On Friday, Feb. 14, many campus organizations set up tables to promote membership and awareness of their clubs. All organizations have various goals, and the mission of Monarchs on the Hilltop is to help undocumented students of St. Edward’s feel comfortable on campus, and to teach other students how to be allies.
Many tables set up had a Valentine’s Day theme. Organizations proved that Valentine’s Day does not always have to have a primary focus on romantic love, but rather the love and respect of all humans, no matter their status or identification. This was shown by the Monarch’s display, in which students had the opportunity to write a letter to immigrants, showing their acceptance. Students could also choose where to send their letter to; either someone they know or a nonprofit organization. They also had the option of letting the members of Monarchs decide where the letters should go. Students could also purchase carnations and postcards.
Each postcard was designed with artwork of a mother holding up a child, the statue of liberty and a group of young people hugging and supporting each other in the background. There were hummingbirds in the sky, which are a symbol of peace, love and happiness.
“With our Letters to Immigrants, students can write messages of love and support for immigrants,” Sussy Tellez said. This is her first year as President of Monarchs on the Hilltop, and she has been a member of the organization since she was 17. Tellez explained that the proceeds they make off of the carnations will go to the Food Cooperative, which is located in JBWN, but there are plans to change the location to Premont 300.
“The Food Cooperative is an initiative started by Monarch leaders. It’s a place where students can drop off toiletries, food items, any materials, and students can take them as they please for free,” Tellez said. “It is student led, for students.”
Alongside Tellez was Paloma Michel, who is a first year member of Monarchs and Fundraiser Coordinator. Michel spoke about her personal experience, “I have an immigrant family and friends, so I think it’s nice to find a home even when you’re not home, and that’s what I’ve found through Monarchs.”
Tellez explained that anyone can be a member of Monarchs.
“You don’t actually have to be undocumented yourself to be supportive. Everyone who comes together can be an ally and help out regardless.”
The Monarchs’ Undocupeer trainings help students, faculty and staff learn about federal and state updates to immigration status and what it means to be an ally.
“We have an Undocupeer training on the 26th of this month. We host monthly Latinx support groups with our HCC coordinator and we have food there,” Tellez said. “It’s a pretty intimate thing, but everyone is invited. There’s one coming up on the 19th.”