Message from President Jeffery: SMC Supports Our Dreamers

​Upcoming DACA Renewal Event for Students & Community

January 19, 2018

Dear Santa Monica College Students and Members of the SMC Community:

Santa Monica College reaffirms its wholehearted support of our ‘Dreamer’ students—as well as PDF Fileour continued commitment to serving all students—irrespective of immigration status, family structure, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, gender identity, or marital status as stated in the SMC Board resolution passed January 17, 2017. As you may have heard, a court order required that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) begin accepting DACA renewal applications. SMC will do everything within our power to assist as we urge our Dreamers to renew their DACA as soon as possible.

If you are a Dreamer student, please read this carefully – it contains vital information on how SMC is here to help you. For everyone else, particularly faculty, staff, and student leaders: please share the following information widely as it is relevant not just to SMC students and personnel, but also to members of our greater community.

Upcoming DACA Renewal Event

SMC is hosting a DACA Renewal Processing Event for members of the SMC community as well as for our greater community. On January 30 and February 7, DACA students and community members can meet with attorneys for free legal assistance. Renewal is available for current DACA recipients whose benefits are currently expired, or expire within the next 150 days. Go to SMC Social Justice website for more information on what to bring to the appointment. To request an appointment or call (310) 434-8717. Walk-ins are also welcome. You can PDF Fileview/print a copy of the flyer.

SMC will continue to provide these services through the upcoming spring 2018 semester and as long as there is a need.

Scholarships & Other Resources

  • DACA Scholarships: In September 2017, the Santa Monica College Foundation joined forces with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) and the City of Santa Monica in a fundraising effort to support eligible students, alumni, and non-student residents affected by the Trump administration’s announcement that it would be dismantling DACA. Within one week, the Foundation—with an outpouring of support from the SMC community—raised a $15,000 match totaling over $30,000 in support of SMC Dreamer students. The Foundation established a similar crowdfunding site for SMMUSD where the community could donate to support its students and the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously at their September 26 meeting to approve $25,000 in matching funds to serve non-student residents. To date, $64,000 in funds have been raised to support these efforts.

    Scholarships have been and will be provided for the students who need financial assistance for the $505 fee ($495 application fee plus mailing costs).

    How to get a scholarship to submit DACA application: Funding is limited and more information on how to obtain a scholarship will be provided during the booking of an appointment; please note that appointments are also on a first-come, first-served basis. Do act at your earliest convenience, as both appointments and/or funding assistance are limited.

    How to Help: Those interested in making a donation for student and resident Dreamers may contact the SMC Foundation at (310) 434-4215 or visit the following links:
     
    For SMC Student Dreamers
    For SMMUSD Student Dreamers
    For Santa Monica Resident Non-Student Dreamers

    SMC continues to work proactively with our sister agencies—including SMMUSD, the City of Santa Monica and legal firms like CARECEN, LAFLA, Public Counsel, and Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP—to ensure that we share information and provide resources to assist as many Dreamers as possible.

  • The SMC Undocumented Ally Program: Last year, SMC launched the Undocumented Ally Program — a support network of SMC faculty, staff, and managers who get specific training on how best to provide support to undocumented students. As of this week, 101 SMC employees have signed up and are “allies.” You can PDF Fileview a full list of your allies here. (Remember, the SMC email is always: lastname_firstname@smc.edu)

  • Student Clubs & Other Resources: At Santa Monica College, we care deeply about your wellbeing. Reach out to talk to a counselor, an ally, an instructor, or a classmate. Student-run clubs like I.D.E.A.S. and Adelante are passionate about supporting their peers, especially those who are undocumented. Drop by the SMC Center for Wellness and Wellbeing—located in Liberal Arts room 110—which provides free confidential counseling, and much more. We are here for you!

    Please visit www.smc.edu/socialjustice, which has information on these and other resources such as hotline numbers, important information and handouts from past events, and much more.

    Need More Info?

    If you need more information not covered here, please reach out to the following SMC employees who are dedicated advocates for undocumented students:

    Edna Chavarry
    Director, Academic Affairs Initiatives
    Email: Chavarry_Edna@smc.edu
    Direct Line: (310) 434-8719

    Nicholas Mata
    Interim Dean, Student Services
    Email: Mata_Nicholas@smc.edu
    Direct Line: (310) 434-4435

    Marisol Moreno
    Professor of History and faculty advisor for I.D.E.A.S. club
    Email: Moreno_Marisol@smc.edu
    Direct Line: (310) 434-4435

    Sara Nieves-Lucas
    Counselor
    Email: Nieves-Lucas_Sara@smc.edu
    Direct Line: (310) 434-8187

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Dreamer students are an inseparable part of the SMC community, and they always will be. Santa Monica College, along with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, advocates for a permanent resolution to this issue so that Dreamers may continue to pursue their dreams of higher education and contribute—as they already have—towards building a stronger, more just society and nation where we all may thrive.

Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery
SMC Superintendent/President