GOAL: 10,000 signatures
Do you know how much debt you will be in when you graduate? Do you know how much of what you will ultimately pay for your student loan will go towards education and how much will end up lining the pockets of financial institutions that contribute nothing to education? Higher education is the fundamental bedrock of American society. Education drives our ability to innovate, and is directly correlated to our future as a prosperous, successful nation. Education is the pathway for immigrants to find success and contributes to students becoming upstanding citizens and life-long taxpayers and learners.
With the cost of a college education becoming increasingly unaffordable, we propose a NO CUTS, NO COMPROMISE petition to all 50 Governors to urge them to commit to refrain from making ANY cuts to education in their state budgets this year. We ALL have the right to an affordable, high quality education and ask that our Governors consider their priorities by upholding these rights.
The average cost of college has gone up by over 66% over the last 20 years(http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76) while administrator salaries have risen considerably. At Ohio State University, President E. Gordon Gee is the top-earning public college President in the nation, bringing in over 1.8 million dollars per year. (http://chronicle.com/article/Presidents-Defend-Their-Pay-as/126971/)
At the same time, it has become harder for graduates to find well paying jobs. In fact, recent graduates have seen a 10% decrease in their income since 2006, according to the New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/business/economy/19grads.html)
It is time that we stand together and protect higher education in America. Let's stop burdening our youth with over $20,000 in student loans by the time they graduate. We believe that everyone should have the right to an affordable, quality education without fear of financial ruin. Education for the 99% should NOT be dictated by the financial gains of the 1%.
We ask all America's Governors to make No Cuts to Education, in their state budgets.
We are confronted by the corporate takeover of our education. The cost of school rises indefinitely while we, burdened by crushing debt, graduate into a jobless market with few chances to prosper and repay our loans. As our universities are privatized, the economy stagnates, and tuition rises, more and more young people are left either with an education they cannot pay for or no education at all.
To rebuild institutions of higher learning that serve students first, we need to restore a political system that is of, by, and for the people. We need to get corporate power and money out of our democracy. The student occupations at campuses across our country, organized in solidarity with Occupy Wall St., have provided youth with the space to begin solving the crises of our corporatized democracy.
Yet, the recent attacks on peaceful UC Berkeley student and faculty protesters by riot police and UCPD threaten this new and incredibly important movement on college campuses and severely undermine both the Constitution and our democracy. The arrests of UCLA students and the pepper spraying of nonviolent protesters at UC Davis that have followed reveal a deeply undemocratic pattern of abusive policing. An assault on one young person’s right to free speech and assembly is an assault on all young peoples’ rights, and a repeated pattern of assault stifles the ability of young people to solve our nation's challenges. As educational institutions allow violent attacks on our fellow brothers and sisters, we are unified in our pledge to nonviolence.
We declare solidarity with UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and all students and faculty who are exercising their right to peaceably assemble and to protest. We will deliver this emergency petition to UC President Mark Yudof on Wednesday, November 30th.1,650 signatures
To University of California President Mark Yudof,
Students at UC Berkeley have been violently attacked and arrested by riot police multiple times. More recently, riot police pepper sprayed UC Davis students directly in the face and throat, simply for engaging in nonviolent protest. As young Americans and students who are also deeply concerned about extreme inequality in our nation, and the control of our democracy by the wealth and power of the 1%, we declare that we are all Berkeley and we are all Davis. We demand the University of California schools unequivocally protect students’ First Amendment rights and ensure that there will be no further aggressive repression of student acts of free speech, nonviolent protest, and peaceable assembly. In this time of crisis in our country, university and college campuses must be a place where critical thinking, public debate, and peaceful protest are not repressed but supported and encouraged.