The presidency of Donald Trump has brought forth an entirely new reason to watch the news with bated breath. There has been constant commentary, ridicule, and praise across all forms of media regarding the president’s every motion. The American public has quickly learned not to ask if new, astonishing information will be produced by the president, but rather when it will hit the news. One piece of information that has hit high school and college-aged students the hardest was that of the president’s statement on the possible doing-away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
The extent of this impact was felt by the Raritan Valley Community College student body when on Wednesday, Sept. 13, the Dean of Student Services addressed all DACA-related concerns through a student-wide email. After holding a clarifying interview with Dean Lemcoe, the Dean of Student Services, the email’s content and purpose was explored and further understood. In learning of Dean Lemcoe’s past school experience, there was no surprise why she was so prompt in addressing the issue currently at hand. Although no one can concretely predict what will happen in the coming months for DACA participants, “I would like to believe that this will all end up better than their current DACA situation,” said Dean Lemcoe.
From his rise to the oval office, President Trump has made his standings on immigration and illegal immigrants clear. “I believed President Trump when he said he wouldn’t touch DACA,” said Dean Lemcoe, when asked about her expectations for the presidential announcement. The surprise factor of this White House move, that has aroused many states’ school systems, has reminded RVCC of the importance of community and highlighted the efforts multiple offices are making to provide any and all assistance to not just DACA students, but all students.
RVCC students are in good hands when it comes to political change, much like the one that is unfolding now. RVCC’s Dean of Student Services has been a part of the college’s community since 2008 and has a proficient background in holding highly influential college administrative positions. The difference in being a part of the RVCC administration is having the ability to know students by their faces, and not just their assigned numbers. “These are very personal situations to us, this is not one of the 800,000, this is Johnny who sits in your class…This is very personal to me,” commented Dean Lemcoe. This statement, along with many others concerning the welfare of all RVCC students set the tone for the actions and procedures being carried out by multiple school offices and dedicated individuals throughout the college in an effort to assist students affected by DACA.
One of the many offices that constantly waits with open arms, to help and support those who need it most, includes the Office of the Dean of Student Services. Located on the first floor of the College Center, in room C143, Dean Lemcoe, Assistant Dean of Student Services Jason Fredericks, and many others await students in dire situations. “I leave my door open all the time,” assured Dean Lemcoe. Working through each individual case, as they come through their doors, with the patience and attention to specific details pertaining to every students’ differing scenarios, is the reason for which they are there. The willingness to help students is carried on through the Counseling Department, Financial Aid Office, and Educational Opportunity Fund Program (EOF). Connecting students with outside, financial sources and other community resources is an arduous task that these people strive to accomplish day in and day out. One way that Dean Lemcoe ensures that the process for students is comfortable and productive is the personal introductions she makes to connect students with the help they need. “I will take you and introduce you to whomever in order to make the process less impersonal,” explained Dean Lemcoe.
There have been many information sessions held regarding questions about DACA since the release of the Dean Lemcoe’s school-wide email. Many of them are held on campus at RVCC, while others have been held at larger schools, such as Rutgers University. Opportunities to meet with immigration attorneys and inquire about one’s personal immigration status can only be beneficial for students in this difficult, uncertain situation. When asked “How can the students of RVCC help fellow DACA students?” Dean Lemcoe replied, “that if you know that someone has an issue that’s going to prevent them from continuing going to school, you should bring them to the Counseling Office or me.” The importance of community at times such as these is priceless. Any and all students who find themselves in a financial, immigration, or personal crisis situation are urged to come seek help at any of the following RVCC offices.
Dean of Student Services Office (C143)
- Diane Lemcoe, Dean of Student Services
(908) 526 1200 x8976
- Jason Fredericks, Assistant Dean of Student Services
(908) 526 1200 x8311
Advising and Counseling Office (C165)
- Bambi Kuhl, Counselor
(908) 526 1200 x8427
- Gina Kuijlaars, Mental Health Counselor
(908) 526 1200 x8641
Financial Aid Office (C143)
Educational Opportunity Fund Program, EOF (C155)
The Foundation (C021)
Edited by Zachary Nickl