Letter to Chancellor Asks for Proper Support for Undocumented Student Center

Dear Chancellor May,

The founding of the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center at UC Davis was the first of its kind at a UC campus. It now serves as the blueprint for similar centers at university and college campuses throughout California and the nation. While we applaud the trailblazing commitment UC Davis has made to serve the AB540 and undocumented student population, we are writing to express our deep concern for the center’s current state of affairs due to the absence of any full-time career staff and, in particular, the absence of a full-time Director.

As you may know, the UC Davis AB540 and Undocumented Student Center serves our students through a holistic and intersectional approach. This includes but is not limited to free legal services, financial services. mental health support. academic and career ad vising, as well as providing community resource referrals to students and their families. The Director plays a significant role as they must not only manage the day-to-day operations of the center, but they must also serve as an expert on navigating and educating the campus about the ever-changing immigration policies that impact our AB540 and undocumented students, campus, and local community. We were fortunate to have an outstanding founding director of the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center, however, it has been nearly a month since their departure and recruitment plans to fill that role have yet to be announced.

As faculty and staff in Chicano Studies, we rely heavily on having the Director of the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center as a resource since we frequently have students confide in us about extremely delicate issues relating to their immigration status. We ask that you help preserve the integrity and importance of the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center at our campus and take the necessary steps to fill the now vacant Director position. This is a critical matter, especially at this time in history when undocumented people are suffering the exceptional volatility of this nation’s administration and their political agenda. Let’s send a positive message to our outstanding and gifted undocumented students who have earned admittance to our university and help sustain them in the best way we can- through prioritizing the successful operations of the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center.

As UC Davis moves towards becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution. we hope to create meaningful institutional change that protects, values, and structurally supports under-represented undergraduate and graduate students and their families. We ask that the new Director of the AB540 and Undocumented Center be a person who will stand with moral courage and strength to protect all people regardless of their immigration status.

We, the Chicano Studies faculty and staff, would like to see the position for the Director of the AB540 and Undocumented Center posted within a week. In addition, we would like to see the implementation of an interim plan that includes a dedicated full-time staff member at the center for the duration of the recruitment Since this position is critical to our students, we believe that at the very minimum two current AB540 and/or undocumented students should be part of the hiring committee as well as one alumni, to ensure that the integrity of the center is maintained.

In these times of political unrest we must remain vigilant and ensure there is maximum guidance and support available to marginalized populations on this campus. As faculty and staff, we vow to use our positionality to ensure this campus upholds its commitment to providing a safe space where AB540 and undocumented students can thrive. We hope that you can join us in upholding this commitment by prioritizing the recruitment for the new Director of the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center.

Sincerely,

Carlos F. Jackson. Associate Professor & Chair, Chicano Studies

Angie Chabram Professor, Chicana/o Studies

Yvette Flores. Professor. Chicana/o Studies

Sergio de la Mora, Associate Professor, Chicana/o Studies

Natalia Deeb-Sossa, Associate Professor, Chicana/o Studies

Ofelia Cuevas, Assistant Professor. Chicana/o Studies

Lorena Marquez, Assistant Professor, Chicana/o Studies

Susy Zepeda. Assistant Professor, Chicana/o Studies

Clarissa Rojas. Assistant Professor. Chicana/o Studies

Alyssa West, Program Coordinator, Chicana/o Studies

Alma Martinez. Student Affairs Officer. Chicana/o Studies


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