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Marquette students demand scholarship fund for undocumented

By staff

Marquette students protest, demand scholarship fund for undocumented students

Milwaukee, WI – More than 50 students, faculty and community members held a rally at Marquette University, March 30, to call on the administration to establish a scholarship fund exclusively for undocumented students.

Organized by the Marquette chapter of Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES), students marched into the rotunda of the Alumni Memorial Union, chanting “Undocumented and unafraid,” and “No justice, no peace.” Several students spoke to the urgency of the issue by providing personal testimonies of their own struggles trying to afford Marquette’s high tuition.

In the U.S., undocumented college students are not eligible for financial aid, thus leaving them in an extremely vulnerable position when seeking higher education. At schools like Marquette, where the yearly tuition is more than $34,000, it is nearly impossible for undocumented youth to afford to attend. Marquette, as a Jesuit institution, is supposed to live up to a tradition of high quality education that is accessible to all students, especially those who do not have the financial means or ability to otherwise attend college. However, Marquette has not fostered a welcoming community for the undocumented in its allocation of resources and funds.

One of the speakers, who identified as undocumented, commented on how she overcame living in the shadows, but said that her peers and the rest of the community live in the shadows because they fear discrimination. She declared, “Other universities have funds and special scholarships for Dreamers – I don’t see why Marquette shouldn't. Marquette, be the difference! Fight with us to make our campus undocumented friendly!”

Several of the speakers at the rally connected the struggles of undocumented students to other current struggles. Laree Pourier and Victoria Gokee-Rindal, leaders with the Native American Student Association, challenged the notion of the current borders and immigration by reminding the student body that they are on indigenous land. Pourier stated, “European immigrants stole the lands and abused the peoples, without documentation of consent. Who decides what is illegal?”

The group of students then marched to Zilber Hall to deliver a letter calling on the president of the university, Dr. Michael Lovell, to establish a scholarship fund exclusively for the undocumented. The students then marched back to the rotunda area and concluded the rally by committing to continue to pressure the administration on the matter of scholarships until the university is finally accessible to the undocumented.

#MilwaukeeWI #YouthEmpoweredInTheStruggle #undocumentedStudents