Students Co-found Intersectional Feminist Club

By Angel Mindanao

The Intersectional Feminist Club logo by Gabriella Walrath.

“In my home growing up, there were stereotypes as to how men and women should act. Feminism is about helping us learn to not think like that.”

— Lehman chemistry professor Grant Akalonu

On Wednesday, Aug. 30, the Intersectional Feminist Club (IFC) made its first appearance at Lehman’s annual Fall Semester Kick-Off!, hosted by the Office of Community Engagement. Pink pins and stickers from Planned Parenthood were laid out on its table as President Rebecca Bialostozky, Vice President Amna Azeem, and Secretary Gabriella Walrath reached out to recruit students. By the end of the event, the first feminist club at Lehman had acquired over two pages of signatures---including that of the author of this article.

The club is overdue considering that as of the 2016-2017 school year, female students comprised 69 percent of Lehman’s population, according to Forbes. Bialostozky, a senior and biochemistry major who transferred to Lehman after deciding to pursue the pre-medical track, said, “I was surprised to learn that Lehman student life was very active, but there was no feminist club.” This lack prompted Bialostozky to start the IFC. She was first inspired in March 2016 after attending the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in the District of Columbia, which was sponsored by the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Everyone needs feminism,” she said, noting that intersectionality, or the overlapping of social categorizations, “should encompass all social justice because in almost every group, women are oppressed. When we see it from a feminist standpoint, we can really see the intersectionality.”

Walrath, a junior and computer generated imaging major, originally joined as a logo designer. When asked to serve as secretary, she saw it as the perfect opportunity to express her passion for promoting feminism. She has identified as a feminist since age 16, she said, when she was catcalled by a group of men. “Women shouldn't be seen as pieces of meat for men's sexual gratification. We are their equals and deserve to have our bodies respected.”

Pictured (left to right) Amna Azeem, Patricia Calderon, Angel Mindanao, Gabriella Walrath, Rebecca Bialostozky, and Donald Garcia-Dwyer. Photo by Grant Akalonu.

Grant Akalonu, who is an adjunct professor of chemistry at Lehman, hopes to help out as the club’s unofficial faculty advisor. Although he has not experienced the same forms of discrimination the female members of the club have, he wants to support the club as much as possible. He said, “Whenever the club needs a male perspective, I’m always around to give it.” Akalonu was moved after watching “The Mask You Live In,” a documentary about patriarchy and how it affects men and women. “Even though I’m not a woman and it is perceived as a woman’s movement,” he said, “men can benefit just as much as women from feminism. In my home growing up, there were stereotypes as to how men and women should act. Feminism is about helping us learn to not think like that.” 

Both Bialostozky and Walrath also stated that they grew up in cultures where gender roles were strictly defined. They want to use their education to spread social justice awareness and create a safe space for feminists in the IFC. Open to all students, the club will meet twice a month and host several events including movie screenings, TED Talks and monthly discussions. “Acknowledgement is the first, and often most difficult step, to combating sexism,” said Bialostozky. “I encourage students at Lehman to become aware of sexism and if they feel safe, speak out when they see it. Once you acknowledge feminism, you no longer have a passive role. It’s a choice.”

From Chicago to the Bronx: Campus Socialists Raise Students’ Political Consciousness

By Zoe Fanzo

A poster seen at Socialism 2017 in Chicago. Photo by Zoe Fanzo.

Lehman’s International Socialist Organization (ISO) is promoting leftist politics on campus, with plans to hold radical discussions every other week building on a summer trip that deepened students’ political awareness. [Full disclosure: the author of this article is an ISO member.]

The weekend following Independence Day, ISO members Ellie Hamrick, a professor of anthropology, and Carlos Perez, a computer science major, arranged for five Lehman students to attend the annual Socialism Conference in Chicago, where over 2,000 people participated in discussions and plenaries given from a Marxist perspective. With 160 discussion topics to choose from over the weekend, like “The Combahee River Collective and the Black Feminist Tradition” and “Act Up, Fight Back: The AIDS Crisis and the LGBTQ Movement,” attendees were able to engage in discussions that peaked their specific interests.

“History tells us time and time again that it doesn’t matter who is sitting in the White House, but who’s sitting in.”

- Carlos Perez, computer science major

Students left Chicago with a better understanding of their own political identities, as well as a desire to become politically active. Lehman student Aileen Pelegrin, a theatre major, explained, “Throughout my first Socialism Conference, I learned more than I ever did throughout my entire education. I learned about all the injustice that goes on in different job markets. I learned that oppression goes so much further than just a racial issue. The entire country needs help and needs to be modified.”

Lehman student Christian Machuca, a psychology major, decided to become a member of the ISO after his experience in Chicago. He recalled, “The Chicago trip helped me in multiple ways, such as increasing my competence on certain issues and ideas. It allowed me to interact with people who share similar views or enlighten me if their perspectives were different. It was informative, but also fun.”

Lehman students wait for their flight to Chicago. From left to right: Richard Orta, Zoe Fanzo, Aileen Pelegrin, Christian Machuca, Carlos Perez. Photo courtesy of Ellie Hamrick.

ISO members are eager to see leftist politics blossom on campus. The club began on campus last fall, and given the formation of the LGBTQ+ Alliance and the Intersectional Feminist Club within the last few months, it seems leftist politics are having their moment at Lehman. Hamrick, who serves as the Lehman ISO branch coordinator, hopes to see students become politically energized this fall. “I think it is crucial that Lehman students not only understand why the world is the way it is, but how it can be changed, and that we as workers have the power to change it,” said Hamrick. “Capitalism causes untold misery all around the world. If things don’t change very, very soon, not only will human suffering continue, but we may not even have a planet to live on much longer. The left must get organized. I think that’s what students got out of this conference, and I hope they’ll be working to make that perspective a reality on campus this fall.”

ISO Member Carlos Perez echoed the sentiment that student involvement is integral to organizing the left. “Bringing a new layer of students who are politically engaged and see the necessity of an active struggle for a better world was paramount,” Perez noted. “The majority of people have been inculcated with a passive, fatalist conception of politics…which is expressed as the false choice between Democrats or Republicans…My goal with our trip to Socialism was to show students an alternative to these politics, and show them how people and social movements make history, not the custodians of power who often do their best to shut them down.”

The ISO plans to hold a public meeting every other Wednesday of the semester, with each session tackling the Marxist perspective of a relevant issue. Through such events it hopes to continue its mission of spreading political consciousness within the student body, and building solidarity amongst the campus’ leftist organizations.

“History tells us time and time again that it doesn’t matter who is sitting in the White House,” Perez remarked, “but who’s sitting in.”

Money and Location Keep Bronxites out of Gyms

By Jorel Lonesome

 

The Lehman community utlizing gym facilities in the APEX. Photo by Jorel Lonesome.

The Lehman community utlizing gym facilities in the APEX. Photo by Jorel Lonesome.

The Bronx could be in better shape, and Lehman students know it. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in 2015, nearly 98 percent of Bronx residents had access to exercise---but the borough’s adult obesity rate averages 28 percent, as does physical inactivity. So, what’s causing these unhealthy rates?

Students cite socioeconomic and environmental factors as their biggest impediments to fitness. Several said threats to their physical safety were their prime concern. Lehman sophomore Christina Lopez, 22, said, “Some gym locations in the Bronx are unsafe. The gym will open at 5 or 6 a.m., but that's also the time when criminal activity occurs while everyone is still asleep in their beds.” She also noted that increasing the use of fitness centers would boost the economy, too. “More gyms would bring more businesses relating to health and wellness, which would add more jobs as well.”

A study from citylimits.org confirms this connection between a flagging economy and a lack of gyms. In it, Jarrett Murphy and Katherine Guerrero note that “exercise awareness and participation increases with income, and the Bronx is the city’s poorest borough. Exercise takes time, and Bronxites spend more of their day going to and from work than residents of any other borough: Manhattan residents, on average, have 24 extra minutes each day to hit the gym than people who live in the Bronx.” Their review also pointed out that of eight major gym chains, there were only 23 in the Bronx compared to 71 in Manhattan.

Euriel Murray, a sophomore who plays for the Lehman Lightning baseball team, seconded this. “Better quality gyms aren’t in the Bronx, they’re mostly in the upscale parts of Manhattan. You basically get what you pay for and the equipment is not always the best.”

Lehman biological science professor, Stephen M. Redenti agreed. “I don't think there's enough people attending gyms. There’s not sufficient access to a variety of equipment, especially in less corporate gyms.”

However, Lopez suggested that independent gyms might be better for students because they would be more supportive. “Family oriented gyms like the YMCA, is not only safer, but people begin to know each other over time, to the point they develop a sense of community and friendship.”

Desiree Rosa, 20, a communications major at Lehman, also felt that a strong community would help get her to the gym. With her current work-life pattern, she said, “I get less social bonding. It’s ironic because my major in communications obviously involves interacting with people, but working part time and attending school doesn’t even make me think about going to the gym. Working, then heading to my classes is a workout in itself. I sometimes go for a jog, but not so often.”

One place students can work out close to home is Lehman’s Apex Center, an auxiliary gym. It holds a track, racquetball, basketball and volleyball courts, ballet and aerobic studios, and one of only two 50-meter eight lane swimming pools in greater New York that meet current Olympic swimming and water polo standards.  And it is free for students.

“Exercise takes time, and Bronxites spend more of their day going to and from work than residents of any other borough.”

- citylimits.org

Murray argued that education would also help raise community fitness. “We aren’t properly educated about exercise. We should get educated about calculating our calories, vitamins, minerals and learning different types of diets.”

However, some students blamed their lack of fitness on their drive to further their education. Angel Arroyo, 23, a junior and English major at Lehman, said “It’s the pressure to study hard, reading all given material and do well on these assignments” that keeps her from the gym. “I gained five to ten pounds during my first two years at college,” she recalled. “I was in a new environment, so I wasn’t able to keep up the same exercise level I was used to during high school.” But, she added, she has plans to buy a skateboard. “Maybe that will knock off a few pounds,” she said, “when I start riding in skate parks.”

The Four Best Role-playing Games for Newbies That Are Not Dungeons and Dragon

By Juan Vasquez

A set of role-playing dice. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Role-playing games are perennial go-to for their fans because they let players contribute to the creation of a dynamic world of characters. That versatility is why Dungeons and Dragons has been around for over forty years and still remains a juggernaut in the gaming industry. Despite its popularity and iconic recognition, Dungeons and Dragons isn’t everyone’s flagon of mead. Although it is seen as a mainstream game, many players are thrown off by the game’s myriad of fantasy tropes. So, for those new to the hobby, who want something other than the typical “Lord of the Rings” style fantasy realm, here are four less daunting role-playing games.

Shadowrun Fifth Edition

While it does contain a few (read: a drek-ton of) fantasy elements, Shadowrun’s fifth edition, released in 2013, also takes elements from cyberpunk culture and urban fantasy. Players create and take control of shadow runners, mercenaries and criminals who work on behalf of organized crime groups, corporations, and political associations.

An upside to the game is that players are not bound to a rigid class system, but rather free to create their character as they see fit, from their skill specializations to specific languages. However, this leads to one of Shadowrun’s biggest downsides. The game makes you micromanage EVERYTHING, from your character’s spells and cyberware to each individual bullet they carry. Add this to a steep learning curve and college textbook sized rulebooks and you have one of the most complex RPGs in existence. But who expects running the shadows to be easy?

Golden Sky Stories

Released in 2013, and often referred to as “Hayao Miyazaki: The Roleplaying Game,” Golden Sky Stories lets players take control of spirits and animals in a friendly, non-violent world where humans and nature spirits live side by side. A huge plus is its simplicity, family friendly content, and light-hearted tone, which all make it a good choice for family game night. Its anime style artwork would also make it appealing to the otaku crowd. But while some might be drawn to its completely non-violent approach to conflict resolution, those who like combat might want more bloodthirsty, ravenous murder hobos.

Kuro

A Cubicle 7 production released in 2015, Kuro is a cyberpunk horror role-playing game that takes place in a futuristic Japan. Players are just ordinary citizens who are caught up in nightmarish situations and must find a way to survive, or else die trying.

Kuro’s biggest strength is the vast scope of perils available, ranging from Ju-on with cybernetic powers to mundane serial killers. You could tell a ton of dark, chilling tales with Kuro. Which leads to the game’s downside: while it does not specifically say so in the book, Kuro is meant for a mature audience, as rape, murder, child abuse, incest, and suicide (among others) are all themes depicted in the game.

Talislanta

Now a decade old, and free to download online, Talislanta’s current fifth edition is not your typical fantasy game. In its rich and vivid variety of settings, most typical fantasy races have either been completely turned on their heads or omitted outright. For example: there are NO elves. Character creation is also simple: players just pick a race, class and skills. The game even includes dozens of pre-made characters to choose from. However, Talislanta’s setting may seem a bit bizarre or overly complex. In particular, some characters are better suited for combat than others, which may frustrate players when they encounter combat situations their characters are not equipped to handle.

Street Renamed to Honor Rap Pioneer Scott La Rock

By Leonel Henriquez

 

Street sign at Jerome Avenue and Kingsbridge Road, honoring DJ Scott La Rock. Photo by Leonel Henriquez.

On May 19, Jerome Avenue at the corner of Kingsbridge Road was renamed DJ Scott La Rock Boulevard in honor of the icon, Scott La Rock aka Scott Monroe Sterling. Sterling was the founder of the rap group Boogie Down Productions along with legendary MC KRS-One. The street is by the historic Kingsbridge Armory where he once worked as a social worker, helping the homeless. The renaming took place almost exactly three decades after the rapper’s death. Scott La Rock died on August 27, 1987.  At only 25 years old, he was shot and killed as he intervened to resolve a dispute on University Avenue.

Scott La Rock’s place in music history is cemented in the duo’s breakout album “Criminal Minded” which was released in May 1987, just months before his death. It is considered by some rap historians as the best ever, featuring such hits as “Poetry,” “South Bronx,” and the title track, “Criminal Minded.” The tracks highlighted the basic elements of rap music, a thumping bass line, an MC rapping and a DJ creating beats by cutting and scratching.

At a time when rap music was still a growing underground genre, Scott La Rock was instrumental in elevating the purity in the presentation of the music. The development of rap music was mostly regional in its early stages and the duo produced songs that depicted their pride of place and love of the Bronx, as well as songs about street awareness and social consciousness. The duo was on the verge of signing a third album deal with Warner Brothers Records at the time of La Rock’s death.

“He was ahead of his time and died before his time," said Lehman alumni MC Asti. In regards to Scott La Rock finally being recognized Asti adds, “He’d be on the Mount Rushmore of Bronx artists, a founding father, a visionary, a trend-setter.”

Bronxites’ Love-Hate Relationship with Cardi B

By Angel Mindanao

Cardi B photographed for Complex Magazine. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

With over 9.4 million Instagram followers, 24-year-old Cardi B, a Bronx native and rapper on the rise, released the single “Bodak Yellow” in June, which is currently No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on R&B/Hip Hop chart. A former stripper and cast member of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop New York,” Cardi B now performs with top artists such as Drake, Migos, and 21 Savage. Her mixtapes, “GBM Volume 1,” peaked at No. 27 and “GBM Volume 2” peaked at No. 25 on the Independent album charts. Her major label debut mixtape on Atlantic Records is due to drop in October.

As Cardi B makes her mark on the entertainment industry, many Bronxites see her as empowering women while challenging gender roles and stereotypes. But while the artist has captured the hearts of many Lehman students who share her culture with her self-made and widely recognized brand image, not everyone has been won over.

Lehman senior Anabel Ventura expressed great support for the artist. “Cardi B represents the Bronx in a positive way--loud and unapologetic; friendly and hilarious. She’s happy because she’s comfortable with her appearance.” Ventura was drawn to Cardi B’s charisma. “I just vibe with her music,” she said. “She appeals to everybody just by being herself.” Indeed, Cardi B was the star of the MTV Video Music Awards pre-show, wearing a sparkling bodysuit and matching $10,000 Yves Saint Laurent boots.

Other students, however, are more ambivalent about the entertainer, and some are downright disapproving. Jesse Mercado, a senior majoring in environmental science and minoring in music, questioned her choice of style.  “I feel like a lot of women are fighting for equality, and they don’t have to be oversexualized in order to reach the top in Hollywood,” he said. “Adele is one of the most prominent singers and she doesn’t show skin.”

Students were similarly divided over her music, which they find both provocative and entertaining. On the one hand, reflected Ashley Apparbal, senior and history major, “She gives us that relaxation on the weekends or during study breaks.” On the other hand, Apparbal said, “although her music and persona is interesting, she still has the ability to speak on sensitive topics in a rather insensitive way. ‘I don't dance now, I make money moves.’ It allows for a certain amount of hype and excitement that underscores the idea of being destined for greatness.”

In “Bodak Yellow,” for instance, Cardi B raps about being busy working and able to pay her mother’s bills, while declaring that her haters’ baby fathers want her.

Apparbal also pointed out her provocative mannerisms. She stated, “I’m still understanding that she is a little rough around the edges, so occasionally she may say some outlandish things.”

“She’s in the process of learning, just like the rest of us. You have to respect her grind.”

- Lehman senior, Anabel Ventura

Ventura defended the artist’s persona, saying, “People say she’s problematic, but that’s because she’s in the process of learning, just like the rest of us. You have to respect her grind. She once said that when she was a dancer, she invested a lot of money on clothes, makeup, etc.”

Apparbal seconded this defense. “Cardi B represents womanhood in total,” she said. “Womanhood is not limited to the remarkable and upper echelon; it extends to every shape and size and skin tone.”

Meanwhile, as the debate surrounding her continues, the rapper embraces the hate and the fame, re-branding her struggles as a woman of color with diamonds and designer clothes.

After Charlottesville Lehman Students Want an End to Racist Violence

By Zayna Palmer

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Following racist violence at a white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville Va. that led to the killing of one protestor, Lehman students feel endangered by this event because they do not feel safe. Students are terrified for their future and they do not know what to expect. They want to see these threats addressed here in the Bronx as well, where two Confederate statues have long been part of the Bronx Community College Hall of Fame for Great Americans. These Confederate statues are being permanently removed after a protest of CUNY students.

The Charlottesville killing happened on August 12, 2017, the day after a march in which white nationalists protested the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, rammed his car into anti-racist protestors, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring many others who were protesting one of the largest white supremacist gatherings in U.S. history. Thirty-five people were injured during this event, and at least three men arrested.

“Embracing differences includes creating space where all people feel respected, welcomed, and valued.”

– BCC President Thomas A. Isekenegbe

For Sharon Lee, a junior and English major at Lehman, the news was a wake-up call that domestic terrorism is on the rise. At first she was terrified, and she remains certain it was a hate crime based on racism. “As a college student, I am worried about the future and there are many problems that need resolutions before it’s too late,” she said.

Marisol Cotrgy, a Lehman senior and English major, also believes that racism remains an urgent national problem that demands a solution. “Racism isn’t over, there’s always been racism all over the country,” she said. “A way to stop terrorism and hate crimes is to call our congressmen to tell them that they have to fix this. Everyone can make a difference and it is from us who has the power to do so.”

Olivia Thompson, a junior and marketing major, felt “disgusted” when she saw the videos of the Charlottesville attacks, which she viewed as both terrorism and a hate crime, and more vulnerable to racist violence.

Thompson also believes that Donald Trump did not take immediate enough action after hearing about the attacks, since his first response was a Tweet. She thinks that we are reliving similar experiences to those that occurred when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was alive. “After he passed away, nothing has changed, generation after generation, our society has gotten worse. I am very disturbed about the community that I live in today because white supremacy is now being supported and as an African-American female, I do not feel safe when I am outside.” Thompson views Trump as untrustworthy because he doesn’t take immediate action in office and there are no improvements.

Closer to home, many CUNY students have protested the inclusion of two Confederate statues, the busts of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, at Bronx Community College’s Hall of Fame for Great Americans. On Aug. 17, 2017 Thomas A. Isekenegbe, president of BCC stated, “Embracing differences includes creating space where all people feel respected, welcomed, and valued. To that end, we will be removing and replacing these statues.”

Susan Powell, a graduate student at BCC, agreed that “these busts need to be taken down.” She added that, “It isn’t right to celebrate Confederate war criminals. As a nation, we must all come together as one because we are all created equal. We should also have leaders who brought change against racism and slavery in the hall of fame because it will generate positivity into the community.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio also believes that these men do not deserve a spotlight because there are many other great Americans, and these two Confederates do not belong in the hall.

Blogger Megan Brewer, from the Bronx, agreed that these statues should not stay in the Bronx but rather in museums, because “it is a more appropriate place for these historical figures.”

Another blogger, Frank Morales, also from the Bronx, concurred. “They can also be quite offensive because of what these men represent. They both committed treason against the United States to keep slavery alive.” Both Megan and Frank’s statements matter because they are both entitled to their own opinions and they are given equal rights as a citizen in the United States. They both agree that these men should be removed from the hall of fame because of what they represent in this society.

Lehman Community Disagrees over Puerto Rico’s Bid for Statehood

By Shaiann Frazier

The Capitol of Puerto Rico in Puerta de Tierra, San Juan. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

In June of 2017, 97 percent of Puerto Ricans voted in favor of making the commonwealth of 3.4 million America’s 51st state. While they wait to see whether Congress will pass a statute admitting the new state, many Lehman students with ties to the island remain divided or uncertain about its fate.

Numerous students told the Meridian that they were unaware that Puerto Rico is trying to become a state. Of those who know about the issue, roughly half told the Meridian they think it’s a great idea, while the rest think Puerto Rico should stay as is.

The island has been under U.S. control since 1898, following the Spanish-American War, and has voted against becoming a state four times: first in 1967. In 2012, 54 percent of the vote was in favor of statehood.

Currently, the island is in the middle of an economic crisis. In May of 2013, faced with a $ 73 billion debt, it filed for bankruptcy. According to data released in September of 2017 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment remains high and the poverty level has risen to 46 percent. Since jobs are low in demand and poverty has risen, many have been forced to leave their homeland.

“I’m only for [statehood] if we’re going to actually help…and I’m against it if it’s going to hurt those people even more.” 

— Lehman student life employee, Teddy Hernandez

One Puerto Rican native, Lehman student life employee, Teddy Hernandez, said, “I’m only for [statehood] if we’re going to actually help…and I’m against it if it’s going to hurt those people even more.” If Puerto Rico becomes a state it would gain access to more federally funded programs such as Supplemental Security Income Assistance, student loans, and others.

Some Lehman students questioned whether that leadership is beneficial. Melissa Ruiz, 25, a Lehman student who was born in Puerto Rico but raised in the Bronx said, “As a Puerto Rican I don’t think it should really become a state because the U.S. has had a hand in Puerto Rico’s infrastructure for too long now.”

On the other hand, Mike Garcia, 27, who is a senior at Lehman and from the Dominican Republic, said, “It’s actually a great thing… In that it will help us connect to Puerto Ricans a lot more and it will help us branch out to other Latin American countries and Caribbean islands.”

Those without direct connections to this island also had strong opinions, such as Jerilyn Day-Johnson, administrative assistant to the vice president for the Division of Student Affairs at Lehman who said, “I think it would benefit them economically because Puerto Rico has become quite impoverished over the years.”

Sophomore Andrew Jackson, born in Ghana, was also optimistic, “I think it’s something that’s long overdue,” he said, “Because the U.S has a lot of power over there, so it only makes sense that they get admitted as a state.” 

Dreamers in Limbo: White House Rescinds DACA

By Thomas Behnke

New Yorkers prepare to protest the White House’s DACA ruling. Photo courtesy of Eric Soucy.

On Sept. 5, the White House issued a statement through Attorney General Jeff Sessions that it was formally rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The policy, introduced by President Obama in 2012, allowed undocumented immigrant minors to receive two-year renewable deferments against deportation and the ability to apply for a work permit. According to the Brookings Institution, nearly three-quarters of DACA applicants have lived in the United States for at least ten years and nearly one-third were age five or younger at arrival. The decision to terminate the program is expected to impact up to 800,000 people nationwide, including DACA applicants and their families.

The updated policy ends acceptance of DACA applicants, though the administration has stated that applications and renewals currently being processed will be honored. Deportation procedures have been delayed for six months to give congress time to find an alternative solution to those with DACA status.

Trump administration’s DACA ruling met with Manhattan protest Photo courtesy of Eric Soucy.

In a statement released on Sept. 6, Lehman President José Luis Cruz wrote to the Lehman community, “The six-month stay of execution of the DACA program does not do justice to the hard work of the hundreds of thousands of dedicated young people whose undocumented status is simply an artifact of our country’s long-standing role as a beacon of hope. It is now up to Congress to choose national values over political expediency. Extending permanent legal status to our nation’s dreamers is the only path forward.”

Polls suggest that national support for DACA transcends party allegiances. While Sessions stated that “the American people have rightly rejected” an open border policy, a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows 84 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Independents, and 69 percent of Republicans oppose deporting DACA immigrants, or Dreamers.

On the Lawrence O’Donnell show on Sept. 5 Senator Kamala Harris, (D-Ca.), whose state is home to the most Dreamers nationwide, refuted the president’s assertion that ending DACA would save American jobs. “It is well documented that if we rescind DACA and do not pass DACA statutorily, we will lose 700,000 jobs in the United States and over the next ten years we could lose 60 billion in tax dollars.” She also criticized the misrepresentation of Dreamers, saying, “These young people qualify for DACA because they cleared a vetting where there was a very, very intense process of looking into their backgrounds...only then do they receive DACA status.”

The Lehman DREAM Team told the Meridian, “It’s up to us now to make history.” They added, “No documents, no problem. We’ll continue to fight and work hard to better our community. United we stand; we won’t leave our community alone.”