The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

between the Mexican American community and the public school sys-
tem. Additionally, the club used education funds to pay for such
school-related items as school supplies, band equipment, and field
trips. These efforts played a significant role in helping Mexican
American children take part in traditional school activities and in help-
ing them to fit into the academic mainstream.23 Additionally, through-
out its existence the ACSC raised money specifically to fund scholar-
ships for college students.
The club initially raised funds by holding dances and pageants, but in
the 196os club members tried a new tactic: bingo. The ACSC bingo
games reflected the gendered nature of the organization. Men were
responsible for administrative aspects of the bingos; they handled the
money, called the numbers, and walked the floor when someone won.
Women contributed to the effort by working in the kitchen; selling Frito
pies, nachos, coffee, pan dulce and other homemade pastries, and soft
drinks; and handling kitchen sales money.24 Bingo turned out to be a
very lucrative activity for the club. Because of the funds raised through
bingo, the ACSC was able to dramatically increase its scholarship fund-
ing as well as to put money away that was eventually used to purchase
land and erect a building for club meetings and functions.'2 Ironically,
just as members were bringing in enough money to construct an ACSC
building, the organization was on the verge of collapse.
The early cracks in the ACSC's foundation were caused by the
increased levels of economic success it experienced, which led in the
196os and 1970s to internal dissension. Part of the rift involved the
funds raised through bingo and the use of those funds as disagreements
arose over accounting methods. Philosophical disagreements arose over
the purpose of the club. While there seemed to be a general consensus
about the benefit of increased scholarship funding, the old guard feared
that the new focus on bingos was becoming an end in itself and symbol-
ized a new direction toward social networking for members as a primary
function, rather than the groups's traditional focus on increasing politi-
cal participation and funding high school and college students. To be
sure, the rival faction also wanted to contribute money to Mexican
American college students and remain active civically. From their per-
spective, the old guard was simply upset at being challenged by a new,
more economically successful, leadership.26
23 Ibid
2" Lopez to Quiroz, Feb 9, 1995, interview; Solis to Quiroz, May 1, 1996, interview.
25 Lopez to Quiroz, Feb. 9, 1995, interview.
26 Ibid.

July

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed July 23, 2014.