STOCKTON — Applying to college can be confusing for most students but for those who are living in the country illegally, like Gloria Alanso-Cruz, the process can be even more complicated.
“My counselor at my high school didn’t know what the DREAM Act was. She couldn’t help me and then I had to look for resources on my own,” she said.
Alanso-Cruz is now a freshman at San Joaquin Delta College. She was part of the push to get an undocumented student resource center on campus because she knows firsthand how hard navigating the process of applying to college can be.
“How do you expose yourself as an undocumented person to someone that you don’t know in person, to someone that doesn’t know your story, to someone that works in an institution for the United States? And under this political climate, how do you do that?” she said.
Delta’s board of trustee’s unanimously voted and approved a resolution Tuesday to create a center on campus.
“I think we’re in conversations right now where it looks like it’s going to happen and it is possible because everybody is on board right now,” Delta professor Mario Moreno said.
Moreno says there are more than 700 DACA and undocumented students at Delta, so the need for the center is there.
“We, as faculty, really don’t want our students to feel discriminated,” Moreno said. “We’re here to educate all our students, not just some students, all of our students.”
Moreno says he hopes the center will centralize all the resources Delta already offers — like financial aid, legal consultation and student counseling — so that more students can be successful.
“It creates a safe space for our students so that they can kind of have a place to relax a little bit and maybe pursue their education without that constant pressure, that constant stress,” Moreno said.
The new center will likely find an existing space on campus to operate out of. Faculty and staff at Delta have volunteered to staff the center in their free time.