The University’s Campaign for Dreamers, DACA


The university is using a marketing campaign, including flyers and buttons (Courtesy of Flickr).

The university is using a marketing campaign, including flyers and buttons (Courtesy of Flickr).

By Victor Ordonez
After unanimous consent to stand by the approximately 800,000 Dreamers impacted by President Donald J. Trump’s decision, Fordham’s United Student Government (USG) has approved the creation of a DACA Task Force.

The task force will be comprised of both USG and non-USG members, according to USG Vice President of Health and Security Jack Donahue, FCRH ’19. Donahue formed the task force as a means of expressing USG’s stance on protecting Dreamers.

“I’m happy the university and USG came out and ardently opposed ending DACA, but I wanted to make sure I was doing everything I could to ensure our words were backed by tangible action,” said Donahue.

The proposal of the Task Force outlined its primary objectives to the USG Council. One of the objectives is to “engage students in dialogue and demonstrations that denounce the removal of [DACA].”

The Task Force will coordinate all student action for the public defense of Dreamers, according to USG President Brian Reardon, FCRH‘18. Reardon is confident there are Fordham students that will be impacted by the rescindment of the DACA program.

“I know for a fact that there are students who have direct relatives who will be affected by what happens with the DACA program,” said Reardon. Additionally, Reardon said there may be Fordham students who identify as Dreamers. “In our meetings with administrators, it has been alluded that there may be students who would be directly impacted the President’s decision,” said Reardon.

The Task Force has already taken initiative as it hosted a phone bank in which over 50 students called their local representatives to request they defend the DACA program, according to Donahue.

USG’s DACA Task Force will disband when it meets the objectives articulated in the proposal. An additional document summarized the program’s progress and achievements, according to the proposal.

In conjunction with initiatives taken by students, Donahue said the Fordham administration will be hosting programs in defense of Dreamers.
“In terms of administration, I have been in contact with AVP Messiah Arthur and President Reardon had been working with other facets of the administration for future collaboration,” said Donahue.

Fordham’s administration has been equally candid in its stance on Trump’s DACA decision. “The University has taken a position that we are opposed to the rescission of DACA,” said Lesley A. Massiah-Arthur, associate vice president of government relations and urban affairs.

Massiah-Arthur confirmed that her department will follow suit in backing the university’s views on DACA with tangible action. The university’s “aggressive campaign” will potentially begin Monday Oct. 23, according to Massiah Arthur.

“If we can reserve the space — which I believe we have — there will be tabling in the McGinley Center,” said Massiah-Arthur. If these initiatives pan out, the tables will be giving out postcards allowing students to reach out to their government representatives free of charge.

The postcard verbalizes the frustrations of a Fordham community member in response to DACA. “I am appalled by President Trump’s rescission of protections for 800,000 [DACA] beneficiaries,” reads the card. “These are people who attend our colleges, pay taxes, run businesses, and serve in the military.” The postcard is addressed directly to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Massiah-Arthur said that there would be a university-wide email going out later this week detailing the entirety of this campaign once the department finalizes the technical aspects of the initiative. She also referenced the important timing of the campaign.

“If you notice, this campaign will end upon Election Day,” said Massiah-Arthur. “We are aiming to attract the attention of officials who may be otherwise distracted right now. This is a very important issue that must be addressed, and we need to make sure of that.”