The opening of the center is the culmination of years of work by numerous groups, including Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Student Government, Undocumented Student Support and Advocacy Committee (USACC) and Demanda Estudiantil Para la Igualdad Educacional (D.E.P.I.E.).
“Collaborations and partnerships are what make this space strong, and what makes our work strong is that there is so much support on campus that it really brought people together. But really, it started with the students, and the students vocalized what they wanted and needed, and from there folks started to join on, and it became a community.”
“ASI gave us a platform to be able to create the resolution SR: 2015-2016:04 and to have this huge sense of power within the university,” said Ascencio. “So, with our positions, that power gave us the opportunity to meet with high-level administrators who were able to then open the position for Mike Pedro, and then we were able to push even more for a physical space on campus.”
One of these high-level administrators is Dr. Lea M. Jarnagin, vice president for student affairs at CPP, who also supported the opening of this center, elaborated on the resources that will be provided
“We will be focusing on creating a space for increased dialogue,” Jarnagin said. “This is a gathering space and a place for, whether it be a student organization or our faculty/staff advocacy group or allies, etc., to come together and create dialogues about the kinds of services that are necessary to support our undocumented population.”
Jarnagin continued to say that the center will likely host off-campus organizations to speak with students about immigration challenges and promote the availability of the AB 540 affidavit which allows students to pay in-state tuition.
The current ASI Student Government administration also played an instrumental role in advocating for the creation of this center. ASI president Uriah Sanders elaborated, “The ASI Lobby Corps had a task force specifically advocating for a DREAMer center. That was a project where they worked closely with USACC and D.E.P.I.E., met with administrators and made sure we were constantly pushing for the process to go forward.”