UCF’s Student Government Association announced in a Facebook post on Friday its plan to offer immigration services within the department of Student Legal Services.
The memorandum, or informal record, states Student Legal Services would extend its existing services to immigrants. The memorandum states it would provide aid without conflict of interest between the student and UCF. It would also allow the same services to be provided to a student’s immediate family.
UCF Student Body President Josh Boloña and Director of Student Legal Services Patricia Dullaghan collaborated to create the memorandum, which would amend Student Legal Services’ guidelines that were originally set in 1992.
Boloña, 22, said the vaguely worded memorandum was intentionally broadened so that UCF could provide a wider range of legal services, such as parking tickets and DUIs. For situations involving deportation, Student Legal Services would provide students with connections to attorneys not affiliated with UCF, Boloña said.
The memorandum must first be approved by the Florida Bar Association, an organization made up of all lawyers licensed by the Supreme Court of Florida to practice law in the state.
When asked about the odds of the Florida bar Association approving the memorandum, Boloña said he was unsure.
However, he said Dullaghan was "fairly sure" there wouldn’t be any major speed bumps.
“We’re defining what a 21st-century institution is,” Boloña said. “People of all types of backgrounds can get an education regardless of the area they come from. UCF has always kind of strived for that.”
So far, the reaction to the memorandum has been widely positive. There has been more than 200 combined reactions and shares on Facebook, where the announcement was originally posted.
Even if the memorandum passes, Boloña said he doesn't want it to be the only way he's remembered as president.
"If our legacy is defined by one service or one action, I think that's very limited," Boloña said. "I want to continue to do as much as we can this year, and I want to show all parts of our campus that SGA, the student government, wants to be supporting of student organizations and of individual students to help them finish."