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Latino Student Union hosts first undocu5k in the CSU system

Undocu5k proceeds will go towards undocumented students’ education.

Elizabeth Campos, Staff Writer

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Cal State University Long Beach’s Latino Student Union will host the first “Breaking Fronteras: Undocu5k” to financially aid undocumented students in the California State University system.

The event will take place Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with check-in starting at 7 a.m. outside the Walter Pyramid.

The event’s registration began Oct. 10 and will continue to be open until the day of the event. The initial $30 registration fee includes a medal for the first 25 winners, a shirt and snacks.

Carlos Guijarro, senior Chicano and Latino studies major, said he became motivated to organize the Undocu5k last semester after working for the #WeAreCSULB coalition, which focuses on students demanding change in the lack of transparency at CSULB.

Guijarro worked for #WeAreCSULB after incidents on campus brought about concerns for safety last semester.

He introduced the idea to the LSU general membership and it was eventually approved by the LSU executive board.

“I wanted to use my platform to try and motivate our organization to be more vocal and actively support the people we represent by putting together events,” he said.

Guijarro said he chose a 5k as the tool to inform and support the community about what undocumented immigrants face while also promoting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

“A 5k is really symbolic of our direction as people, moving forward despite all obstacles, despite the fronteras built against us at the personal and professional levels,” Guijarro said.

While the idea of the event was initiated by the LSU executive board, Future Underrepresented Educated Leaders – a student organization that aims to advocate, educate and empower undocumented students on campus – is also helping with the event.

Gaby Hernandez, a senior anthropology major and FUEL’s vice-president, along with junior political science major and FUEL president, Luis Flores, asked LSU to work together on planning the event.

“This is for our community, our group of people,” Hernandez said, “We need to get involved.”

Guijarro said the biggest challenge that LSU faced while organizing the event is the amount of time, dedication and commitment it takes.

“Many of our organization’s members stayed extra hours, called out of work, gave up their weekends to make sure we had everything ready and prepared” he said.

Furthermore, LSU has received advice and support from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Life and Development, Dream Success Center and professors in the Chicano Studies department.

Hernandez, as an undocumented student herself, said she’s proud of being part of this event.

“[Undocu5k] was special from the beginning,” she said, “but now I feel like it’s going to be more important because of the political environment.”

According to LSU president Emelyne Camacho, donations and registration proceeds are currently in an LSU bank account with Associated Students, Inc.

“After the event we will set up a committee that will create the criteria/requirements for undocumented students and will distribute that to students all over the CSU system,” Camacho said. “ The committee will be the ones who will determine how much will be distributed to each scholarship recipient.”

Event attendees can expect live performances by Los Frakasos De Playa Larga, Mariachi de CSULB and Grupo Folklorico Mexica after the 5k is completed.

Mariachi de CSULB and Grupo Folklorico Mexica perform regional Mexican music.

Ivan Ceja, co-founder of  Undocumedia — a non-profit organization that advocates for immigrant rights — will be present at the event.  Alfredo Carlos, a CSULB political science professor, will be a key speaker and FUEL members will also be sharing testimonials of their experiences as undocumented students.

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