Week. For new students coming to UTEP, incoming scholars can now celebrate their arrival through this new campus custom.  

Elisha Nuñez is a reporter and may be reached by email [email protected]