November 14, 2017
Students filled Café 65 to support the Student Relief Fund, a new program sponsored by UNIDOS and MOSAIC to help DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students pay tuition and other college costs in the wake of the Trump administration’s announcement to end the program Sept. 5.
Hosted by SGA, the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Vice Chancellor, the Student Relief Fund fundraiser will donate all proceeds made during the event to the Student Relief fund, which begins enrollment Dec. 1.
“We have students here at UCCS that are part of the DACA program that have been affected by the decision, and we wanted to show as a student body support them,” said Joey Vijiyam, the student body president.
“This is pretty special, because it is actually organized by the students, and everything was done by them,” said Chancellor Venkat Reddy. “I’m really proud of our students for stepping up supporting the cause.”
There are an estimated 17,300 DACA recipients living in Colorado, with 1,300 alone living in Colorado Springs. Starting November, MOSAIC has implemented a student staff position that directly supports DACA and ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow) students.
“I am here, representing our faculty and staff telling you that, DACA Students: we are with you. We are standing by you and supporting you, and fighting for you,” said Reddy.
“These students are actually contributing to the economy. This is not just charity we are doing for the students. They are actually strong contributors to the economy and are making big differences in people’s lives. It’s really sad to see that this debate is happening, and will hopefully come to a resolution,” Reddy continued.
UCCS leadership told the audience at the fundraiser that the university had a lobbyist in Washington D.C. fighting for the right of DACA students to continue to attend university.
DACA and ASSET students do not pay in-state tuition, even if they spent most of their life in Colorado. The Student Relief Fund has the goal of lessening the load of getting a college education for these students.
UNIDOS is dedicated to supporting undocumented students, as well as students who are under the DACA or ASSET programs.
The SGA brought together five students with multiple backgrounds in order to tell their story and why the DACA and ASSET programs, and why the Student Relief Fund, will help them in their college careers.
Donations to the Student Relief Fund are accepted at giving.cu.edu/fund/uccs-student-relief-fund.