The fall semester has brought a new club to Sonoma State University aimed at undocumented students.
The DREAMers Club helps support undocumented students and their allies with services and information on many topics such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, obtaining licenses under AB60, the California Dream Act and many scholarship opportunities.
Club President Griselda Madrigal said there is a need for a support group for undocumented students at the university.
“I want the club to be active in community service projects but also educate other SSU students and administrators on what it means to be a DREAMer (or undocumented student) in higher education,” said Madrigal.
The club is looking to open a Dreamer Resource Center on campus later this year to follow suit with the Santa Rosa Junior College opening a center recently.
A Dreamer Resource Center would expand the club’s efforts to bring more awareness to undocumented students and help unite this student group with the university, according to Madrigal.
The club hopes the center would help students with immigration, financial aid, housing and any other issues that they may have with their undocumented status.
“The resource center would continue the efforts of the club and expand them to more students making Sonoma State an undocu-friendly institution” said Madrigal.
This mission includes reaching out to the local high schools and middle schools in the area informing young students that it’s possible to go to college at Sonoma State while also being undocumented.
The resource center already has the support of Sonoma State University President Ruben Armiñana, Vice President for Student Affairs Matthew Lopez-Phillips, and the HUB.
In the near future, there will be a survey that will be sent via email to all undocumented students who applied to Sonoma State under AB540 to see where the Dream Resource Center should be located and in order to receive input from these students.
Ariana Aparicio, an adviser to the DREAMers club, said the club is having a fundraiser in the upcoming weeks to help students visit universities for graduate school.
Madrigal also hopes to organize a 5K run at Sonoma State to raise funds for a one-time scholarship that can be given to an incoming freshman student. This is most likely to happen during the spring semester.
The DREAMers club is hoping to help all the undocumented students who have questions or want to get involved in the community as well.
“We encourage parent involvement to create a supportive environment in order to strengthen undocumented families in Sonoma County,” said Aparicio. “The Dreamers Resource Center would create a safe space for all undocumented students. We hope to have all the support possible to make this happen.”
The DREAMers club meets every Monday from 1-2 p.m. at the HUB in the Student Center.