Weekly advising for undocumented students

Photo courtesy of the UWT CEI | A group photo of some of the members of the Center for Equity and Inclusion.

Are you an undocumented student with questions and no answers? UW Tacoma has weekly in-person and online advising sessions for undocumented students. 

The 2019 American Community Survey shows that 2% of all students in higher education, that is approximately 427,000, are those who are undocumented. While it is common for students to struggle with college work and classes, undocumented students face challenges and stress that the average college student will not.

UW Tacoma offers countless resources to help these students, the primary hub for these services being the Center for Equity and Inclusion, which can be found on the UW Tacoma website at tacoma.uw.edu/equity-center

The Center’s webpage says that they support the success of marginalized groups, empower community members and build a more equal campus.

The website offers information for all undocumented students who might have questions. One program in particular runs weekly meetings for undocumented students. 

The meetings are run by the peer advisor Perla Vazquez who helps undocumented students answer questions about the DACA process, find resources for them to use and answer any questions the students might have. 

“Drop-In Hours started as a way to create a resource to help and support undocumented, documented and mixed-status students that go to UW Tacoma,” Vazquez said over correspondence with The Ledger, “A way for these students to feel comfortable, included and to know that they aren’t alone if they have any questions or concerns they may have at the university.

“From what I have seen, even though this was first created as a resource for students, it’s starting to become a community on campus because of the amount of help, support and change many people are bringing. As an Undocumented Peer Adviser, I want people to know that I’m here to help or to support in any way possible!”

With the current COVID-19 events, the drop-in hours schedule has changed to offer both in-person and Zoom meeting options. For those wishing to discuss matters over Zoom, the virtual meetings take place on Tuesdays at washington.zoom.us/s/94062524669 with the Meeting ID of 940 6252 4669 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Students who wish to continue meeting in person will be able to meet on Thursdays during the same time of 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Snoqualmie building on the Tacoma campus in room SNO 140D. For up-to-date information on meeting times, students can follow the CEI’s official Facebook page under the uwtcei handle. Those with questions can email uwtcei@uw.edu for further help or guidance. Those with specific questions about the advising meetings can email Vazquez at perlav3@uw.edu. 

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