Some Undergraduate Student Government officials proposed a resolution calling for the creation of a permanent center for undocumented students at the Senate meeting Tuesday.
The resolution was presented by Mai Mizuno, the outgoing USG director of external affairs, and asks for a new space on campus dedicated to a dreamer center that would feature at least one full-time coordinator to work with undocumented students.
The resolution also proposes that USG and Graduate Student Government create an official resources page for undocumented students to access on the University’s Student Affairs website.
“The investment will be aimed at ensuring that the undocumented or at-risk student population is provided any and all information needed regarding proper legal assistance or guidance concerning their immigration status or their family’s immigration status,” the resolution states.
The resolution also detailed what the role of this center’s coordinator would be if this resolution is passed, stating that the person to take on the role will be “directly involved in the continuing efforts of USG, [GSG], the administration and other organizations on campus to provide the proper support and assistance to undocumented and at-risk students.”
GSG passed a nearly identical variant of this resolution last month and coordinated closely with USG in writing USG’s resolution. The resolution acknowledges the efforts made to address the needs of undocumented students thus far, including the creation of a pop-up center by the American Studies and Ethnicity department.
“The pop-up dreamer center has been created by faculty and students to provide a safe space and resources to undocumented undergraduate and graduate students,” the resolution states. “But this center has not been given full-time recognition by the administration nor a dedicated staff member to facilitate its activities.”
This pop-up dreamer center was created during Fall 2017 and has a part-time staffer who began holding office hours last week. However, advocates for the new center believe that the current center is too small and understaffed.
“Right now, the space is smaller than the USG supply closet,” Mizuno said. “It really only fits a sofa and a desk. That is obviously not enough if you look at the other resource centers on this campus.”
The senate also voted 10-1 to approve the USG budget for the 2018-19 academic year. The budget was amended to strike a proposed partnership with The New York Times that would cost $8,000 to provide physical copies of the newspaper on campus. The $8,000 were instead allocated to staff salaries of USG organizations and the philanthropy fund.
The Senate also unanimously approved the resolution proposed last week to enhance wages and compensation for the custodial staff at USC. Several custodians attended the meeting to watch the resolution pass.
The Senate will vote on the undocumented student center resolution in next week’s Senate meeting, which will be the final meeting of the 2017-18 academic year.