Ignorance leads to incorrect vote on A.S. DREAM Act resolution

Marcos Zamora

It’s imperative for students to think critically on this campus. I was astonished and surprised on the vote Associated Students at Cal State Northridge took on the resolution in support of Senate Bill 1, the California Dream Act. Even though the California State Student Association, a composition within the CSU student governments, formulated and passed a resolution in support of the California Dream Act, Associated Students at Cal State Northridge decided on Thursday, Oct. 11 not to pass a resolution in support.

Students representing MEChA and Dreams to be Heard deliberately introduced the actual California Dream Act, Senate Bill 1, along with an infomative fact sheet of who AB540 students are on Thursday. Unfortunately, many of the student senators, as in any other open forum, were having side conversations when we were explaining, in depth, what they were going to be voting on for the resolution.

Vianney Moran, one of the main authors of the resolution, along with other senators, tried to explain the situation. However, other senators were reacting as though the bill was for immigration reform, as if it were that easy.

Senate Bill 1, the California DREAM Act, introduced by Sen. Cedillo on Dec. 6, 2006, would give access to undocumented students attending higher education institutions, except private institutions, for financial aid. In other words, the California DREAM Act would allow undocumented students to apply for financial aid from private sectors, which ask for a nine-digit number.

The California DREAM Act wouldn’t include the competitive Cal Grant A and B award programs. Moreover, the California DREAM Act wouldn’t affect any students who already receive financial aid from both the federal and statewide agencies. Although there are only 314 AB540 students attending Cal State Northridge, we need to be cognizant that the number is so low because many undocumented students aren’t aware of such laws. Others have to drop-out because they can’t afford college.

If Associated Students are really about following their constituent’s demands, they haven’t done so very well. The California DREAM Act would only create access to undocumented students to the private sectors of financial aid. It won’t increase the numbers of classrooms and professors, hence, increase tuition. SB1 would only alleviate thousands of undocumented students throughout the state of California that work more than 40 hours a week to pay for an education that should be free and accessible to everyone.

Related Stories:

A.S. Senate rejects Dream Act Resolution A.S. meeting attendees upset about SB 1 vote

Do you have more to say than a comment? Want any feedback from the writer? Story ideas? Click on The Gripevine.