The United States Student Association (USSA) has always supported grassroots efforts that empower young people and raise awareness about issues in higher education. In keeping with this practice, USSA supports the March 4th Day of Action in Defense of Public Education. The event was inspired by the demonstration of student power during the University of California Board of Regents vote to increase fees 32%, tripling the cost of a UC education from a decade ago. Organizers of the March 4th Day of Action are working to expand that energy to a national campaign to fight for increased educational access.
In response to mounting state deficits, legislators and campus administrators have mitigated budget shortfalls on the backs of students by slashing higher education funding and raising costs. These fiscal policies are indicative of a larger political climate that fails to recognize the long-term social and economic value of an education, or the inherent right of everyone to better their own lives through the pursuit of a college degree. Students must work in a common effort against this historic divestment and unite with one voice to demand education as a right.
USSA calls on students nationwide to participate in this day of action by contacting your local organizer and getting involved in your area. We also urge students to use the day of action to propel two pieces of federal legislation forward that will expand access to education. A companion bill to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act needs to be passed in the Senate to help ensure that the student loan industry works for students instead of big lenders. Additionally, the DREAM Act must pass, throwing open the college doors for thousands of deserving undocumented students. While we must achieve much more beyond what we can accomplish in one day, these actions will hopefully empower young people across the country to restore education to its preeminent position as the driving force behind social progress and economic prosperity.
USSA invites student leaders and activists from across the country to take part in a national student mobilization in Washington DC on March 23rd. As the culmination of our annual Grassroots Legislative Conference and National Student Lobby Day, students will be rallying on Capitol Hill to demand that higher education in our nation must be affordable and accessible to all.