“A Day in the Life” raises undocumented student awareness
By Karrie Comfort Contributor
AB 540 & Undocumented Students Secretary Sandra Lopez wants students to step into the shoes of an undocumented person for a day.
On April 5, in conjunction with Future Underrepresented Educated Leaders— FUEL—and the Dream Center, students will be taken through “A Day in the Life” of an undocumented student, experiencing their struggles and their insecurities in an effort to raise awareness about them.
Lopez, a senior majoring in organizational psychology, is herself an undocumented student. Her mother brought her here from Mexico in the hopes of giving her a better life, and it is a struggle she has not forgotten.
“I want her to be proud of me and make sure she knows that all her pain was not in vain,” she said.
She originally applied to be the AB 540 secretary because she wanted to make a difference, “not only in the AB 540 & undocumented [student] population, but . . . by teaching others about us.”
And that’s exactly what she hopes to do through “A Day in the Life”, which—in addition to its guest speaker—will host a panel of undocumented students who will tell their personal stories and answer any questions.
“We want people to listen to what we go through,” Lopez said, echoing a sentiment that many minority groups on campus might find familiar.
“We will also talk about legislation like AB 540, AB 130 and AB 131, because we need a political voice.”
These legislative acts help undocumented students receive a higher education that most other students on campus take for granted.
Talking about these measures is hoped to raise awareness on what a struggle it is to be undocumented.
“A Day in the Life” will be held in the University Student Union ballrooms and is looking to host quite a turnout, but Lopez says that’s not all it’s about.
“It’s about informing people,” Lopez said.
“It doesn’t matter how big or small the event is, just that we put out the information out there and can try to understand each other.”
She hopes that students will come to reach an understanding about their undocumented peers, and states that change cannot happen without all of them on board with it.
“ASI government is run by students, and if we want to make a change, we need to fight for it. ASI is for students, by students. We are here to help students change things and events they do not like,” Lopez said.
Stepping into the shoes of a undocumented student could help them realize the need for that change.