Students come together to talk immigration at Rowan United

Students come together on the student center back patio to talk immigration at the Rowan United event. -Photo courtesy of Steven Solkela

Rowan United was held in the style of an open mic to give people a chance to speak their mind regarding immigration. 

The event, held Oct. 3 in the Student Center courtyard, was intended to give people effected by immigration a chance to speak on their gratefulness or concerns regarding our current immigration system. America is seen as a land of hope, opportunity and freedom, a common theme expressed at the event.

College campuses bring together people from all over the world, learning, living and struggling while pursuing the career of their choice.

According to Emily McGrath, a freshman political science major and senator of Rowan Democrats, wanted students to have a chance to discuss immigration on campus. 

“This event is to let immigrants have a voice and hopefully bridge that gap of understanding for people who may have any fears of immigration or don’t understand it completely, and give immigrants a welcoming feel on our campus,” McGrath said. 

Multiple cultural organizations were invited to get involved as sponsors and were encouraged to speak at the event. 

For example, Ashley Hermansen, the sophomore president of Spanish Studies Association majoring in International Studies, was one of the sponsors involved in the event. 

“I think it’s really hard for people to get in [America] as is and making it difficult is only pushing people more towards illegal immigration,” Hermansen said.  

Multiple emotional and heartwarming stories were shared and a large crowd showed up to support the cause.

While many people showed up to speak on behalf of all immigrants, several showed up with criticisms.

Matthew Fennimore, a junior engineering major, felt that we often ignore illegal immigration, while we celebrate our immigrants. While he was speaking a large amount of the crowd turned their back on him to express disapproval, but kept listening. 

“It’s a real slap in the face, when you have legal immigrants that work their butts off to get here legally and people support people that just hop over the border illegally,” Fennimore said. 

Ted Apostle, a Republican club representative, felt that the event allowed students to become better critical thinkers and gave students a chance to make their own decisions. 

“The whole idea of coming to college is to make yourself a critical thinker,” Apostle said. “Reinforcing your views, but not challenging yourself to listen to what you don’t want to hear, isn’t the right thing to do.”

Toward the end of the event, things got messy between the Republicans and Democrats, causing the event to end early due to the hostility in the air. 

For comments/questions about this story, email or tweet @TheWhitOnline.