This past week tensions arose from student organizations as the referendum proposing a tuition increase to create a scholarship fund for undocumented students was on the student government elections ballot.
On Friday, the Student Government Association publicized the results showing the referendum being voted on in favor with 1684 votes and 302 votes against.
The referendum proposed a $2 quarterly increase for full-time undergraduate students. With more than a 50%+1 vote in favor of the referendum, the referendum then moves on to the Board of Trustees for a final decision.
Social media took its course all throughout the week as groups in favor and groups opposed voiced their opinions.
Among them was Undocumented Vincentian Allies who proposed the referendum and urged students to vote in favor. Everyday they posted on their social media statistics and quotes relating to undocumented immigrants followed by the hashtag “SupportUVASGAReferendum.” The organization also tabled in the student center and provided further insight to students who wanted more information.
In support for the referendum also stood DePaul College Democrats who encouraged students to vote ‘Yes’.
DePaul Democrats also scrutinized student organization, DePaul Young American’s for Freedom, for using an image of people crossing the border illegally to urge students to vote against the referendum. DePaul Democrats felt it was, “an absurd image to represent students seeking higher education at (DePaul).”
Other multicultural organizations pledged their alliance with the referendum and posted on their social media accounts.
DePaul College Republicans however, strongly disagreed with the tuition increase. DePaul Republicans posted on their Facebook page, “Say no to incentivizing illegal immigration! Our tuition is high enough!”
Comment sections on either ends were extensive as students wrote back in forth on their positions. Ultimately, the majority of the full-time undergraduate student body voted in favor of the referendum.
“It doesn’t end here, this is just the beginning and I am so glad to see that there are so many organizations on campus at DePaul that are willing to help us and more than anything else now we can be together and really be a community,” said Larissa Hernandez, president of UVA in a Facebook video Friday morning.
The student body vote moves the referendum one step closer but the Board of Trustees can still say no to the tuition increase.
President of DePaul Democrats, Jack McNiel, felt that it was time for students to take initiative and gives thanks to UVA for leading the way for the referendum.
“This vote represents how strongly in support the DePaul community is for our undocumented population,” said McNiel. “These results are inspiring, and I hope it shows that people actually have power to better their community.”