UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS 13 DEMANDS FOR COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: FREE HEALTHCARE, HOUSING, STAFF SENSITIVITY TRAINING, ETC.
Columbia University got hit by demands from an illegal immigrant group, called Undocumented Students Initiative (UndoCU for short).
UndoCU presented its list of 13 demands on Facebook . Check below – note: some paragraphs not included:
Reflections and Renewed Demands, by UndoCU:
This past year, the year of UndoCU’s conception, we have consistently faced issues and problems that the university has, at best, responded to sparingly. Our daily lived experiences are shaped by national and federal forces that we must face with bravery, but the collective university administration’s inaction has worsened these issues. Some of us were on the verge of homelessness. Some, including their families, are at high risk of deportation. That the university is not active in aiding and ameliorating these problems demonstrates Columbia’s lack of intrinsic interest in its undocumented students.
We therefore present this list of demands upon which we expect the university to act. We are willing to work with anyone, to any extent, in order to resolve these issues. We refuse, however, to amend or change any of these demands.
–Financial and housing difficulties.
While some have been granted summer housing, others have not, and the summer housing process has been shifty, disorganized, and un-proactive.
–Reaching out to/protecting undocumented students
How can administration contact and keep in touch with undocumented students without a record of students that the administration may be in the future be forced to relinquish to federal authorities?
–International student designation
We are international students only by technical designation, so we are all subject to pay the semesterly $70.00 international services fee.
We also demand full reimbursement of the health insurance fees.
–Creation of an ombudsperson position who understands the psychological, financial, administrative, and all other dimensions of the undocumented student issue and experience.
–Specialized fundraising for undocumented students
We want the university as a whole and individual schools to raise funding to specifically support undocumented students in both undergrad and grad schools with the objective of creating undocumented student specific scholarships and grants.
Need based funding must be available for undocumented students at all Columbia University and affiliate schools.
–Inclusion in the undocumented student working group
We demand for faculty representation selected by members of Undocu to be present in the working group meetings.
–CPS—Counseling services training
We want more experienced counselors in immigration available at CPS as well as a variance of options. We want specifically trained immigration counselors as well as counselors trained in trauma. Additionally, we would like treatment to be less medically focused. Currently, some of our experiences with CPS have alienated us from continuing to seek mental health resources.
We demand awareness training of CCE career counselors who understand our unique situation and the sensitive attention it demands.
–Sensitivity training for faculty and staff
During the spring semester we published an op-ed in the Columbia Spectator asking that the university provide sensitivity training for professors, TA, and all other staff in terms of immigration language and rhetoric. Much like sexual health training, it is imperative that immigration subjects be treated with the proper language and information. It is unacceptable for students to be called “illegal” in their own classrooms or for professors to tell us to “get legal.”
UndoCU (Undocumented Students Initiative)