BY ISN STAFF | December 15, 2017
On Sunday, October 29, 2017, members of the Xavier University community gathered at an outdoor candlelit ceremony. Those gathered included leaders of prominent student organizations and Xavier University President Fr. Graham.
The event kicked off the campus’s 2017 UndocuWeek, a week of opportunities to advocate and pledge support for the undocumented community and the DREAM Act.
Organizers aimed to collect 1,000 letters from members of the Xavier community addressed to Senator Rob Portman, urging him to support the DREAM Act. “We smashed this goal and reached 1,429 letters,” shared Zeina Farhat, an UndocuWeek student organizer and president of Xavier’s Student Government Association. Student volunteers worked throughout the week to collect letters in the student center and outside of the cafeteria each day. Two phone-a-thons late in the week attracted approximately 200 Xavier students who made calls to Senator Portman’s local and D.C. offices.
The week also featured a mock checkpoint experience, a t-shirt giveaway, an immigration panel discussion, and participation in the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) Youth Educating Society (YES) Rally outside of Senator Portman’s local office which was attended by more than 50 students.
“As a senior, I can certainly say that this was the most impactful week of programming and advocacy that I have witnessed in my four years at Xavier,” shared Farhat. “It was incredibly powerful to see how many students, most not affiliated with the organizations that planned the week, donated hours of their time to sit outside of the cafeteria or in the student center and were willing to have difficult conversations with people who did not necessarily agree with our efforts. I think as students we sometimes forget that our voices matter. We are capable of making an impact— the stack of 1,400 letters proved that.”
View Xavier University’s UndocuWeek video:
View news coverage of the IJPC YES Rally in Cincinnati: