Today was an emotional day for advocates of tuition equality in Tennessee, as the House voted 49-47 against a bill that would have allowed immigrant students without legal status to pay in-state tuition rates at public universities.
The bill needed 50 votes to pass.
Members of Trevecca’s student body and staff have participated in advocating for the passage of the bill.
More than 200 people took a global tour without leaving Trevecca’s campus Friday night, as the international student club NAMASTE, hosted the eighth annual Taste the Nations.
Trevecca students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to sample food from 15 different countries before the global entertainment and worship began.
“I really like the Chinese food,” said Trevecca freshman Dalisa White, who looked forward to tasting food from different countries as a way to prepare for international travel. This summer she will spend a week in El Salvador on her first mission trip.
The bill passed the Senate with a 21-12 vote. If the bill passes in the House, it will enable qualifying immigrant students without legal status, to pay in-state tuition at Tennessee Board of Regents schools.
“Today, it hasn’t hit me that it’s actually happening,” said Jazmin Ramirez, freshman at Trevecca. “Regardless of whether the bill passes, there will be tears; sad tears or happy tears.”
Jazmin Ramirez always wanted to go to college, but it wasn’t until she was a junior in high school that she realized it might not be possible.
“I always knew I was undocumented, but I never actually understood what that meant until my junior year of high school when I started applying, or looking into colleges,” said Ramirez, a freshman social justice major, as she stood in front of her peers and gave a student’s perspective at the G92 Immigration Forum hosted last month by the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice.