CSU, Chico News

Conference for Undocumented Students is Sept. 25

Date: 09-14-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Elizabeth Alaniz, assistant director
Financial Aid and Scholarship Office

A daylong conference aimed at empowering undocumented students and their educators is planned for Friday, Sept. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Bell Memorial Union auditorium at California State University, Chico.

The second annual Dreaming Without Boundaries conference is organized by the student group LEAD (Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers). The conference will review the impacts of the California Dream Act, a package of laws that allow undocumented students who meet certain criteria to apply for student financial aid benefits. It will also highlight the benefits and limitations of the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Conference planners were inspired by a similar conference at UC Berkeley, organized by E4FC (Educators for Fair Consideration). The event coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month, being celebrated at CSU, Chico in September.

Keynoting the conference is immigration activist Blanca Hernandez. The conference will include a screening of the documentary film, “Things I'll Never Say,” followed by breakout sessions on topics including financial aid, scholarships, student wellness and immigration.

Elizabeth Alaniz, an advisor in the University’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, is also the advisor for LEAD.

“I’m hoping attendees leave with a better understanding of dream students’ experience on campus,” Alaniz said. “A lot are afraid to come out—it’s hard to say you’re undocumented. A lot of students go through their whole college experience without even sharing that with their closest friends.”

She added that the conference will help attendees understand differences between federal and state laws on these topics, including the legalities of hiring undocumented students.

Registration is available online at www.leaddreamconference.eventbrite.com.

If you require an accommodation in order to participate in this event or have questions about accessibility, please contact the CSU, Chico Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959 by Sept. 18.