Crimson Group raises money for Florida conference

Campus organization offers financial counseling, direct aid for migrant students



Members of the Crimson Group prepare the taco stations as Jesus Policarpo preps the grill Thursday night for the Taco Sale Emergency fundraiser.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

The Crimson Group held a fundraiser last night to help send a few members to the October 2018 United We Dream Congress in Miami, Florida. They sold tacos to the Latino Night crowds out of a Meadow Brook apartment starting around 9 p.m. and are estimated to make over $1,000.

The group doesn’t just sell tacos, though. They work to make the lives of undocumented and migrant students on campus easier.

“We’re really a support group,” Jesus Policarpo, a junior majoring in computer science and Spanish and co-chair of the Crimson Group, said. “We hold socials, we check on each other and just help each other succeed. We want to make sure everyone can be successful, not just here but at any other higher education facility.”

Brenda Rodriguez, a member of the Crimson Group, leads a rally to show support of a clean DREAM Act on Jan. 1 on Terrell Mall.

Cielo Wilson, a sophomore human development major and other co-chair of the Crimson Group, found the resources she needed when she was a freshman through the organization.

“I couldn’t afford to live in the dorms, and the adviser reached out to me to help,” she said. “She introduced me to the Crimson Group and they were very welcoming and much like a family to me.”

The Crimson Group offers assistance for undocumented and migrant students on campus, such as financial aid consultation and an immigration lawyer so students can know their rights. Wilson discussed the importance of immigrants knowing what is available to them, as well as teaching the community about these students.

“It’s important for the community to know that there are undocumented students at WSU and that we are different and sometimes we do need a little bit more help,” she said, “and to let the undocumented students know that you have rights and that you are welcome here and there are others like you on campus.”

The Crimson Group works with several other undocumented student groups at other campuses and has had opportunities to travel and “fight for a change, not just here on campus, but also at a state and national level,” Policarpo said.

Members Raul Jimenez, left, and Celeste Estrada, center, prepare the topping stations while Policarpo grills taco meat.

The Crimson Group partnered with United We Dream in December to send a few members to Washington D.C. to advocate for the Clean Dream Act. Both Policarpo and Wilson agreed protests and rallies are important to having their voices heard.

The Crimson Group intends to use funds raised during the recent and upcoming events to send several members to the United We Dream Congress because they were so helpful in the past. Policarpo said sending members to the congress will help the group make more connections and have more resources.

Policarpo’s favorite aspect of the Crimson Group is being a part of an expansive community. He had the opportunity to meet one of the main lawyers in the lawsuit against President Trump’s fight against DACA.

“I love meeting these amazing people doing great things for the migrant community,” Policarpo said. “[Meeting the lawyer] was the moment I was like, ‘Holy crap, this is a huge deal. I’m meeting people changing the nation just because they decided to speak for what they believe.’ ”

The Crimson Group meets at 5 p.m. Tuesdays on the fourth floor of the CUB. All students are invited to attend the meetings. For more information about future Crimson Group fundraisers and events, go to the Crimson Group Facebook page.

“Even if you’re not undocumented yourself, you can come and help or even just hang out with us,” Policarpo said. “We could always use the help and it’s always great to educate yourself. So many people don’t know about the specific resources we have on campus to help everyone be successful.”