Students paid $2 to throw a pie at the face of a club member wearing a President Donald Trump mask at the event created by club co-chairpeople Diana Marquez and Laura Duque.
All proceeds from the event went to the creation of a scholarship for a high-school aged undocumented citizen. The group does not have a specific student in mind, but wants to create something for someone in the future.
“We have been trying to do a scholarship for an undocumented student for at least two years,” Marquez said.
“In the past, we have just put on events for the community, but this year, we are attempting to raise money.”
Trump’s executive order on immigration caused controversy among the immigrant and refugee communities and inspired SUIE to take action.
“We felt that, given the current political climate and Trump’s executive immigration order, we had to stand up for undocumented students and refugee students here at UNC,” Duque said.
Club member Keyla Ferretiz said she was on board with the idea, but she knew that it would not be accepted by all students.
“There were definitely hesitations,” Ferretiz said. “We thought some people would be against it.”
The co-chairpeople said the Pie Trump was a huge success, and they are extremely optimistic regarding future fundraising events.
“We are trying to do it again at least two more times this coming spring,” Marquez said.
“We want to make it a scholarship with an application. It will be put out to the public for a high school senior in North Carolina going to a university or community college, and it would pay for their books.”
Founded in 2010, SUIE has been focused on empowering the immigrant and refugee communities in Chapel Hill.
Club members vary from those who are immigrants themselves to people just trying to get involved in social justice and make a meaningful impact within the community.
Duque said the club hosted “I Am An Immigrant Day” in the fall and a pre-election event to review candidate stances on immigration reform.
The club executives said they are thinking about expanding their campaign to raise money for the scholarship online, potentially using outlets such as Venmo.
SUIE’s next event will be on Valentine’s Day. They will be engaging in the “To Immigrants with Love” campaign alongside FWD.us, an organization founded by leaders in the technology community who are working to achieve immigration reform.
Attendees at the event will write letters to recently deported immigrants and refugees who have just come to the United States.