DACA rally to take place on campus Sept. 18

Willimantic and Windham residents gather in in Willimantic to show their support for undocumented students and immigrants in the face of Donald J Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

A rally in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will take place at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18 at the University of Connecticut’s Student Union quad in light of the Trump administration’s recent decision to end the program.

Katelyn Nogler, a seventh-semester economics and human rights double major, and Mariah Balestracci, a seventh-semester anthropology and human rights double major, planned the rally.

“Protests, historically, have been at the forefront of major social change and are very effective at getting the message out to people who would otherwise be unaware,” Nogler said.

Nogler said she and Balestracci’s planning slowed down and caused the rally to be pushed back a week from the date on which it was originally planned to happen because they felt they needed the support of people from different backgrounds.

“It was problematic that it was two white women planning it,” Nogler said.

So, Nogler and Balestracci decided to reach out to different organizations that advocate for immigrants’ rights and get their input, such as PRLACC Students Without Borders and CT Students for a Dream.

Francesca Caruso, seventh-semester accounting major, said the decision affects people on the UConn campus and she feels it is important for students to support their classmates and colleagues.

“I think a protest could be a good way to bring people together and get the media(‘s) attention for the people’s concern,” Caurso said.

Omar Taweh, a fifth-semester, psychology and neurobiology major, has organized rallies before at UConn, such as Resist Trump, and said he believes this will provide a forum for students, many of whom are his friends, to speak up.  

“Hopefully this forum will provide a space to give students the chance to discuss their experiences and develop ways to move forward following the discussion,” Taweh said.

Nogler said she encourages those who go to the event to show sensitivity while in attendance.

“Please remember that it may be a very tough time for people and we're trying to keep this gathering informative, serious and as much of a positive space (as) possible,” Nogler said.


Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at daniela.marulanda@uconn.edu.