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SGA stands in solidarity with DACA students

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The Student Government Association unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday night in support of students affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at Wichita State and across the nation.

“This is just the first step,” said Student Body President Paige Hungate. “I encourage everybody to contact their representatives. I think that’s really the biggest thing we can do right now.”

Former Student Body President Joseph Shepard presented a series of amendments to the resolution.

The first recognized DACA students from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Nigeria.

“There is oftentimes a misconception that individuals who benefit from DACA are only Hispanic,” he said. “I believe that it’s vital that we educate the community and this campus that there are several populations who are benefitting.”

The second amendment called for SGA Organization Outreach Committee to work alongside Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement, Marche Fleming-Randle to assess the need to establish a DACA Student Organization.

The third amendment called for SGA to consider using funds from the unallocated reserve account to establish a book grant for DACA students at Wichita State.

“Many of us have to carry the burden of tuition but a lot of us are blessed with the opportunity to benefit from financial aid,” Shepard said. “That’s not the case for DACA students.”

“I believe that it is only right and that it is our civic duty and our moral obligation to at least look into whether or not we can use some of these funds to alleviate the burden of educational resources for these DACA students.”

In his last meeting with SGA, At-Large Sen. Alexander Vulgamore spoke in favor of the resolution.

“We are not lawmakers,” Vulgamore said. “What we can be is a voice, an advocate, a strong friend for the students that we represent. Right now, that is exactly what we have to be.”

“We all have political opinions, but we all also have compassion, love, and empathy. These are the tools we must use right now.”

Liberal Arts and Sciences Sen. Kenon Brinkley called on senators to continue their support through action.

“We as representatives have the responsibility to go out and do more,” Brinkley said. “I don’t want to see that we made this vote and nobody out there is actually doing anything.”

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