By Raequan Harrison |Staff Writer|
CSUSB DREAMers Resource and Success Center opened on Nov. 5.
The DREAMers Resource Center will provide educational and financial resources to undocumented students at CSUSB.
“Modeled after successful programs on four other campuses, the innovative DREAMers Resource and Success Center will provide a valuable service to students and will highlight all of the assets that the university has to offer,” said President Morales, to the Fontana Herald News.
“The center will focus on bringing awareness to the California Dream Act (financial aid), employment opportunities, scholarships, internships, immigration services, information about graduate school and other resources that will help achieve student success,” according to CSUSB admissions.
“I am an undocumented student on campus. I volunteer at the DREAMers Resource and Success Center because I want to be a part of the campus movement to make CSUSB a more undocumented friendly campus. The goal of the center is to create a safe haven for undocumented students as well as their allies. In addition to that, the center will be a hub of resources and information specific to the undocumented experience,” said student Veronica Velasquez.
According to Educators for Fair Change, “The California Dream Act is the name given to Assembly Bills 130 & 131, which allow some undocumented students to apply for and receive state-based financial aid and institutional scholarships.”
“In the past, due to a lack of resources, undocumented students and family members may have been hesitant to apply for college, believing that their immigration status could jeopardize their stay in the U.S., as well as make their college experience more challenging,” said Olivia Rosas, associate Vice President for Enrollment Management in an interview with the Fontana Herald News.
Students believe the center will be a great addition to the campus.
“I don’t know anyone who is undocumented, but I do think it is a great idea. We can’t help where we come from or where we’re born. I believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to get an education,” said student Kenya Johnson.
California has 2.6 million undocumented immigrants, the largest number in the country.
They represent 25 percent of all undocumented immigrants nationwide and 6.8 percent of the total California population. About 553,000 undocumented students would be eligible for the most recently proposed DREAM Act in California, according to the Educators for Fair Change.
“Education isn’t just about professors or the classroom, we need programs, counselors. With DREAMers it’s going to be beneficial for everyone, even me. I teach media and culture, I won’t be just tugging from one side, I feel like its more of a collaboration between educators and counselors. These undocumented students are going to be more open. It will show we’re more interested in their education as an institution, not just me as an individual,” said professor Dr. Liliana Gallegos.
“They will be more likely to participate as students. We can use that. It will enrich our classroom, and its not just Latinos who are going to benefit from this, even though that is a large percentage. All undocumented students are going to benefit,” continued Gallegos.