UndocuScholars Coalition looking for new club co-chair

The UndocuScholars Coalition is looking for new perspectives and assistance in accomplishing future club goals as it meets with potential candidates to take on the role of co-chair next semester. 

The coalition is a Sonoma State University club made up of undocumented students and their allies. Members are not required to be undocumented if they want to take part in discussions with the community.

Students in the UndocuScholars Coalition may be aware of issues surrounding the undocumented community, wish to be more educated on the subject or want to learn how they can become allies.

According to Mariana Martinez, coordinator of the UndocuResource Center and faculty adviser for the UndocuScholars Coalition, the co-chair shares the responsibility of helping the club maintain its existence and continuing the club’s original intent to support undocumented students as they navigate higher education. 

“From its original establishment, the club is a co-chair model, but within the model of campus life one serves as the president and the other serves as the treasurer,” Martinez said. “They share the fact that they’re both in charge of the money, they are both in charge of decision-making and they are both in charge of deciding where the club is going to be headed.” 

The UndocuScholars Coalition started the fall 2017 semester with Moises De Leon serving as co-chair, but scheduling conflicts forced him to step down in September. The position has remained unfilled for the rest of the semester.

Because of the club charting process at Sonoma State, the club will need a co-chair for the spring 2018 semester, according to Omar Santiago, current UndocuScholars Coalition president and a senior history major.

“It’s been a one-way viewpoint, and so we are trying to bring in [a] different thought process that’s not just mine,” Santiago said. “We want different aspects of how we’re going to do certain things on campus and how we are going to bring awareness about undocumented students to campus.”

Santiago said that once a co-chair has been chosen, there will be lots of discussion on how the club can move forward to aid the undocumented community both on and off campus in the upcoming semester. 

There will be special support for DACA recipients as the program nears its end. 

One of the club’s goals that a new co-chair will potentially assist with is to train and better inform students on how to get involved and take on leadership roles on campus.

“Part of next semester will be to build on the students that we currently have that are undocumented and mentoring them on taking leadership roles,” Martinez said. “That could take form in having a conversation with other undocumented students on campus who have taken such roles.” 

“In order for people to become allies, they need to understand immigration,” Santiago said. “I feel like our message is consistent in that if we all unite together and stand up for one another, there’s nothing that we can’t do.”