Campus hires new counselor for undocumented students

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As a part of efforts to aid undocumented students on campus, UC Berkeley officials have created a new half-time counseling position to provide undocumented students with academic support and resources to get financial aid and legal assistance.

Meng So, the campus’s first undocumented student program coordinator, began in the position this fall, which arose from recommendations from UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s task force on undocumented students in spring 2011.

“My goal is to have my students feel like they have a home on campus, a person they can go to when they have any questions or concerns, whatever it is they need,” So said.

There are about 200 undocumented students on campus, So said. He added that he has met “close to all” of them.

Jesus Chavez, an undocumented senior at UC Berkeley and co-chair of a student group for undocumented students, said that having a counselor specifically for undocumented students gives those students a centralized place to receive guidance on financial aid, internships and housing.

“Sometimes, you want to talk to a counselor but you don’t know if you can trust them because of your situation,” Chavez said. “Knowing that Meng is there for undocumented students, there’s that trust. I can ask him about concerns that I have, and he can connect me to people to help me.”

So graduated from UC Berkeley in 2010 and, after earning a master’s degree from UCLA the following year, came back to work as an academic counselor at the Student Life Advising Services office on campus. In his new position, So said he identifies with his students because of his own experiences as an immigrant and a first-generation, low-income college student.

“My students and my students’ families are the strongest people I know, and I see a lot of myself in them,” So said. “There’s an intersection of our experiences.”

The position’s salary will be paid through the chancellor’s discretionary endowment fund, according to Fabrizio Mejia, director and academic counselor at SLAS. So will be paid $28,500 for each of his two half-time positions.

So’s new position was recommended by the chancellor’s advisory committee on undocumented students in 2011. Some of the recommendations by the committee, including the creation of a lending library to ease the burden of textbook costs, have already been implemented. Others, including the creation of a resource center at the Cesar E. Chavez Student Center, will be launched this academic year.

As the undocumented student coordinator, So will also help undocumented students navigate procedures to be able to obtain public financial aid beginning in January — a result of the California DREAM Act signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last October.

“Prior to (the California) DREAM Act, they were paying tuition on their own, working under-the-table jobs while being full-time students,” So said. “The California DREAM Act has changed the landscape — now, if they have full financial need, they’re eligible to have all their tuition covered.”

Contact Caroline Murphy at [email protected].

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  • HaterBlocker

    Lolll! I can tell by the number of haters that on this article that progress is happening! Especially Caligpenguin, do you even have a job? It seems you spend way to much time commenting…I’m worried about you bro. There are services for you at the Tang Center if you need, and of course you could also write to the Career Center…asking for a job. Please note though that you will have to actually “work” to get that job. One of my roomie’s was undocumented and that guy was incredible. He did heavy labor on some fruit farms about an hour away in the mornings, he’d leave at 3 in the morning then would came back for classes,study, get a couple hours rest, then do the cleaning at a church around the corner for some extra bucks, come back, study some more, and start over again. Nicest guy in the world, who’s been here since he was 3 and his mom worked two jobs cleaning and dad worked in the fields . He earned a 3.7 gpa while at Cal, before support services (props) for students like him evening came into existence. Really works my nerves to see so many buttwipe types like Calipenguin complain. I come from a white middle class family, and we work hard, we are grateful for what we have and give back to those that have less than us and have it harder than us, we don’t sit back and complain. You are embarrassing the nation with your laziness. Go to work fool. And realize when your taking a bite out of that American Apple on your break, it was probably picked by the hand of an immigrant, who is not working under you but sitting next to you in class and smashing on your grades! Hopefully he or she will be the future boss that also fires your complaining hateful self.

  • youngwarrior

    Excellent job Cal! You are proving to be a pioneer in establishing institutional help for these very deserving students. I am glad we are on the same page on creating a well educated and progressive workforce for the betterment of the entire state! Go Bears!

  • As a Cal parent, an immigrant, and a
    tax payer, I feel like being slipped on the face. I went through all the red
    tapes to become a citizen because I had great respect to this country’s laws. I
    thought the UC system is experiencing financial difficulty due to state funding
    cut. Isn’t it the reason given for tuition hike? How come UCB has the money to
    add a position just to serve those who do not respect our laws? I don’t see my
    children receive this kind of preferential treatment by UCB. I also want to
    alert UCB students and parents to unfair admission process for the illegals. (http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120818/A_NEWS/208180317/-1/A_NEWS07)
    Since when an admission decision can be appealed and reversed?

    • Fucking Ridiculous

      It was that fear of not being able to afford
      college that first got Gomez particularly interested in UC Berkeley. He
      said that UC Berkeley is known for giving out generous scholarships and
      financial aid to undocumented students.

      After
      he was not initially accepted by UC Berkeley, Gomez’s AP literature
      teacher at Edison High School, Justin Moeckli, told him he should write a
      letter and appeal the decision.

      “I just kept
      asking myself, ‘What am I going to do? Where am I going to go?’ ” Gomez
      said. He knew that affording any other college would be impossible.

      Come
      May, he received the information that UC Berkeley had reversed its
      decision and he would not only be able to go to his first-choice college
      but also afford it. He hopes that without fear of deportation for two
      years, he can continue to find helpful financial aid opportunities.

      This is fucking ridiculous. Affirmative action in action for illegal immigrant Elioth Gomez who should be deported, not attending UCB.

      • youngwarrior

        your argument is invalid! Elioth is an extraordinary young man who has surpassed adversaries only to make it to the top public school in the world. It is individuals like him, who see their hardships as opportunities to become better, that sustain the prestige and intellect of this institution and not the winning of ignorant and hateful individual like you.

        • Calipenguin

          I wasn’t aware Elioth had so many adversaries in high school. He should try out for the Cal football team. If he doesn’t make the team he might ask his literature teacher to write him an appeal.

        • Do you mean that we responsible parents
          who raise our kids right should be punished? Should our kids’ chances to attend
          a great university be undermined because their parents try to do the right
          things for their children? Still
          remember my child asked me “Mom, why can’t you and dad be alcoholics or
          druggies, so I will have a compelling story for my personal statement?” Our
          country has become a country that rewards outlaws and losers.

        • While Elioth was re-accepted into UCB, some where in the bay area, an Asian American student who graduated with top honors from a competitive high school was rejected. I thought that Prop. 209 is still a law in Califorina. UCB is practicing racial preference.

    • To all the comments I like that you think this would ever affect me, I am here at Berkeley. It wasn’t my only choice. UC Davis, Santa Barbara and LA accepted me tot, yet to go to those schools I would have to wait for spring to go to those schools and I wanted to go to Berkeley so I appealed. Guess what it worked I showed them that my achievements were great. They saw that I deserved to be here. I am not leaving. I do owe Justin a great deal and I know he would love to write me more recommendation letters to help me get in to Berkeley again or into the football team or into the ASUC? I hope that you keep talking about me.

  • Quoth The Raven “Nevermore”

    It’s amazing to me how Calipenguin here thinks his America to be a single continent (hey “bro”, America is North, Central and South America).

    First off “homie”, it was several countries that “shaped” your so called ‘Murrica, the real people who are entitle to call themselves Americans are the Navajo, Chickasaw, Apache, Cherokee and all of the Native people’s of the Americas.

    Second my dear “home skillet”, the UNDOCUMENTED pay twice as much in income tax and the government doesn’t give them a nice plump check like they do to you nor do they get any government benefits like unemployment or medicaid or welfare like many like to claim (because for this you need a legit SSN). Same with tuition for schools because those “illegals” like you call them have to pay twice as much for school while your kids can enjoy FASFA and all the endless loans and luxurious scholarships. Maybe you should check back with your history books and realize that the US is and has been melting pot!

    Third my ignoramus friend, if other citizens like yourself like to invest on these students, consider that a BLESSING to them because not many people, such as yourself, would step up to help them. But sure dude, it’s okay for them to be there behind the kitchen cooking your steaks and big mac’s, wiping tables clean and washing your dishes after you’re done, cleaning up the toilets at your local shopping mall and harvesting the agriculture of the food that ends up in your fridge. Yes, they deserve to be at the bottom of a pyramid because you’re TOO GOOD for those tedious jobs and deserve your own business and to whatever you feel like.

    Those people DESERVE what they WORKED for. Its called to EARN IT, a huge value that people like you forget. Because they went the extra mile and made ends meet. Now tell me, did you try so hard to get to where you are today? Some kids today, regardless of where they live, don’t even bother to learn a quadratic formula or to learn the names of the 44 presidents of the US of A. They think they wont need it… ever! But when it comes to going to college, they should deserve everything cause they have a diploma that tells them so. Well, did you work HARD for that?

    And if they are now competing with other citizens, good for them. They have something to give back to their NEW HOME, it’s not a waste if you give back your blessings and put to use a degree they worked and paid for mostly out of their own pocket! And if Mr. So is guiding others to achieve the same success, let him! He’s an example that academics do get you far no matter what it takes. Citizens have those too and they are called ACADEMIC ADVISORS, sound familiar?

    • [First off “homie”, it was several countries that “shaped” your so called
      ‘Murrica, the real people who are entitle to call themselves Americans
      are the Navajo, Chickasaw, Apache, Cherokee and all of the Native
      people’s of the Americas.]

      And guess what? They are already here. Descendants of tribes that inhabited the present states of Mexico have NO more claim to the right to come to the US than someone living in Turkey or Croatia or China. The Mexicans themselves certainly believe they have a right to enforce their own border, and in fact their immigration requirements are far more restrictive than ours. Why do people like you believe that the US, unlike other countries, has no right to protect its own borders?

      • Calipenguin

        Great point Tony! The Mexicans are named for the Mexica tribe, which conquered other tribes near present day Mexico City. The Mexica have absolutely no claim to any part of the territory once controlled by the Navajo, Apache, or any other Native American tribes north of the Rio Grande.

    • I_h8_disqus

      How do the illegals pay twice as much income tax?

    • I_h8_disqus

      I wanted to point out that while you call Calipenguin an ignoramus with your third point, you are the one making an ignorant point. Your “TOO GOOD” statement is ignorant. Travel across the nation, and you will see citizens working all jobs. In areas where illegals are taking the jobs, there are citizens who are unable to get jobs that they would be happy to work. Since you are privileged and going to Cal, you don’t recognize that most of our citizens are wanting to work jobs that don’t require a college degree and unfortunately a high school degree. The only reason that illegals have these jobs is so criminal employers can exploit them with low wages and by avoiding having to pay employee taxes. So illegals take jobs from citizens. They are not taking jobs that citizens don’t want.

    • Guest

      This is for Quote the Raven Nevemore,
      Read this:
      http://www.cis.org/node/1577

    • guest2

      Hey Quoth, “the UNDOCUMENTED pay twice as much in income tax…” Um, I think you would be very surprised to find out that according to the Treasury Dept.’s Inspector General, in 2010 the IRS paid $4.2 BILLION in tax refunds to workers in the US illegally.
      http://www.factcheck.org/2012/05/tax-credits-for-illegal-immigrants/

      “… have to pay twice as much for school while your kids can enjoy FASFA and all the endless loans…” Illegal aliens pay the same tuition amount as CA residents. Since Gov. Brown signed AB131, they are entitled to the same kind of publicly funded aid as US citizens & legal residents.

      I would do some research before you start calling people “homie,” “home skillet,” and “ignoramus friend.”

    • Calipenguin

      Yo sista Raven, I won’t bother correcting the mistakes in your statements, I just want to address your belief that illegal aliens “DESERVE” the rights of citizens just because the aliens worked hard. What if you found out I won a NAACP scholarship by pretending to be a ‘bro? You’d be upset, wouldn’t you? Why? I mean, I worked hard for grades and living expenses. I support civil rights for all U.S. citizens. But that doesn’t change the fact that I obtained something which was set aside for Blacks. Now, how would you feel if a male Latino or Cambodian won a scholarship reserved for Black women? Does it make any difference if a person of color won it instead of a white pretender? No? Then what part of ILLEGAL do you not understand? You can feel for illegals all you want, but with the passage of A.B. 131 they now receive financial aid that could have gone to a deserving African American student instead. Do you think only wealthy white and Asian students are paying for services and financial aid to illegal aliens? Stop being so ignorant and defend the rights of your homies for once.

      • Quoth The Raven “Nevermore”

        Oh Calipenguin… you think I am “black”, how cute for you to make that misconception. Judging a book by its cover already?

        First of, understand that it is an insult to call and undocumented person an “illegal” just like it is offensive to call someone a “chink”, “jap”, “cracker”, “porch monkey”, “nigger”, “wetback”, etc. Second, there are two types of undocumented immigrants: those who work for the things they have now and EARNING IT, have not committed a crime and staying much in the shadows; and others who just whine about that anything should be given to them JUST BECAUSE without having lifted a finger, committing crimes.

        The first type of undocumented, which by the way is the proper term criminals or not, they had no choice but to migrate for a better future, just like someone moving from one state or another for a better job opportunity to take care of their families and such. Kids had and no choice. They came here and their parents made that decision FOR THEM, they had no absolute say. So like everyone else in this country has no undeniable choice to attend school from pre-k to 12th grade, they too worked hard in school. Now, in the year I have attended school, friends of mine regardless of nationality have given up along the way because it was stupid or whatever other reason they might have had. However, there were others that worked blood and sweat to get to where they are today: a success. Most of them could not have gone to school if it wasn’t for private funds, note I said PRIVATE FUNDS. Not every states gives financial aid to the undocumented, it’s nothing but very few, California one of them.

        The second type of undocumented are what I call “slackers”. These individuals are a disgrace in every aspect because they either have either wives/husbands/kids taking care of them while they go out, get drunk blowing hard earned money for their own selfish need. The second type of individuals are the type I would love to see get booted out of this country. Those are the type of people you should be upset with and angry at.

        And for your information Calipenguin, I have traveled in this country and seen many things, plus more outside of this country. My neighbor is a hardworking American who is proud of it and unlike you, he has compassion for the undocumented kids who end up in a situation where they had no say and want to go to college just like anyone else. He’s a baby boomer and he believes everyone has their right to succeed. Otherwise why have a right to a pursuit of happiness?

        And now you just stated about reserved scholarships…

        READ what you wrote when you said RESERVED, meaning its only for that specific type of scholar. In those scholarships you have to prove you meet the qualifications otherwise you are DISQUALIFIED. Just like if an undocumented student applied for FASFA, he would get disqualified because of his status and even still if a citizen or resident did not meet the guidelines for financial aid, they give him/her a list of resources he could apply for. My university does this through our student accounts. Not all scholarships are PUBLIC and not all are PRIVATE. No matter where you apply for school or aid YOU HAVE TO MEET THE GUIDELINES!

        As for the people below who gave those sources….

        General ignorant statement by saying undocumented take jobs away. You wrote citizens work all jobs, but not at wages below the minimum wage. That’s exactly my point of jobs that are “too good” such as cleaning a toilet for example because its “below” a standard you would’ve expected. And also because ALL my teachers taught me this when you are looking up resources…

        DO NOT LIST a .org website for statistics! org stands for “organization” and is NOT a legitimate factual primary source. And definitely look into this article…. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/04/11/How-Illegals-Pay-Billions-in-Taxes-and-Reap-Rewards.aspx#page1

        By the way…. FASFA clearly states that you have to be a resident or citizen to get aid because it also ask you for things such as SSN, Alien Number and when does your VISA expire and the like, so even if undocumented students applied for aid, there would still be a number of those scholarships, grants and loans that they would be denied. Their aid would most likely come from the state itself, not from the federal government.

        And defending the rights of my homies? Are you that naive? There’s only one race and that’s THE HUMAN RACE which we all are and with narrow minded thinking like yours, YOYO! (you’re on your own)

        • HeSaid1

          But you’re still Illegal.

        • Calipenguin

          Yo sista Raven, I guess the yoke’s on you since you ASSUMED I called you black when I copied your salutation. If you read what I wrote, I never said you were Black, I merely used African American students as an example because you borrowed their slang. It don’t matter to me none whether you is Black or not ‘cuz you still haven’t addressed my point. What makes you think an illegal alien deserves to become a legal resident with access to public financial aid? You nearly gave liberal Democrats a heart attack when you came up with your own classification of what kinds of illegal aliens “earned” their right to free college money. You telling them to deport the lazy illegals? No problem, let’s see what you got. We both agree that the slacker types of illegal aliens are no good to this country and deserve to be “booted out”, as you said. I’m not just talking about illegal alien felons, I’m talking about people who didn’t work hard in school and expect to commit welfare fraud for a living, and I believe you agree as well. Where we disagree is whether hard-working intelligent illegal aliens who were brought to America as kids deserve access to public college aid. We’re not going to convince each other to change our minds, but I do want you to read this short article:

          http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/13/white-high-schooler-returns-scholarship-intended-for-african-american-student/

          A white guy was mistakenly awarded a scholarship which was meant for African Americans. Despite all your appeals to “RESERVED” and “meet the GUIDELINES” things like this can happen. If you’re at all into social justice, and no matter what color you are, you would think it’s unfair for a hard working individual to receive a scholarship which was intended for a different set of students. You can apply the same principle to illegal aliens getting Cal Grants. The money was originally intended for California residents and not illegal aliens. Not even U.S. citizens from out of state could access that money. It didn’t matter how hard the illegals worked or how smart they were, they should not have been allowed to touch that money. However, our ultra liberal Democrat legislators changed all that and now illegal aliens only pay in-state tuition and have full access to scholarships, beyond what a legal U.S. citizen from Nevada can get. Obama clearly lied when he said granting “dreamers” the right to stay won’t cost anything.

          I’m genuinely hurt that you think I have no compassion. I hate to see kids suffer. Unlike you, I believe the best way to help them is to force their parents to return to their homelands and change their governments so that more opportunities and universities can be created in those lands. Why offer a juicy fat sanctuary in this land of milk and honey for illegal alien families? Hundreds die each year trying to cross the desolate Arizona desert or crammed into hot cargo holds to reach this mirage. Thousands of illegal alien kids will end up in jail or dead from gang related shootings. A truly compassionate person would want to shield children from all that misery. Promise the young geniuses a foreign student scholarship to keep them from facing the border crossing perils and ghetto violence. Just let them stay home. That would encourage reformers to improve their own countries instead of escaping to our country.

          Finally, you contradicted yourself when you said illegal aliens don’t take jobs away. In case you’ve been trippin’ this whole time, we be talking about illegal alien students at Cal getting degrees, scholarships, and the ability to find jobs thanks to Obama’s pandering. These illegal alien “dreamers” are taking living-wage jobs away from legal residents. Illegal alien Cal graduates did not work so hard just to go back to washing dishes. They will take high paying jobs away from other Cal graduates. How can you argue for the right of illegal aliens to get scholarships so they have a chance at “success” and at the same time claim they only work menial jobs that pay less than minimum wage? Something ‘aint right wit you.

  • AwesomePossum

    This is awesome!!! Proud to be a Cal Bear! I hope we continue to be at the forefront of progress! All my Cal Bears who are undocumented and beasting it you are truly humbling and an inspiration to us all!

    • youngwarrior

      Thank you awesomeness! We shall make you proud and continue to do so as long as you believe in us!!

  • Calipenguin

    I see a twist of irony here. A low income immigrant gets a master’s degree from a top UC campus, presumably using plenty of Cal grants during those five years of college, just so he can have a career teaching illegal aliens how to access the same grants he accessed. California’s “investment” in Meng’s degrees did not help California’s economy nor California’s citizens at all. Once those illegal aliens graduate from Cal they will compete directly with legal U.S. citizens for jobs, or they may become counselors like Meng, to teach a new generation of illegal aliens how to access free money. I know I sound terrible because we often share the same tables with these illegal aliens, they are wonderful and kind people, and they are trying to fulfill their dreams just as we all are, but I don’t understand how “investing” in illegal aliens gains our state anything when we are $125 million in the hole and could use the money to invest in our own citizens. I wish every Cal student the best, but I also realize there are 200 high achieving U.S. citizens we will never get to know who were displaced by these illegal aliens.

    • Guest

      “Once those illegal aliens graduate from Cal they will compete directly with legal U.S. citizens for jobs”

      Just like everyone else in the country who graduates from college. The thing about competition is that it sucks when you’re on the losing end.

      • Calipenguin

        What sucks is that your family tamed the land, built new cities, and paid taxes for generations to create wealth and job opportunities, and then illegal aliens sneak across the border and demand a right to those jobs without paying a dime in back taxes. Competition is fine but there has to be some kind of entrance fee.

        • Guest

          You’re wrong. Undocumented students pay taxes all the time. Sales tax, income tax.

          • Calipenguin

            You didn’t catch what I meant. I said BACK taxes, not day to day taxes. Illegal aliens by definition are first generation border crossers whose ancestors lived outside of the U.S. and did not help build America. Their ancestors did not help fight for America’s freedoms and did not pay taxes to help build this university. Thus it’s not fair for illegal aliens to just saunter into Cal and say “OK, I’ll pay my sales taxes and gasoline taxes now, so can I have privileges too?”

          • Guest

            lol that’s an anti-immigration statement. Even though you say that you’re not opposing documented immigrants, what you say belies your true intentions. You are attacking ALL immigrants — documented or undocumented — because their ancestors didn’t pay taxes.

          • Calipenguin

            I guess you didn’t read the part where I said “…legal immigrants have proven their worth to this country”. I knew someone like you would try to distort the issues, which is precisely why I made that last statement. You see, legal immigrants have to prove to the immigration department that they can benefit the U.S., will not jump straight into welfare, and are not Communists. I’m not a millionaire but I have absolutely no problem allowing lawful foreign millionaires to immediately become legal U.S. residents so they can invest in our economy. In those cases it doesn’t matter whether or not their ancestors helped build America because today, now, they possess skills or money that are deemed useful to America, unlike the illegal aliens who don’t have such skills. How do I know? Because if they had the skills or the funds then our embassy would have given them an immigration visa already.

          • Stan De San Diego

            If you think those taxes paid are anything close to covering the expenses to educate them, you’re one ignorant little child.

    • SoBlessed

      My
      dear friend Callipenguin, I see a twist of ignorance in your statement ;) In
      the words of the great Martin Luther King Jr. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous
      than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

      I
      hope you find the time to rest your bitterness and blind hate and actually
      visit the Educational Opportunity Program where you will find students working
      tirelessly in pursuit of the dreams and staff working non stop to ensure that
      EVERYONE not just those who were born in to privilege, has the opportunity and support
      to do so.

      Perhaps on this visit you may have the fortune
      to run into Meng ( I am a documented African American and have had the
      privilege of knowing Meng as a counselor during my years at Cal.) Although
      staff hours are 9-5, you will often find him working till 10pm sometimes 12am
      at night. On his days off you may catch him working at his parent’s doughnut
      shop or volunteering with youth. He does not complain nor does he consider
      himself a victim. He is a hardworking American who is ensuring that all
      hardworking Americans (which a piece of paper cannot define, as undocumented
      people CONTRIBUTE to our economy and nationhood) are ensured every opportunity
      to participate equally and achieve.

      I
      am sadden by your comments but I am even prouder to have graduated from a
      university that believes in equity not just in theory but in practice.
      Furthermore I am so relieved to know that the university employs the hardest working
      individuals to its positions. Meng has been working since he was 12 years old,
      juggled multiple jobs throughout college, and was accepted to top tier graduate
      schools but choose UCLA as a proud student of the University of California
      educational system. Although his family came to US as refugees his story finds
      resonance with that of thousands of undocumented students working day and night
      to pursue their dreams, provide for their families, and contribute to our
      nation. Their seats at Cal were EARNED
      not negotiated or given by charity, EARNED. They are here because of their
      blood, sweat, tears, sheer brilliance, desire for success, fearless ingenuity, strength
      and passion for education.

      My
      suggestion to you Callipenguin is to first read more! You obviously have a shit
      ton to learn about Cambodian and Cambodian American history, immigration
      rights, and the American economy. Second I suggest you talk to more people (listening
      might also be good during this step.) Step
      outside your comfort zone, maybe even try to walk in someone else’s shoes for
      moment. Get to know the real America (its
      not as one dimensional as you’d like to imagine.)

      More
      importantly to any undocumented students reading this, I know Callipenguin’s
      remarks are a teenie tiny itsy bitsy flake of the issues you face. Still, know
      that millions of allies are rooting for change ( though we may stumble ignorantly like
      Callinguin through the process, we will fight for it!) and through knowing
      about positions like that of Mengs we will learn how to ensure that
      immigration reform happens and ALL Cal Bears and beyond have an equal platform
      to achieve! Big ups to you, big ups to Meng and big ups to Cal!!! Go Bears!!!

      • Calipenguin

        My dear SoBlessed,

        Thank you for that long reply, which only affirmed by suspicion that though you may have obtained a degree from Cal you are clearly don’t understand what you read. I never claimed Meng was lazy or didn’t deserve his UC degrees. It’s what he does with his degree that makes it a waste of California’s investment in him. He is helping illegal aliens obtain financing that could have gone to legal U.S. citizens. He is not building the next Space Shuttle, not serving in the military, not even serving U.S. citizens in his new position. No, he is serving illegal aliens. I know you’ve been brainwashed into thinking that citizenship papers mean nothing. You admire hard workers and so do I. But there are hard working people all over the world and we can’t allow all of them to come to Berkeley and we can’t afford to offer them all financial aid. If Meng’s family members were refugees from Cambodia then they do have a right to stay in America, but the illegal aliens that he services by definition don’t have a right to stay in America, whether Obama decides to deport them or not.

        Meng’s job is to make sure all of the financial needs of illegal alien students are met. Does it bother you that this money could have gone to hard working African American students? Now your brothers and sisters have to struggle that much harder to make ends meet. Perhaps your Ethnic Studies professor taught you that some rich white dude in Beverly Hills is paying everything so your brothers and sisters will still get financial aid. You can always squeeze more money out of rich white dudes and big corporations, right? Well, guess what, those rich white dudes are leaving California and hiding their money, so it’s not that easy. California’s public schools are overcrowded and low income African Americans are directly impacted by that overcrowding. You can admire hard working illegal immigrants all you want but that doesn’t mean California has unlimited resources for all of them.

        My suggestion to you, dear SoBlessed, is to stop being so ignorant and really look at our country. Read more than what was assigned to you in Ethnic Studies classes. Are you happy with the unemployment rate? Are many African Americans making it into Cal? Are you satisfied with the schools in low income communities? If you don’t like what you see, please explain how adding more illegal aliens to our population makes things better? Just because they are nonwhite doesn’t make them more noble or more deserving of financial aid.

        • Stan De San Diego

          > Meng’s job is to make sure all of the financial
          > needs of illegal alien
          students are met. Does
          > it bother you that this money could have gone
          > to
          hard working African American students?

          I appreciate your attempt to reason with this individual, but come on, do you think these children even care? There’s no intellectual curiosity or deep thought involved in the stances taken by most of the pro-illegal crowd. It’s all about what’s fashionable and Politically Correct at the moment, just like how most of the people preaching about the environmental impact of bottled water or advocated of local food were devoted adherents to their favorite imported water 10-15 years ago (for the record, my preferences were always Arrowhead or Sparkletts dispensed from a 5-gallon cooler). No thought needed, just follow what’s in vogue at that particular point in the space-time continuum – that is all.

          • Calipenguin

            Alhambra dispensed from a cooler is my favorite.

      • Stan De San Diego

        > Nothing in the world is more
        > dangerous than sincere ignorance
        > and conscientious stupidity.”

        You mean like calling lawbreakers “undocumented”, right?

      • HeSaid1

        Too bad most of these Illegal Alien students have a C average and will need much remedial help and tutoring to make it through the first year. ESL anyone?

        • Hellothere

          Wow. Too bad you don’t know what you’re talking about. I know and illegal immigrant who is ranked 10th out of 572 people, with a 3.9 GPA. All honors classes plus extra curricular activities and community service. She works her ass off and deserves to go to college. Watch out, you might be working for her one day. Wouldn’t that be funny?

          • HeSaid1

            So, is that one????

  • Stan De San Diego

    More incentives for people to break the law.

  • alum

    Why not take care of the citizens attending UC first, then worry about those illegally in our country? Last I checked, UC tuition has become absurdly high.

    • No hate

      fun fact! These students are not taking anything away from your or the “citizens attending UC” because the aid they are receiving are coming directly from private donors who see potential in these students. Maybe if you stopped being such a complainer and hateful individual they might consider funding you too. You see, the difference between these students and you is that they take action and control of their lives and they take their hardships and covert them into opportunities to succeed and become great and you, well, you sit behind a computer screen spreading your hate and wishing somehow you were them. Have a good day sir.

      • Guest

        Not exactly, since the California Dream Act has been implemented, illegals are now receiving Cal Grant A which covers full tuition and like other Cal Grant A recipients, UC Grants that cover room and board. The UC Grants are funded by “Return to Aid” which consists of a $4,000 overcharge to the state for each Cal Grant A recipient and a $4,000 overcharge for each student not receiving Cal Grant, paid by the student’s parents or by the student taking out loans. Since illegals are not eligible for Federal Aid, their UC Grants are thousands larger than the average UC Grant to a state resident student to make up for the lack of Federal Aid.
        The entire “Return to Aid” financing scheme is illegal. By state law, Cal Grant A funds are only to be used to cover educational expenses not living expenses yet 35% of UC tuition represents “Return to Aid” and does not represent the cost of a UC education. Since UC charges Cal Grant A recipients the same “tuition” fully paid by Cal Grant A, 35% of each Cal Grant A actually goes to cover living expenses, not allowed under state law. In 2011 UC renamed the Educational fee “Tuition” without a clear explanation.
        http://www.ucsdguardian.org/component/k2/item/20204-uc-regents-changes-%E2%80%98tuition%E2%80%99-terminology#.UGE_DaDnuEM
        http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/reports/ds_lp_rename_fees_tuition.pdf
        The actual reason for the change is that it was clearly illegal for UC to charge students an Educational fee that did not represent the cost of a UC education but where 35% of the Educational fee represents a source of funds that UC then grants to Cal Grant recipients in the form of a UC Grant to pay for their living expenses. Seems like a multi billion dollar class action suit waiting to be filed on behalf of UC students overcharged Educational fees for over a quarter of a century.
        Aside from the financial aspects, since there were no new admission slots created for illegals, and there is not nearly enough room at Berkeley or other highly selective UC’s to even begin to accommodate all applicants, this is not a positive or even zero sum game for legal applicants. It is a negative sum game. Every illegal admitted necessarily reduces the number of legal applicants who are admitted.

  • Papa Bear

    **Forced sigh**