Being a first generation student on a campus the year that restrictions on DACA were imposed was disheartening because anytime national immigration issues arise I wish I were home. The students that got together to express their concerns and fears over being able to stay in school helped me feel like I was in my immigrant neighboorhood in Chicago again. As I sat in the room and listened to everyone say something about what the decision meant to them, I realized that although this problem is familiar to me it probably isn’t to most Monmouth College students. I thought that if people who were against DACA were in that room they may have changed their minds because to them these issues are far removed or don’t affect them at all. Perhaps if they were in the room they would see that immigration issues are closer to home than they would like to admit.
This seems to be a problem that runs rampant across the United States; in the age of technology it is getting harder to connect with people. The fact that we have to see someone suffer in order for us to feel something is a clear indicator of a lack of empathy nationwide and on campus. What we can do as a campus to help bring people together is to be more open to hearing the opinions of people who are actually affected by problems. Giving people who are affected by national issues a platform to speak can spread awareness on how the decisions made in Washington affect people all the way here in Monmouth. It can help bridge the emotional gap between people in the U.S. and be cathartic for anyone who feels unheard. Look forward to events next semester that will try to do just that.
Frida Gonzalez – Contributing Writer