Partnerships to Advance Equity for Undocumented Students: The Case of the Marco A. Firebaugh House

Session Speaker(s)
Assistant Professor; Faculty-in-Residence of the UCI Dream Center
Chicano/Latino Studies
Assistant Director, DREAM Center
Dreamers Resource Center
Director of Housing Admin Services
Student Housing

In September 2016, we opened the Marco A. Firebaugh House in Arroyo Vista to serve 16 undocumented student residents. The house offers a safe and welcoming space for undocumented students to empower themselves and one another through programming that advances their academic, emotional, and social success. Now in its fourth year, we have expanded to two houses, serving 42 residents, and established programmatic support structures. The establishment and success of the Firebaugh House has been made possible through a deep, on-going partnership between the UCI Dream Center, Student Housing, and the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies; our partnership also bridges faculty, staff, and undergraduate student staff and fellows. Our presentation will review the history of establishing the house, administrative practices to sustain it, and programmatic efforts to meet the needs of residents. Throughout the presentation, we will interweave reflections on our partnership to advance a framework for more effectively serving undocumented students. We will highlight how traditional systems and practices often do not meet the unique needs of this student population and explore how we have (re)examined and negotiated institutional processes to advance equity and inclusion. We will explore how our shared values and different sets of institutional knowledge have made us an effective team as we advanced this innovative housing effort. Participants will be asked to reflect on ways they could establish partnerships to advance equity for undocumented students within their offices/programs.

Session Goals & Outcomes

1) Review the unique needs of the undocumented student population and institutional constraints for meeting these needs.

2) Provide a framework for (re)examining and negotiating institutional processes so that we can advance equity and inclusion for undocumented students.

3) Highlight the importance of cross-campus partnerships for effectively serving this student population.

4) Support participants in identifying ways to establish partnerships to advance equity for undocumented students within their offices/programs.