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Occupy Colleges Plans National Teach-in to Support Occupy Wall Street: No Michigan Colleges Participating

by P.D. Lesko

After successful October 13 Student Solidarity Protests around the country, including on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of MichiganOccupy Colleges plans nationwide Teach-ins at colleges and universities.

You can watch a video of the October 7th protest at the University of Michigan below:

According to a piece published in the A2Journal, “About 100 concerned citizens filled the Diag at the University of Michigan, where some of the organizers spoke about their mission and what those in attendance could do to help. Their mission was taken from a ‘declaration’ the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street created last week. Ian Fulcher was volunteering at the event trying to help with community outreach. ‘(The main goal) would be to restate the main bullet points from New York, and to support that and put that into practice here as much as possible,’ he said.”

For two days beginning November 2, 2011, Occupy Colleges, a grassroots organization bringing awareness to the Occupy Wall Street movement within the college sphere, will organize a National Solidarity Teach-In for colleges and universities across the country. The Teach-ins will serve to open and continue dialogue around the Occupy Wall Street movement. They are primarily a means to bring together students in an environment where experts in various fields can liberally address questions or concerns.

Teach-ins will be organized by students on campus. They will take place in a central and easily accessible place for students, local communities and the media. Participants will be comprised of experts in their fields (professors in anthropology, political science, history, economics, etc) and fellow students. Stay tuned for information about other participating speakers. Topics will range by school, but will include poignant discussions on how Occupy Wall Street movement may affect future elections, historical perspectives on past Occupy Wall Street-like movements, what led to the Occupy Wall Street movement and what is next. Teach-ins are meant to be participatory and oriented toward action. The purpose is to create an open discussion with professors and students with no defined ending time, so that everyone has an opportunity to speak and contribute to the discussion.

Occupy Colleges’ goal is to bring much needed attention to the Occupy Wall Street Movement at a time when more and more high school students are foregoing a college education because their families can no longer afford it, while others are graduating with inconceivable amounts of debt and stepping into the worse job market in decades. Occupy Colleges represents students who share these fears and support Occupy Wall Street. It is not for profit and works in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. Its objective is to promote the Occupy Wall Street movement and provide a unifying forum and means of support for students nationwide.

The Occupy Colleges web site lists campuses across the country where teach-ins are scheduled. Thus far, no college faculty members in the state of Michigan have volunteered to participate in the two-day event. 

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7 Comments for “Occupy Colleges Plans National Teach-in to Support Occupy Wall Street: No Michigan Colleges Participating”

  1. Interesting announcement in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that college tuition had gone up 8.1% but not to worry, the impact would be softened by grants and loans. Ouch, where does that money come from? The president is now forgiving more of the student loans. Where does that money come from?

    Talk about sustainability, how does this work? With 16.8% unemployment colleges need to raise tuition further?

    Since the inception of the Department of Education in 1976, what has been accomplished in education other than higher costs?

    • @Joe, off the top of my head I can say significantly lower graduation rates have been accomplished along with skyrocketing costs. :-)

  2. A2 Politico,

    The problem is that the Feds never put cost controls on institutions that receive Federal aid. All you need is a rule that says institutions that raise tuition faster than some threshold are not eligible to receive Federal funds through student loans. Also, consider make institutions that receive tuition and fees from student loans are on the hook to pay back a percentage if the student defaults. With the current system, the more aid, the more institutions raise tuition; we have not seen an increase in affordability

  3. @A2 Politico, Community colleges can only get you so far. For instance, the one in my hometown did not offer a Bachelor’s in the area I wanted to study, so I still had to go to a 4-year institution. Yes, taking courses at the community college helped me transfer over some credits, but those 4-year colleges/universities don’t always accept those transfer credits (which, in my case, they took about half), and then you’re still stuck having to take out a loan to pay your tuition. On top of that, my field requires a Master’s to get you anywhere, so I have to keep getting further into debt just to get the education to even start applying for the job I want, which I may not even be able to get for another 10 years down the road. I agree with you that the government needs to step in and investigate, but I don’t foresee that happening in the near future…

    • @Kristin, you are absolutely right. The NYTimes recently ran a piece which pointed out that several of the most recent presidents of the United States had attended either Harvard or Yale. Community colleges are great places to start, and if one is not completing a technical degree, from which to transfer credits to a 4-year institution. It’s a very complicated discussion. It’s a discussion predicated on what a student chooses to study and is inclined to do to finance the purchase of the education. Hopefully, when you pursue your MA/MS degree you will shop around and attend an institution that provides opportunities for graduate students to grade, assist and teach in exchange for tuition remission.

  4. @Joe there is “affordable” college. It’s called community college and it is made “affordable” on the backs of hundreds of thousands of faculty employed part-time and off the tenure-track. The only way college is ever going to be made affordable is if the federal government steps in and investigates tuition fixing (as was discovered at the Ivies) and regulates enrollment and polices graduation rates.

  5. If main stated purpose of Occupy Colleges group is to figure out to make college affordable, they must be Ron Paul supporters (if they already don’t know it). Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate out there addressing the affordable college issue.

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