Georgetown students came together on February 1 for the Day to Dream phone bank event, spending the day calling congresspeople to pass the Dream Act and protect DACA recipients. The event was held at Sellinger lounge, a location with a lot of foot traffic, to encourage active participation with the support of the Office of Federal Relations and GUSA’s Federal and DC Relations committee. Day to Dream was a collaborative effort with 40 other universities across the United States, with around 150 students at Georgetown University alone participating in the event. When an interested student entered the booth to call a congressperson, the facilitators would teach them how to formally conduct the call to get the message across efficiently. Various campaigns to persuade Congress to pass the Dream Act began in August on Georgetown’s campus, starting with initial steps to educate the school population on what the Dream Act is, what was at stake, and how Georgetown students and faculty members could make their voices heard about the importance of passing the Dream Act.
Although there has been an increase in participation at Georgetown events to help the Dreamers, the reality that students face is a quick “thank you for your call” message with a lack of visible impact on congressional decisions. However, this does not mean that college students should not care. Saisha Mediratta, one of the main organizers of the Dreamers campaign on campus, said, “Despite the political difficulties we face, the campaign itself is a symbolic measure that shows college students care and can come together to fight for our friends.” The main objective that she emphasized was the realization that the least we can do is become the companions of the undocumented community and offer emotional support and encouragement. Every campaign instigated on campus, no matter how long it lasts, is a symbolic push for that alliance.
Saisha added that after the U.S. government shut down during the last week of January, an increasing number of students sought out events similar to Day to Dream. She said, “The number of participating students does not always reflect how much they care about the issue, and seeing that more people were actively reaching out to get more involved, we are ready to witness more substantial changes on campus as well,” said Saisha.