University of California (UC) Students Release Report on Resource Accessibility at UC Campuses for Undocumented Students2/18/2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2022
Alondra Avalos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Silvia Vazquez, email@example.com, 424-354-6069
University of California (UC) Students Release Report on Resource Accessibility at UC Campuses for Undocumented Students
LOS ANGELES – A new evaluation report published by University of California (UC) students, in partnership with the UCLA Dream Resource Center, UCLA Labor Center and the Undocumented Student-led Network, finds disparities in resources for undocumented students across UC campuses. The report Resource Accessibility Across the University of California Campuses through Undocumented Students’ Experiences sheds light on the challenges undocumented students experience when attempting to access resources at their respective UC campuses.
According to the evaluation report, despite attending different UC campuses, undocumented student experiences and sentiments on resource accessibility are universal. Students from different UC campuses expressed challenges and barriers to accessing resources due to social stigma, internalized guilt, inadequate outreach efforts, lack of funding, and the location of undocumented student centers on campuses.
In particular, undocumented students expressed that universities are not providing sufficient support to ensure their success on campus. A UC Berkeley student said, “The university needs to do more than just provide like this vague email every few months and not actually tangibly doing anything.” A UC Irvine student said, “I want to feel the security, that safety and reassurance that I’m gonna feel supported by the school.”
Alarmingly, despite knowing about available campus resources, undocumented students hesitate to utilize resources due to an understanding of the scarcity of these limited resources. A UCLA student stated, “I feel like some programs that I don’t apply to… I think the reason is because I feel bad, which is like a guilt trip… but I’m just like some people might need it more than I do.”
To alleviate the challenges and disparities undocumented students face, report authors recommend supporting undocumented students in the UC system by providing sufficient funds for undocumented student resources; allowing undocumented individuals to actively partake in the creation of resources for undocumented students; holding universities accountable for increasing outreach efforts to support undocumented students; and providing professional development opportunities such as internships and fellowships specifically for undocumented students that are paid.
Alondra Avalos, a report co-author and UCLA student, stated “We hope that this evaluation report will not only highlight the existing disparities among the universities but will also serve as a tool to address them. Moving forward, we hope the universities will center student voices when addressing issues pertaining to their respective communities.” While many studies and publications on undocumented college student experiences are conducted and written by faculty, established professionals and researchers, this report was primarily authored by undocumented students to ensure that the voices of undocumented students were centered in report findings and recommendations.
A participatory focus group approach that asked undocumented undergraduate and graduate students to share their experiences was used for the report. The evaluation report is based on 2 rounds of focus groups and 23 participants, as well as campus resources, online UC open sources, and published information on the UC system. The report is meant to serve as a resource guide for students, faculty, and staff, and simultaneously provide feasible solutions to the current disparities in resources.
The UCLA Dream Resource Center (DRC), a program team of the UCLA Labor Center, trains the next generation of diverse leaders—immigrant youth and allies with lived experiences—to be at the forefront of social justice movements and achieve equity and justice for workers, families, and communities.
The UCLA Labor Center believes that a public university belongs to the people and should advance quality education and employment for all. Every day we bring together workers, students, faculty, and policymakers to address the most critical issues facing working people today. Our research, education, and policy work lifts industry standards, creates jobs that are good for communities, and strengthens immigrant rights, especially for students and youth. The UCLA Labor Center is housed in the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the study, teaching, and discussion of labor and employment issues at UCLA.
The mission of the Undocumented Student-Led Network (USN) is to create a statewide network of immigrant youth leaders to work towards advancing an immigrant reform agenda. USN commits to expand and advocate for undocumented student resources, as well as build community and create safe spaces across campuses. Ultimately, the USN aims to uplift undocumented voices and accurately portray the undocumented experience.