More than a GPA: In defense of our Undocumented Students

Loyola University Chicago students

Loyola University Chicago students in the Fast for Families tent in Washington DC. Pedro Guerrero pictured bottom left.

BY GUEST BLOGGER | December 6, 2013

Written by: Pedro Guerrero, Loyola University Chicago ’14

As a Senior at Loyola University Chicago, my four years have been defined by not only my exceptional academic experience, but by the knowledge and skills I acquired in my extracurricular activities. Through my involvement in student government, my fraternity, and a variety of other activities, I dove into the college experience and learned an extensive amount about myself and how to interact with individuals. Through these experiences, I valued my newfound desire to speak up on behalf of vulnerable populations, more specifically, undocumented students around the nation. My college experience was based on much more than my in-class experience; I realized that I am much more than a GPA. I represent a wealth of experiences that others cannot fathom. This mantra proves true for the thousands, if not millions, of undocumented students throughout the nation that fear integration into their college campuses.

This week, a group of four peers and I volunteered to give up food for 24 hours in solidarity with the daily struggles experienced by these students and their families. In doing this, we call upon our government leaders to acknowledge that they, like us, are much more than a simple number placed atop our resumes. We join a group of individuals entering the twenty-third day of fasting on the national mall. The Fast4Families group inspired us to make this statement.

fast4families-logoThe nation’s undocumented immigrants enrich our communities with new experiences that serve to challenge beliefs we think to be conventional, but will ultimately change our lives for the better. By dedicating one day a week to fasting, we as students of a Jesuit university, an institution that pushes its students to strive for the magis, or “more”, acknowledge and honor their presence in our nation. As our stomachs rumble as our peers walk around us with sandwiches, french fries, and various other snacks, we acknowledge that our temporary pain minimally compares to the pain felt by families torn apart by our broken immigration system. The pain is seen in the tears of the children who will not be able to celebrate the holidays with their parents. The pain is felt in the hearts of the mothers who cannot hold their children. The pain is not learned, but rather experienced in the world’s classroom, also simply referred to as, life.

Pedro Guerrero, a Peruvian immigrant, serves as the Student Body President of Loyola University Chicago.

Editor’s Note: Students from Regis University, Gonzaga University, Loyola University New Orleans, and Saint Joseph’s University also participated in the fast for families this week.

Fasting Group Graphic

 

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