This month was a busy one for us in the State House! We made several visits, including an awesome press conference for the Student Loan Bill of Rights:
On the left is Nathan Foster, a young Tufts alum who joined us to talk about his experiences with student loans and to advocate for this excellent piece of legislation. Alongside him you can see Seth Frotman: Executive Director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, State Representatives Mindy Domb, Natalie Higgins, Paul Donato, State Senator Eric Lesser, State Representative Adrian Madaro, MASSPIRG Legislative Director Deirdre Cummings, and State Representative Carlos Gonzalez. It was quite the showing!
Senator Lesser introduced this legislation in the Senate. On the event, he had this to say: “We’ve also done quite a lot of work here at the State House to get the issue out onto people’s radar,” Lesser said. “I think one of the challenges we’ve faced, frankly, is there was a belief with student loans for a long time that by scooping ice cream in the summer or by babysitting or working part-time, you’d be able to pay for college. That’s how my parents paid for college, but the reality of it is, the combination of a weak job market for young people coming out of the recession, sky-high increases in tuition at both private, but also at public universities, and the continued erosion of the protections on the federal level have made this an issue that cannot be ignored anymore.”
Just a few days later, we were back in the State House advocating for Debt Free Higher Education:
This annual event was attended by 600+ students, university faculty/staff, and other advocates for our public higher education system here in Massachusetts. On the right here is Gabe Adams-Keane from UMass-Amherst. He and many others from his campus made the trip into the city to advocate for their campus.
With the legislative cycle in full swing, you can certainly expect to see more of us from the State House very soon!