Occupy Movement Focused on Student Debt Gathers Steam
The Occupy Student Debt Campaign, an offshoot of the Occupy movement focusing on student debt and urging students to pledge not to repay their loans if other borrowers join them, planned several events Wednesday to commemorate the total amount of student debt passing $1 trillion reports Inside Higher Ed.
My colleague Ashwini and I happened to be in New York during one of the planned demonstrations at Union Square (all photos from that event). New York serves as the headquarters and regional offices of the student lender Sallie Mae. Unless the U.S. Congress intervenes, interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans are set to double from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1. Additional rallies occurred at colleges across the country, including the University of Chicago, Brooklyn College, Cooper Union, Hampshire College, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Student also continue to rally in Quebec, Canada (going for 11 weeks strong) to protest a proposed 75% tuition increase at public colleges there.
Democracy Now! provided coverage of the US events along with an interview with Pamela Brown, a Ph.D. student who helped launch the Occupy Student Debt Campaign "Pledge of Refusal." See the interview below.
Finally, President Obama weighed in on the issue on a visit to UNC-Chapel Hill and recorded a comedic take on the issue with Jimmy Fallon.
The AASHE Bulletin has an "Affordability & Access" section. Check out past stories in the Bulletin database, and subscribe to the Bulletin to keep informed about such matters and campus sustainability in general.
AASHE's Higher Education Occupy Project - AASHE put together a photo essay based on submissions from various individuals from all over North America to better understand the connection between higher education and the Occupy movement.
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