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Grad panel discusses citizenship status limitations

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 00:02

The Council for Minority Student Affairs held a panel Monday night to discuss the possibilities and limitations faced by undocumented students when applying to graduate and medical school.

Nery Guerrero, CMSA vice president and senior nutritional sciences major, said the advice offered by the panel is significant because many advisors are ill prepared to assist in applying to graduate school.

“Some students are afraid to ask about graduate school,” Guerrero said.

Alfredo Garcia, president of CMSA and senior economics major, said the goal of the organization is to provide resources and support to undocumented students and students of minority groups.

“We are advocating for the citizenship for 11 million undocumented citizens,” Garcia said. “This includes our parents. This includes the children left in the care of the government.”

The panel was comprised of graduate students who offered advice from their own experiences.

Panel member Jose Luis Zelaya, curriculum and instruction graduate student, said he emphasized networking.

“It’s not only about what you know, but about who you know,” Zelaya said.

Being an undocumented college student adds another level of difficulty to the already complex graduate school application process. Organization advisor Bonnie Bustos-Rios said she encouraged students to seek help.

“There’s an added level of stress,” Bustos-Rios said. “Students need to connect with their mentor, whoever they feel comfortable and safe with.”


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