Multiple student organizations participate in Undocumented Student Week of Action

The events were put on by USC IDEAS, a student center for undocumented students and their allies.

USC IDEAS partnered with several organizations to dedicate a week of action toward creating advocacy, allyship and awareness for undocumented students. USC IDEAS is a student center offering resources and support to the undocumented community.

The partner organizations include Student Affairs' First Generation Plus Success Center, the Asian Pacific American Student Association, the Graduate Student Government and the Gould School of Law’s Immigration Clinic.

“We want to spread more awareness, educate folks about the issues that undocumented students face and share as many resources and support that we are able to,” said Raymiro Gomez-Galiano, IDEAS Director of Outreach, when asked about the motivation behind the week of events.

The week of action is scheduled from Oct. 19 to 23. It will offer resources and paths to action for undocumented students and their allies, and is open to all students, staff and faculty.

Each day of the week has themed events, beginning with an Oct. 19 conversation with VoteSC and the Graduate Student Government (GSG) about the impact of voting.

“GSG took the lead planning day one because GSG had already been talking about ideas on how to plan events about voting,” said KJ Queen, GSG’s Director of Accessibility Affairs. “Additionally, VoteSC had already reached out to GSG and asked to plan an event about voting. It just seemed like it was the perfect time for all three of us to collaborate and form this event.”

Oct. 20 focused on the intersectionality of immigration. IDEAS partnered with the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly and the Latinx Student Assembly to host an event educating students on the many identities within the undocumented community. The event will also feature group discussions and debriefs where anyone can come to learn or share their own experiences.

Oct. 21 will be focused on education, a common roadblock for the undocumented community, according to Gomez-Galiano, who said undocumented students suffer from limited resources and opportunities. Gomez-Galiano said these challenges made the guidance offered at the event invaluable. There will be two separate events including a 4 p.m. guest panel of college students who will be giving advice to high school students on navigating college. IDEAS will be collaborating with the USC Career Center at 5 p.m. to have USC alumni share their experiences and provide advice for navigating graduate programs while being undocumented.

Oct. 22 will include the Advocacy and Allyship event for USC faculty and staff to learn how to be better allies to the undocumented community. The training will inform the faculty of the different resources that USC has to offer. These include the contacts and services available at the Undocumented Trojans Online Resources Center, such as legal aid, counseling and financial assistance. Additionally, staff will be educated on immigration statuses, updated political policies and the importance of mental health.

The week will conclude on Oct. 23 with a series of meditations called social justice healings. Gomez-Galiano said the purpose of the meditations is to help undocumented students and allies prepare for the elections.

“We’re ready for the elections,” Gomez-Galiano said. “We are here for each other. We built this community together.”