On March 4, students from coast-to-coast, on campuses large and small, engaged in massive protests and rallies to promote college access and affordability. This grassroots movement, known as ‘March 4 Education,’ swept across the country in response to the historic crisis in public higher education as a result of crippling budget cuts and skyrocketing tuition and fee hikes.
“These actions were organized and executed largely by students themselves, which demonstrates the capacity of student power to bring college issues to the forefront of American politics,” said USSA President Gregory Cendana. “We cannot stop now. It is critical that this momentum be carried forward until local, state, and national governments recognize the social and economic importance of higher education and legislate accordingly.”
From mock funerals commemorating the death of public higher education in Washington and Michigan, rallies in the state capitols of Colorado, Florida, and Massachusetts, teach ins across New England, massive rallies in Georgia, and thousands of actions up and down California, millions of students made their opposition to education divestment known loud and clear.
The U.S. Senate is drafting its version of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, a bill that would financially help students faced with mortgage-level debt and uncontrollable college cost hikes. A vote is expected soon and students can voice their support for the bill by visiting http://www.usstudents.org/get-involved/ways-to-get-involved#student-aid-reform
The USSA National Student Congress voted unanimously to support student aid reform last summer. The organization’s 4.5 million college student membership has been working tirelessly on behalf of this legislation and will continue to do so until it is signed into law.