Photo: Crocheting Student Jose Luis Zelaya Runs for Student Office at Texas A&M
We first heard about undocumented student Jose Luis Zelaya after he posted a video of himself attempting to crochet his way to a Guinness World Record to help pay for college for his sister and graduate school for himself. He also opened an online store for the crocheted items he’d made. Making his story even more impressive however was the fact that he was also running for student body president at Texas A&M.
Though his opponents have known since the start that he is an undocumented immigrant, his status had never been brought up during the campaign, so the 24-year-old said he felt blind-sided when he was asked how his residency status would affect his presidency at a debate last week.
“I’m not running because I’m undocumented. I’m running because I’m an Aggie,” he said. “It’s just like, what if I was gay? Would they have asked me if being gay was going to play a role?” he told the Houston Chronicle. “If I was atheist, would they ask me those things? What does it take to be seen as a regular Aggie, not as an undocumented Aggie?”
Tuesday, though he had the support of many students who felt underrepresented at Texas A&M, it was announced that the Honduran-born student finished fourth and did not earn enough votes to qualify for the runoff election.
He told the Chronicle, “I don’t need a title to make a difference. I don’t need a title to serve this university.”