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ASU is Dreaming of Equality on Campus

The Associated Student Union debates how to deal with funding for clubs and sponsored events.

By Kate Krantz | Special to the Star
On November 2, 2011

The Associated Student Union determined Tuesday that it is officially supporting Public Relations Commissioner Javiera Infante's efforts to host an information forum in early November regarding the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act – more popularly known by its acronym, the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act is a legislation that is composed of two bills: AB 130 and AB 131. The bills allow for undocumented students who already meet the residency criteria for California in-state tuition to obtain scholarships and be eligible for state grants and fee waivers not derived from state funds. The California State Assembly approved the first half of the bill,AB 130, in June, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed the second portion, AB 131, earlier this month.

Flustered by the news, the council assumed it had to take a political position. A mild debate over what approach it planned to take broke out amongst the members.

"Normally, when someone is planning an event, they don't bring it to the board," said ASU President Norvan Berkezyan. "That was the only difference. The issue was, ‘Why are you bringing it to the board? Is it to get approval for an event or do you want the board to officially support this legislation?' [The latter] wasn't the case."

The DREAM Act is its predecessor the follow-up legislation to AB540, a bill signed into law by former Gov. Gray Davis in 2001 that amends the California education code, permitting students who attended a California high school for more than three years and graduated – as well as filled out documents and stated their intent to apply for citizenship – to apply for selected aid.

"I proposed it to the board, representing the AB540 community because I am an AB540 student myself," said Infante. "I know what its like to be in that situation when you are looking for ways ... [to] fund your education. I felt compelled to bring that to the board and make this event an ASU-sponsored event. We foster equality in our campus."

ASU meetings are held every Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Campus Center 104 and are open to students. The agenda for each upcoming meeting is located on the ASU bulletin boards in various locations on campus and in the ASU office on the second floor of the Student Services building.

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