By: Kevin Yu ’18 and Maanas Oruganti ’18
Bellarmine students from the Latino Student Union (LSU) organized a day of awareness for Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during lunch in the amphitheater on Thursday, October 5th. Many, including Mrs. Martinez Serrania, Latino Student Union moderator and Spanish teacher, felt as though Bellarmine needed to act in the face of DACA’s revocation.
“It came as an idea from the Latino Student Union,” Mrs. Martinez Serrania said. “We, the moderators, thought that it was something we wanted to do. We knew we wanted to do something, but we didn’t know what we wanted to do.”
LSU planned the day of awareness to send a positive message of support to those affected by DACA’s removal.
“It was more a day of awareness and support for them,” Mrs. Martinez Serrania said, “so that the boys know they’re not alone.”
Indeed, Bellarmine is host to several DACA students and has had many more in past years. For many, DACA’s removal affected people they’ve known throughout their Bellarmine lives. Mrs. Martinez Serrania has taught and befriended many DACA recipients as both a teacher and moderator of LSU.
Mrs. Martinez Serrania believed that even if some of the attendees may not have directly known a DACA recipient, a greater sense of solidarity with the marginalized encouraged students to speak out in support of the program.
“You’ve been the new kid. You can relate to that. Everybody can relate to being the new kid who knew nobody,” Mrs. Martinez Serrania said. “A lot of it is connecting to the heart. I think the boys who are sensitive to that, who get that and put themselves in their shoes, are saying that this isn’t right.”
Bellarmine has been aware of DACA’s removal for many months, and posters pledging support and solidarity for DACA recipients have been visible around campus. However, the DACA day of awareness was the first opportunity for students to openly speak about it.
“I commend them for being open to this as well,” Mrs. Martinez Serrania said. “They don’t have a stake in it, but they can help and see the human face to this.”