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Rising above the rancor Just like moons and like suns With the certainty of tides Just like hopes springing high Still I’ll rise. — From Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou Following the U.S. presidential election, many

mental health and legal support. As of mid-

Berkeley students expressed anxiety about

January, nearly $500,000 had been raised.

what the future holds, including the nearly 500 undocumented students who are concerned

Undocumented students — who count

about their legal status and ability to remain

family and financial issues among their top

at Berkeley. Said one student, “My world has

concerns — benefited from mental health

been turned upside down in all aspects of

services in 2015–16. Since the election,

life. I’m scared and worried my family won’t be

demand for counseling has doubled. In

here tomorrow.”

addition, with the uncertain fate of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals),

Yet the moment also catalyzed the university

which protects young adults who came here

to publicly reaffirm its values of respect,

as children from deportation, more students

inclusion, and equal opportunity, and to quickly

are turning to USP for legal consultation.

determine how to protect these students,

Successfully completing this campaign would

whose unique hardships make them among

enable Berkeley to expand its professional

the most vulnerable in the Cal community. With

resources for the near term.

leadership from Chancellor Emeritus Robert Birgeneau and Chancellor Nicholas Dirks,

“We are committed to providing access and

Berkeley launched an emergency effort

support without fear,” says Meng So, director

to raise $638,000 in private gifts for the

of the USP. “More than ever, Berkeley needs to

Undocumented Student Program (USP),

be a beacon of hope and remain unequivocal in our vision for equity.” ■

with an immediate focus on increasing


Promise of Berkeley Winter 2017  

Promise of Berkeley magazine winter 2017

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