Jesuit Jam: Supporting Undocumented Students at Loyola University Chicago

ISN STAFF | February 21, 2017

The Jesuits of Loyola University Chicago (particularly the younger ones!) showed off their musical and basketball prowess in anticipation of an important fundraising event to support a scholarship fund for undocumented students seeking to study at one of Loyola’s campuses in the Chicagoland area. Their efforts are tied to the “Jesuit Jam” a yearly collaboration with the university basketball teams to highlight the school’s Jesuit mission, encourage support of Loyola’s teams, and support causes important to the campus community. “Jesuit Jam” was started in 2001 to welcome then-president Fr. Michael Garanzini, S.J., to campus and has become a campus tradition. Past Jesuit Jams have supported local, national, and international Jesuit partners engaged in social ministry.

Loyola Ramblers can get fired up with this “Jesuit Jam” video featuring a number of young Jesuits in studies at Loyola along with Jesuits and others currently in ministry as faculty and administrators on campus.

Supporting the needs of undocumented students is not new to Loyola, whose Board of Trustees approved the implementation of the Magis Scholarship Fund, a student-led initiative to support undocumented undergraduate students in 2016. Voting unanimously, the board affirmed a call from the undergraduate student body, which voted to support their undocumented peers by adding an individual $2.50 student fee each semester to support the fund which could generate up to $50,000 each academic year.

In 2013, Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine become the first medical school in the nation to publicly accept applications for admission from undocumented immigrants, which was initiated in response to the establishment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, put into effect by President Obama that same year.

In 2015, Arrupe College opened at Loyola, offering a two-year rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse population, many of whom are the first in their family to pursue higher education — including undocumented students. Using an innovative model that ensures affordability while providing care for the whole person—intellectually, morally, and spiritually—Arrupe prepares its graduates to continue on to a bachelor’s program or move into meaningful employment.

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published as part of the Ignatian Solidarity Network News From the Network series.

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