The Undergraduate Student Government Senate passed a resolution with eleven of twelve votes in support of establishing permanent resources for undocumented students at its meeting Tuesday.
The resolution, authored by Improving Dreams, Education, Access, and Success executive director Valeria Resendiz and Sens. Kevin Gutierrez and Ruben Romeo, was first presented at last week’s meeting. The resolution faced 21 amendments before approval, including the inclusion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status students in the resolution, which it had not explicitly mentioned when introduced.
“A lot of the amendments that we made were to make the language consistent throughout, being DACA, TPS and undocumented students,” Gutierrez said.
One amendment called for USC administrators to release an official statement to publicly express their dedication to initiatives and resources for DACA, TPS and undocumented USC students, including legal counseling, admission and financial aid assistance and mental health and services accessibility, similar to when IDEAS met with President Carol Folt and Vice President Winston Crisp in December to discuss new resources for the community, including a centralized center. The amendment also urged administrators to create a position to directly support this community during the coronavirus pandemic and oversee the transition of the pop-up DREAMer center into an Undocumented Trojan Resource Center.
“IDEAS has met previously with Dr. Folt and Winston Crisp and has also gotten their support in person, but again, this is calling for a sort of written statement,” Gutierrez said.
The Senate also approved the appointments of cabinet, legislative, funding, programming and communications branch officers for the 2020-21 school year. More than 100 applications were received to fill approximately 80 open positions.
The Senate also approved a resolution in support of incorporating the Native American Student Assembly into the programming branch, which would allow the organization to receive official recognition and funding from USG after successfully passing a semester-long trial period as a cultural assembly. In February, the Native American Student Union was one group that pushed for an amendment that would allow cultural organizations to become recognized student assemblies by submitting a petition signed by at least 50 undergraduate students, allowing organizations representing smaller communities to more easily gain necessary funding and resources from USG.