University of Lynchburg to host Undocuweek in April

A protest sign supporting the Dream Act (DACA). Photo retrieved from https://worldrelief.org/daca-and-dream-act-101/.

Alyssa Wilson ~ Guest Writer

     The University of Lynchburg is preparing to celebrate their second Undocuweek this April 5-9. 

     Undocuweek, first rectified by Xavier University as a way to spread awareness of the threat to what is known as The Dream Act, is now a week when universities across the country acknowledge and celebrate undocumented students.

     “It is either your roommate or your neighbor, or even someone in your class. Everyone knows someone who is undocumented, even if they are not aware of it,” said junior, Alejandra Bonilla. 

     Bonilla is the Vice President of Internal Affairs for the Student Government Association at the University of Lynchburg. This year, she is taking on the responsibility, with the help of SGA and other organizations on campus, in carrying out the second Undocuweek that the school has participated in. 

     The very first Undocuweek was introduced at the University of Lynchburg in 2019 by former SGA President, Lauren Farrell. After attending a National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) conference at Xavier University, Farrell was inspired to bring this empowering and enlightening event to the students of Lynchburg. 

     Farrell said, “I felt like Undocuweek was something we needed on our campus. I thought we were missing that activism piece and really wanted to implement that.”

     This year, the planning committee is planning on chalking the walkways throughout the Dell with inspiring messages and facts about undocumentation in the United States. Matthew Gillett, VP of External affairs for SGA, will be in charge of civic engagement duties throughout Undocuweek. 

     “My main goal will be the phone banks,” Gillett said. “We will be calling our state officials to advocate for our undocumented peers.” 

     “I want [undocumented students] to know that they are so loved and appreciated,” Bonilla said. The goal, is ultimately educating students about the injustices that undocumented students are facing every day while also letting the undocumented students on Lynchburg’s campus know that their fellow peers are advocating for their voices to be heard.  

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