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EWU’s CAMP boosts awareness for migrant students

The College Assistance Migrant Program hosts Migrant Week each year in an effort to educate the community about students from migrant and farmworker backgrounds

Migrant+workers+harvesting+corn+on+a+farm+in+Gilroy%2C+California%2C+in+2013.+The+College+Assistance+Migrant+Program+%28CAMP%29+at+EWU+helps+students+who+come+from+migrant+or+farmworker+backgrounds+during+their+first+year+of+college.
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EWU’s CAMP boosts awareness for migrant students

Migrant workers harvesting corn on a farm in Gilroy, California, in 2013. The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at EWU helps students who come from migrant or farmworker backgrounds during their first year of college.

Migrant workers harvesting corn on a farm in Gilroy, California, in 2013. The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at EWU helps students who come from migrant or farmworker backgrounds during their first year of college.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Migrant workers harvesting corn on a farm in Gilroy, California, in 2013. The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at EWU helps students who come from migrant or farmworker backgrounds during their first year of college.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Migrant workers harvesting corn on a farm in Gilroy, California, in 2013. The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at EWU helps students who come from migrant or farmworker backgrounds during their first year of college.

By Marco Vargas, Reoprter

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EWU celebrated Migrant Week this month to support migrant and farm working cultures in Washington state by providing different awareness raising activities.      

The College Assistance Migrant Program, a program that supports students from migrant and farmworker backgrounds during their first year in college, hosted the event known as The Migrant Experience for the third straight year.

“We conduct this weeklong event to create an awareness on campus about what migrant workers are and who the student population represents,” CAMP Director Jennifer Nunez said. “What our attempts were throughout the week were to educate the campus community about farmworkers, their rights and the kinds of struggles that they faced in the field of working or in the environment whether it’s working in harsh conditions, not having the necessary equipment to perform certain tasks or not getting adequate breaks.”

EWU graduate assistant Marylou Diaz said that The Migrant Experience is also an awareness event that CAMP puts together to incorporate the EWU  community and educate them about migrant students.

“We want to make sure that Eastern is aware that there are migrant students who come and are participants of the community,” Diaz said. “We wanted (EWU) to get to know us as a program and get to know our students.”

Nunez said that Migrant Week is important to the Cheney community because the community has little knowledge of migrant cultures. She also said that CAMP wants to provide the opportunities for education.

We want to make sure that Eastern is aware that there are migrant students who come and are participants of the community.”

— Marylou Diaz, graduate assistant

Diaz said that the activities had some success and value, even if they raised just a little bit of awareness.

“I think that these activities present an alternative view, and they are able to kind of teach and educate our campus about our specific community because there’s not a lot of awareness,” Diaz said. “We want to bring awareness and establish a place for our students.”

CAMP retention specialist Edgar Montoya shared his thoughts on Migrant Week, saying that it helps to spread the knowledge of what migrant culture is about.

“I think it’s a form of knowledge of what migrant families do, what they lived through, and how it impacts the whole campus community as a whole,” Montoya said. “For us to be spreading awareness of the migrant community, it’s something that’s really important nowadays because the term ‘migrant’ is associated with the term ‘immigrant.’”

Nunez admits that CAMP wants to do a better job of attracting students with those activities. But despite that, she said that she is excited to see Migrant Week develop.

“I also think that there needs to be more reciprocated attendance from administration and students because a lot of the students that did support was great,” Nunez said. “But a lot of them are very familiarized with the same issues and struggles that migrant students face. Getting more support across campus would be great.”

I think it’s a form of knowledge of what migrant families do, what they lived through, and how it impacts the whole campus community as a whole.”

— Edgar Montoya, CAMP retention specialist

Diaz said that CAMP is interested in doing more collaborations across different departments at EWU to make Migrant Week better.

“We would be interested in having different staff and professionals across campus participate or receive suggestions,” Diaz said. “We’re more than open to more suggestions in regard to how to make it better.”

Diaz said that she and the CAMP staff thank students and the different departments for supporting them in hosting Migrant Week.

“We want to thank everyone who participated,” Diaz said. “And we want to thank our speakers as well because a lot traveled from far away to join us for Migrant Week. It’s been an amazing experience.”

For more information about CAMP, visit https://sites.ewu.edu/camp/ or stop by the main office at Monroe 203. 

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EWU’s CAMP boosts awareness for migrant students