Undocumented student ally training hopes to provide support


Mark Capapas

The Levis Faculty Center sits on the corner of Gregory and Illinois on Oct. 22.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

La Casa will be organizing the Undocumented Student Ally Training with the Illinois Coalition Assisting Students’ Education and sponsored by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The training is aimed toward preparing faculty, staff and administrators with information that will allow them to serve undocumented and DACA students at the University.

Jorge Mena Robles, assistant director of La Casa Cultural Latina, said this training is created to better the support system of all students on campus.

Undocumented students happen to be one of our vulnerable student populations and all of our faculty, staff and administration should learn about the various identities of our students,” Robles said. “It will be good for them to hear directly from the students that are impacted and what the research says on how to better support undocumented students.”

Robles said changes to the support system for undocumented students this year include the creation of a DACA mentor position, in which a graduate student supports students by helping to apply for scholarships and other academic opportunities or simply navigate campus.

Robles said the training, which occurs once every semester and takes place at the Levis Faculty Center on Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, will cover a variety of topics intended to stress student safety, knowledge and support.

“We start with some immigration history, we talk about how policies within the United States directly impact the immigrants, we also talk about general updates when it comes to policy that impacts our undocumented and DACA students that we want our faculty staff and administration to be aware of,” Robles said. “We also have an undocumented student panel and our undocumented and DACA students lead conversations on how they could be better supported and so they have a do’s and don’ts sheet that they share with the people who attend.”

Robles said regular people in our campus community can help by staying informed on how the larger national conversations are impacting our undocumented students on campus. 

Getting in contact with I-CAUSE, which is the DACA student organization on campus that conducts advocacy events, programs, workshops and education to further the knowledge of our campus community, will help people be knowledgeable and know what’s going on and how we can support those directly affected,” Robles said. 

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