NEWS

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March 30, 2017

College Council to Provide Emergency Funds to Undocumented Students, Others

A College Council (CC) resolution passed on March 28 has catalyzed a quarter-long plan to make emergency funds available to undocumented students and marginalized groups on campus.

The resolution, drafted by first-year representative Jahne Brown, establishes a committee that will create documents allowing students to apply for funding. Then, later this quarter, the committee will ask the Council to allocate money for distribution.

“This is another way, if you’ve exhausted the University funds or emergency loans, that you can find a small amount of money, because Student Government is standing with you in solidarity,” Brown said.

The resolution to form the committee passed with 14 yeas and two abstentions.

The committee resolution claims its purpose is to “support” and “defend” marginalized groups on campus. Brown said the definition of marginalized groups will be clarified as the committee drafts materials, but it will most likely extend to students who are undocumented, under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, impacted by Trump’s immigration bans, international students, or first-generation Americans.

Committee members will review and select from applications, Brown said. The means of determining how much money is given to each individual has not yet been established.

Last quarter, Brown proposed an allocations resolution that would give $1,000 to the emergency fund, but after further consideration she decided to create the committee resolution and allow its members to decide how much funding to request. Council Chair and third-year Peggy Xu wrote in an e-mail to The Maroon that the Council has approximately $1,400 in available funds, and that the representatives can choose to allocate all or some of that money to the emergency fund.

“The avenues for acquiring funding from Student Government more generally are complicated, and it's especially difficult to set up an emergency fund like this one if you're not an RSO or otherwise recognized student group,” Xu wrote in the e-mail. “I believe this is one of the reasons why Brown is focusing on Council funds specifically.”

Though Brown did not establish a concrete timeline, she said the committee should be able to request funding by sixth week.

“If the process ends up being slow, that could end up being a disappointment, but it’s not the end of the world because we’re establishing the foundations for next year,” said second-year representative Qudsiyyah Shariyf in the meeting.

Brown said that she is “pretty sure” the emergency fund will be extended to next year, especially if Trump implements more stringent and far-reaching executive orders.

“I want people to know that there are students here who care about the situations that other students are in, like immigrants and refugees,” Brown said. “I want people to know that Student Government is and should be political, and that it’s in alliance with groups who are under attack and are having a hard time being in America.”

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