Medgar Evers College Teach-In
On Tuesday, February 11th, over 50 people attended a forum put together by New York Students Rising focusing, on the student debt crisis and what’s being done about it. This event was held at Medgar Evers College, the only historically black college at the City University of New York (CUNY). Journalist Sarah Jaffe, from InTheseTimes and Robert Applebaum from StudentDebtCrisis.org started the conversation by outlining the crisis in higher education that allowed for student debt to reach as high as 1.2 trillion in the U.S., from increasing tuition at public and private colleges, the lack of investment in higher education at the state level, and the role of Wall St. in creating a crisis.
On the solution side, Kevin Stump from New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) spoke about work NYPIRG is leading around reforming the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) the almost 40 year old New York State program that provides aid to New York residents. Touching on the New York State Dream Act and the fight for undocumented rights was Alden Nesbitt, from The International Youth Association. Evangeline Byars, CUNY Regional Organizer with New York Students Rising(NYSR) gave an overview of the work NYSR is doing around student debt, which includes an upcoming action around debt on March 6th at the New York State Capitol in Albany, NY.During the question and answer portion, many people spoke of their own issues with student debt, from students with over 30k in debt (close to the current national average of 29k), to parents dealing with their own debt and debt of their children.
The event was a part of the national Higher Ed Not Debt Campaign, a multi-year year campaign of dozens of organizations dedicated to tackling the crippling and ever-growing issue of student loan debt in America. Now, more than ever, a college degree is the ticket required for entry into the middle class. Unfortunately, the skyrocketing cost of this ticket is risking our nation’s future as a middle‐class nation. The long‐term vision of this campaign is to ensure that quality higher education is affordable and accessible to all, without the burden of financial hardship.
To learn more about the campaign and ways to get involved visit HigherEdNotDebt.org.
Written by Biola Jeje