Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in our Nov. 15 edition and included numerous errors. We are republishing the story here with the mistakes corrected.
As Sonoma State University students finish their fall semester, many undocumented students continue to struggle with receiving the proper resources needed to successfully navigate through college.
Also undocumented students are left in limbo given the election of a president who has vowed to remove many undocumented immigrants from the nation.
“With the election results, I think it’s incredibly important to provide this space and resource for undocumented students that are probably facing a lot of fear right now,” says Associated Students President Emily Hinton.
To complicate matters, plans for a Dream Center to aid these studies appears caught in limbo as well.
Although plans for such a Dream Center have been in the works for Sonoma State since February, the administration has not officially designated a space for itThe office space in the HUB has been eyed as a possible site, but no final decision has been made to be a potential pick. The Academic Senate had established a goal for opening the Dream Center by this semester. In order to fund a Dream Center, Sonoma State would likely need to increase its student fees. The reason being student fees have always been a way to fund on-campus programs and services, by getting students to contribute would be an easy way to get the Dream Center to open.
Although there has not been a decision made on the budget, it’s a possibility student fees may be used to fund the Dream Center. This fee would be reviewed by the Fee Advisory Committee and then put out to a vote of the students for an advisory fee referendum (unless alternative consultation is used) which ultimately influences President Judy K. Sakaki’s recommendation to the chancellor of the CSU who is granted authority to develop Category II fees. Associated Students play no formal role in the process – the students get to vote for themselves.
Despite having scholarships like Equal Opportunity Program for undocumented students to live on campus, they still lack proper guidance, officials say.
As of right now, many undocumented students rely on EOP as a resource for providing networks around the community. For example, EOP introduces undocumented recipients to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals workshops where they learn how to apply for a work permit and receive an exemption from deportation.
For many other undocumented students interested in pursuing graduate school, it can be extremely difficult without the proper resources or guidance.
If Sonoma State were to open the Dream Center soon, undocumented students like Flores believe they would gain guidance through workshops for applying to graduate school.
President of Sonoma State University Dr. Judy K. Sakaki and President of Associated Students Emily Hinton have both said they are committed to getting the Dream Center up and running.