Santa Monica College Joins California Community Colleges in Supporting Undocumented Students with Week of Action

October 15-19 declared “Undocumented Student Week of Action”; SMC Will Host Workshops & Advocacy-Driven Activities

SMC Board of TrusteesThe SMC Board of Trustees passed a resolution at their Oct. 2 meeting in support of undocumented students, declaring October 15-19, 2018 the Undocumented Student Week of Action.

(Left to Right): Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC Superintendent/President; Rob Rader, trustee; Dr. Louise Jaffe, trustee; Barry Snell, Board Chair; Dr. Margaret Quinones-Perez, Board Vice Chair; Dr. Nancy Greenstein, trustee; and Alex Boyd, student trustee hold signs that state: “My Name is _______ . I am an unafraid educator!” Similar signs will be available for faculty, students, staff and community members on the SMC quad on Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. who want to demonstrate their support for undocumented students. (Trustees Dr. Andrew Walzer and Dr. Susan Aminoff were absent at the Oct. 2 meeting).

A banner on Santa Monica College’s quad. The SMC Board of Trustees passed a resolution declaring October 15-19, 2018 the Undocumented Student Week of Action, to advocate for a permanent solution to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

(Photo Credit: Andrew Boone.)

October 9, 2018

SANTA MONICA, CA—Santa Monica College (SMC) joins the California Community Colleges in supporting undocumented students by declaring October 15-19, 2018 the Undocumented Student Week of Action. The SMC Board of Trustees PDF Filepassed a resolution at their October 2 meeting, following a PDF FileCalifornia Community Colleges Board of Governors resolution to the same effect.

SMC joins a coalition of over 75 California community colleges and partner organizations—including the Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges, Community College League of California, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, the California Community College Trustees Board, to name just a few—in declaring this week of advocacy.

The “Week of Action” is a statewide student-led campaign seeking to advocate for a permanent solution to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that includes a pathway to citizenship for California’s undocumented students. At SMC, the week will feature events including webinars, workshops to help students complete the California Dream Application, DACA Renewal Assistance Workshops, and more.

“Santa Monica College is an institution with a longstanding commitment to ensuring that every student who aspires to achieve a better life through education is able to do so in a nurturing and supportive academic environment,” said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC Superintendent. “At SMC, this Week of Action is just another thoughtful moment in time to remind undocumented students that they are an integral part of this college community. Supporting their success is crucial to not just their individual futures, but to ensuring an equitable and prosperous California, and is a fundamental part of the college’s core mission.”

All the events—which are free—will be held at the SMC main campus, located at 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. With the exception of the “Dream Program/Ally Tabling” on Wednesday, October 17, space for attendance is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis (contact Mata_Nicholas@smc.edu for more details). The full list of Undocumented Student Week of Action activities is:

  • “Paying for College”: A Webinar by Immigrants Rising
    Monday, October 15 | 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. | SMC Center for Teaching Excellence (Media Center Room 104)

  • “Know Your Rights”: A Workshop by CARECEN
    Tuesday, October 16 | 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | SMC Center for Teaching Excellence (Media Center Room 104)

  • California Dream Application Assistance Workshop
    Tuesday, October 16 | 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. | STEM Conference Room, Drescher Hall (3rd Floor)
    (Hosted by SMC’s STEM Program & the Equity Steering Committee)

  • “Dream Program/Ally Tabling”: Messages of Hope and Resource Fair
    (Featuring tables of resources for undocumented students and canvas boards where faculty, students, and staff can write messages to support and encourage undocumented students on their educational journeys)
    Wednesday, October 17 | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | SMC Quad

  • “Explore Entrepreneurship”: A Webinar by Immigrants Rising
    Wednesday, October 17 | 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.| SMC Center for Teaching Excellence (Media Center Room 104)

  • California Dream Application Assistance Workshop
    Wednesday, October 17 | 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. | STEM Conference Room, Drescher Hall (3rd Floor)
    (Hosted by SMC’s STEM Program & the Equity Steering Committee)

  • DACA Renewal Assistance Workshop with Attorneys from CARECEN
    Thursday, October 18 | 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Reservations required; see “Renewal Appointment Request” at smc.edu/DREAM.

  • “Prioritize Mental Wellness”: A Webinar by Immigrants Rising
    Thursday, October 18 | 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. | SMC Center for Teaching Excellence (Media Center Room 104)

In addition to these workshops and activities for undocumented students and community members, SMC will also hold a three-hour “Undocumented Ally” training program on Friday, October 19 for employees who are interested in getting familiar with laws and services related to DACA and AB 540/California Dream Act students. To date, the voluntary program has trained 191 SMC employees.

Following the Trump administration’s September 2017 announcement on the rescission of DACA, Santa Monica College joined the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in reaffirming the commitment to providing students access to educational opportunities without regard to their immigration status or that of their parents. The SMC Board of Trustees had also previously PDF Filepassed a resolution at their January 17, 2017 meeting, which supported a safe environment for all students and employees at Santa Monica College.

In 2017, the SMC Foundation established a scholarship fund to help students who needed financial assistance to reapply for DACA; the Foundation has relaunched this campaign—see santamonicacollegefoundation.org/dreamscholarship for more information and to donate. In addition, the DACA Renewal Assistance workshops were launched with pro-bono attorneys for both students and community members, and the Undocumented Ally program was launched. Several SMC student-run clubs—I.D.E.A.S., the Progressive Student Union, Adelante, Black Collegians, the Association of Latin American Students, the Helping Hands Club, the Homegirl and Homeboy Scholars of SMC, among others—came together to support their undocumented peers and assist in advocacy efforts.

Santa Monica College has grouped its resources for undocumented students—including access to a counselor, financial aid and educational planning, scholarships, and more—under the umbrella of a DREAM Program. For more information on SMC’s DREAM Program, please contact Nicholas Mata, Interim Dean of Students at (310) 434-4435 or Mata_Nicholas@smc.edu. The program’s website is: smc.edu/DREAM.

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About Santa Monica College:

Founded in 1929, Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). For 27 consecutive years, SMC has been California’s leader in transfers to UCLA, UC Berkeley, and other University of California campuses. The college also tops in transfers to the University of Southern California and Loyola Marymount University. More than 110 career training degrees and certificates at SMC offer professional preparation for students interested in directly entering the job market, transferring to a four-year school, or upgrading specific skills. SMC provides news and cultural enrichment through its NPR radio station KCRW (89.9 FM) and The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center as well as lifelong learning through distinctive programs such as its Emeritus Program for older adults.

About the California Community Colleges:

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps.