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An Act of Love: Serving Undocumented Students at UC Santa Cruz--An Oral History with EOP Director Pablo Reguerin

  • Author(s): Reti, Irene H.
  • Williams, Samantha
  • et al.
Abstract

Pablo Guillermo Reguerín currently serves as the Executive Director for Retention Services and Educational Opportunity Programs at UC Santa Cruz, providing leadership and oversight to a cluster of student services offices charged with retaining and graduating students with a focus on educational equity.

Since September 2009, Mr. Reguerín has led efforts to integrate student services to develop student care teams, increased case-management of vulnerable student populations and data-driven intervention programs. These efforts have resulted in Individual Success Plans for cohorts of EOP students, intensive advising services for immigrant and undocumented/AB540 students, a newly launched Textbook Lending Library for students facing financial hardship and a Laptop pilot program for students that arrive to campus without a laptop or computer. In collaboration with faculty partners and the Office of Institutional Research, Pablo has launched an evidence-based evaluation process of the retention services units through the use of logic models to further deepen the utilization of research based practices and continuous improvement.

Mr. Reguerín has worked at UCSC for over fifteen years, previously serving as the Deputy Director of the Educational Partnership Center and as a Senior Admissions Counselor with the Office of Admissions. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Cruz in Latino and Latin American Studies and his Master of Arts degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in Educational Leadership and Administration.

UCSC now serves one of the largest populations of undocumented students at any college in the United States. This commitment dates back at least ten years, to the activist efforts of a group of undocumented students calling themselves Students Informing Now, who through their activism first made their challenges known to the campus community and beyond.[1]

EOP’s continued services are key to the retention and success of this community of students. This oral history goes to press shortly after the election of the Trump administration. It is important to note that UCSC’s dedication to serving undocumented/AB 540 students remains steadfast. Reguerín wrote the following statement which appeared on EOP’s website in November 2016:

The EOP community stands with undocumented students and marginalized communities that have been targeted and dehumanized in the political rhetoric of this election, the republican candidate and his supporters. The election outcome does not reduce our commitment or responsibility to serve undocumented students, in fact, we recommit ourselves to educational equity and social justice for all of our students and community members.

The Undocumented Student Services team and initiatives have been developed with love, compassion, expertise in student success research and student initiated projects. The outcome of the election does not impact our funding, current services, and our creativity in partnering with students to overcome the injustices they face in pursuing higher education. 

 

Opportunity and equity programs like EOP are born out of the struggle for social change--we stand on the shoulders of all those that struggled in the civil rights movement. We embrace our roots as we continue our service and support to the undocumented student community. Please join us in supporting our students and standing in solidarity with undocumented students. 

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