This month we have been proud to stand in solidarity with coalition partners on the Debt-Free Future Act as well as the Act related to Endowment Match Program and the CHERISH Act at the State House! The hearing room was filled with Massachusetts Teachers Association teachers, PHENOM, student activists, and our own student leaders as well as other community organizations, all in support of funding Massachusetts’s public higher education system.
The range of emotions expressed today from raucous applause to teary eyed testimony put on full display the lived realities of our state’s need to fully fund public higher education. The responsibility is that of our elected officials to invest in our students, staff, and the future of the commonwealth in order to ensure that Massachusetts students can graduate from a public college without the burden of student debt!
Earlier this month, our team was also thrilled to join UMass-Amherst students protesting the recently threatened tuition hikes from UMass President Marty Meehan. The protest was led by students from the UMass Student Government, CEPA, Phenom, and other organizations dedicated to higher education access and affordability.
Our student leader at UMass Amherst, Gabe (in red holding the #ZeroDebt sign in pic below) also organized a meeting of the minds to discuss upcoming legislation and its impact on public higher ed and its students. We discussed the Student Loan Bill of Rights, the Endowment Incentive Fund, and (of course) the Zero Debt Public Higher Education bills. These young leaders had a lot of excellent questions and many of them will be submitting testimony to the legislature during hearings for these bills!
Overall, we’ve had a busy month and are proud of the work that has been accomplished. We are grateful to our student leaders and everyone who has responded to the call for affordable higher education opportunities. Stay tuned for more ways to be involved and help push for a #ZeroDebt future!