A coalition of Ohio State students, faculty and staff is hosting Love Notes for Dreamers, an event for students to support those enrolled in Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. across campus.
The Trump administration announced earlier this month it would terminate the Obama-era program, which provides certain legal protections for children brought by their parents illegally to the United States. Those protections are set to expire in March, unless a legislative solution is implemented, which President Trump recently signaled support for.
Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros, a resident librarian of Latin American Studies, said she was inspired by a statement from University President Michael Drake the day the Trump administration announced its intention to end DACA.
She said, like Drake, she wanted to also show support for DACA students — while protecting their anonymity — which led to the event’s creation.
Students can write notes at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Thompson Library, the Multicultural Center, and the South Oval.
The notes will be displayed on the South Oval and then in the Ohio Union for the rest of Latinx Heritage Month, which begins Friday and runs to Oct. 15.
Students wrote notes earlier this week, as well. Jorge Carrillo, a fourth-year in city and regional planning, said he wrote, “Dream on.”
“I’m a son of Mexican immigrants myself,” Carrillo said. “I was fortunate enough to be born in the U.S. I had my citizenship as a child and I grew up with a lot of DACA recipients. It’s not fair for them to go back to a country they’ve never known. Their families came [here] for better opportunities.”
Megan Hasting, the assistant director for Ohio State’s Center of Latin American Studies, said she previously worked on a similar project with the Office of International Affairs to support international students.
“It was very successful the first time, after the immigration ban, to show international students they were supported on campus, so we thought it would be a good tool for DACA students too,” she said.
Espinosa de los Monteros said she hopes the love notes provide a way to channel positive messages in a negative political climate.
“I am hopeful that students will feel supported and see all the allies they have on campus,” she said.
Haley Ciupa, a third-year in marketing, said Wednesday she wrote, “This is your home and no one should be forced to leave their home. I will fight for ‘Dreamers’ because they are just as deserving as anyone here on American soil to pursue their goals.”
She said the note was a way to show support for DACA students, who she said might be very scared.
“There’s not a whole lot I can do to change our idiot president’s ways but I want to make [DACA students] feel better,” Ciupa said.