California State University, Stanislaus

10/14/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/15/2019 01:21

Undocu Week Celebrates and Supports Undocumented Students

At Stan State, all students are not only welcome, they are celebrated and supported. This includes undocumented students.

This week, Undocumented Student Services is hosting Undocu Week of Action, which includes a lineup of events and activities geared toward helping undocumented students feel supported and connecting them with campus resources.

Undocu Week of Action started with the You've Got a Friend in Me event, where students, faculty and staff wrote postcards to undocumented students and their families.

At a table in the Quad decorated with affirmative signs and monarch butterflies sat Stan State student Gloria Vallin, whose leadership roles are extensive. Vallin is a California Dream Network Organizer Fellow for the Coalition for Humane Service Rights (CHIRLA) Northern Region. She is also the ASI Director for Diversity.

'We're encouraging the campus community to come out and write postcards of encouragement to undocumented communities who need a pick-me-up in these hard times,' Vallin said.

Virginia Montero Hernandez, an educational leadership professor, wrote her postcard in Spanish.

'I think it is important to make visible the struggles and suffering that the people around us are living through,' Montero Hernandez said. 'We are so focused on our own concerns and struggles, and we tend to forget that there are a lot of complicated lives hidden in plain sight. It's important to create bridges by talking to each other or even writing a letter to remind undocumented individuals that even though we don't know their faces, they are visible.'

Polet Hernandez, the Dreamers Project coordinator at Stan State, came up with the idea to put on these events.

'We wanted to start Undocu Week of Action with this event because we want undocumented students to know that we are supportive of them and their families,' Hernandez said. 'We want them to know that our campus is a safe place for them and to feel a sense of belonging here.'

Ana Reynoso Cerate, a freshman studying social sciences, said she was glad to help.

'A majority of the students on our campus are first generation and minorities,' Reynoso Cerate said. 'I'm first-gen. My family had to cross the border to give me better opportunities. So, I want to contribute by giving back to the community just like opportunities were given to me.'

The rest of the week's events will take place in the Diversity Center, located in Library Annex 7.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 15, is the Undocumented Students and Families Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 16, is the Real ID with DACA Forum, where students can learn about how to obtain a real ID and become a DACA recipient. This event will be from 2-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17, is Undocu-Joy: An Evening with Latinx Poet Yosimar Reyes, a queer undocumented immigrant, poet and activist from 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 18, is Restoring Justice for Undocumented Students Paint Night from 3-6 p.m.