Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version



A THESIS Present to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Rachelle Winkle-Wagner. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2011
Copyright 2011 Tegra M. Straight


The purpose of this study is to determine the perceptions that Latina-based sorority members have on anti-immigration law. Specifically, this study addresses what changes to experience Latina-based sorority members anticipate, their perceptions on anti-immigration law, as well as what they think the university’s response should be to such initiatives. Interviews with five Latina-based sorority members, four undergraduate and one graduate, served as the primary form of data. Interviews centered on Latina-based sorority members’ perception of Legislative Bill 1070 from Arizona and Ordinance No. 5165 from Fremont Nebraska.

The findings indicate that Latina-based sorority members perceived anti-immigration law to be anti-Latino and anticipate that these initiatives will negatively affect their experience, regardless of their immigration status. The perception of anti-immigration law, as anti-Latino, provides an example for a relation between higher education research and sociological research surrounding perceived discrimination. Perceived discrimination has been found to affect Latino adolescent’s ethnic identity development (Umaña-Taylor & Guimond, 2010), mental health (Araủjo & Borrell, 2006), and be associated with substance abuse (Okamoto, Ritt-Olson, Soto, Baezconde-Garbanati & Unger, 2009). This concept is understudied as it relates to college students and anti-immigration law. Additional findings suggest that institutions should inform individuals of the issues surrounding immigration and keep prospective students aware of state laws that have the potential to impact their experience. These findings are significant and question how colleges and universities are going to provide support to Latina students during the current immigration debate.