Tag Archives: Colleges

Sex Work to Pay Off College Loans? How the College Debt Crisis Led Many to Occupy Wall St

The more I read about it, the more shocking the story becomes about student loan debt.

It is just disgraceful that young people have to start their lives drowning in debt incurred to get an education.  How can you expect them to be able to buy homes and cars and start families in this kind of situation?

I’m sorry, but we have to find some better way for young people to get their education- or re-look at the educational system.  Admittedly, many young people go to college who probably shouldn’t; we need to remind people we need plumbers and electricians as much- or more- than we need more lawyers and stock brokers.  And we need to support that balance by leveling the income gap.

The young people are smart enough to realize this, too.  Income inequality is the core issue here….

Now, it appears student loans are driving these kids to prostitution.  This is not the first article I’ve read on this….

Another way for the rich to exploit the young and poor…

The young man standing next to the “Jail Sallie Mae, Cancel All Student Loan Debt” sign in Liberty Plaza last night could very well end up in jail himself – not for protesting economic injustice and marching on Wall Street, but for doing sex work to pay off his student loans. “My loans are $1,300 a month,” he said. “My rent is $1,300 a month. My salary is $2,600 a month. You can see the problem. So I work as a prostitute for food and utilities.”

Though he works a day job in the tech sector, it’s not enough to get by. “But it could be worse,” he continued. “I could have to do sex work for all of it.”

With the Department of Education estimating that outstanding US student loan debt will soon exceed $1 trillion and job growth stalled, students face the very real prospect that there’s no way to ever pay back their debts. As of this May, new graduates are leaving college with an average of $22,900 in debt each, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, makes the class of 2011 the most indebted in history. They are members of a generation of students who knew taking out loans to finance a degree – or two – was a gamble on their own futures. As Lindsay Personett, a recent graduate from Oklahoma City University, put it at Wednesday’s solidarity march to support the Wall Street occupiers, “Kids are told to get this expensive degree and you’ll get a job. You end up owing too much and owning nothing.”

Wednesday also saw solidarity walk-outs to Occupy Wall Street from hundreds of students from the New School, New York University, Columbia University, and several CUNY campuses. According to CBS Local, 150 students walked out at Brooklyn College to join the tens of thousands in Foley Square and Liberty Plaza. The student walk-outs are part of a larger national walk-out action, supported by OccupyColleges.org, which spanned at least 100 campuses across the US. Their demands go beyond calls for “job creation.” They are questioning the convergence of interests in the education and financial systems that require them to take on soaring, unforgivable, high-interest debt in order to get an education.

via Sex Work to Pay Off College Loans? How the College Debt Racket Sucks Young People Dry — And Led Many to Occupy Wall St. | | AlterNet.

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Campus Walkout Planned by Occupy Wall Street

It seems like this is just getting bigger and bigger…I think it’s already bigger than the Tea Party movement started out to be and much more open and supportive of Democracy.

I’m also so very glad to see so many young people involved and trying to bring so much positive energy to the process- as opposed to the old, bitter, mean Tea Party crowd….

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and even more interesting to see if the mainstream media covers it….

I wish these guys luck!

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has already spread to Washington D.C., Boston and Los Angeles. On Wednesday it will reach college campuses. On a Facebook page called Occupy Colleges, student organizers are planning protests — without specifying much in the way of goals, other than expressing “solidarity” with the left-wing protests that have gripped lower Manhattan.

A related website advertises a national student walkout: “Wednesday, October 5th, countrywide student walkout 12PM your local time. Do not go to school Go fight for yours and everybody else’s rights at Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles or your nearest Occupation. The time is now to join our fellow %99!”

The site includes a list of 24 campuses where student groups have organized walkouts.

Student walkouts are generally forms of nonviolent protest, but students who skip class out of laziness are often lumped in with those who did so with the protest in mind, making it difficult to gauge any such effort’s success..

The “Occupy” movement has largely used Facebook and Twitter to organize its ranks.

via Campus Walkout | Occupy Wall Street | Solidarity Movement | The Daily Caller.

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Ayn Rand Indoctrination at American Universities, Sponsored by the Right Wing | | AlterNet

Another great article from Alternet.  This one by Daniel Denvir.

I’ll keep saying it:  Hillary was right!  There is a vast right-wing conspiracy going on out there.  It’s becoming more and more obvious….

These days, rich conservatives want a lot more than their names on university buildings in exchange for big donations. The Koch brothers recently endowed two economics professorships at Florida State University in exchange for a say over faculty hires. Banker John Allison, long-time head of BB&T, has donated to 60 universities in exchange for their agreeing to teach Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged–some agreements even include the outrageous stipulation that the professor teaching the course “have a positive interest in and be well versed in Objectivism.”

The economic crisis has opened American universities to ever more brazen–and at times decidedly strange–attacks on the hallowed principle of academic freedom. Conservative efforts to shape hearts and minds on campus, however, are far from new. Like anything in a capitalist society, academia is a place where people with money fight for power, and take their advantage where they can. Indeed, the effort to mold higher education–which the Right has long caricatured as a hotbed of revolutionary agitation–in the image of the establishment has been central to the rise of modern conservatism.

“Conservatives have been funding such efforts for a while, but usually fairly quietly and without the rough touch of the Koch brothers,” says David Farber, a professor of history at Temple University and author of The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism.

via Ayn Rand Indoctrination at American Universities, Sponsored by the Right Wing | | AlterNet.

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Koch Fueling Far Right Academic Centers At Universities Across The Country

Lot’s of interesting information at ThinkProgress.org today…

Seems the Koch Brothers Campaign to buy America has gone beyond buying the Government to trying to buy the Higher Educational system as well.

These are some seriously scary people….

Yesterday, ThinkProgress highlighted reports from the St. Petersburg Times and the Tallahassee Democrat regarding a Koch-funded economics department at Florida State University (FSU). FSU had accepted a $1.5 million grant from a foundation controlled by petrochemical billionaire Charles Koch on the condition that Koch’s operatives would have a free hand in selecting professors and approving publications. The simmering controversy sheds light on the vast influence of the Koch political machine, which spans from the top conservative think tanks, Republican politicians, a small army of contracted lobbyists, and Tea Party front groups in nearly every state.

As reporter Kris Hundley notes, Koch virtually owns much of George Mason University, another public university, through grants and direct control over think tanks within the school. For instance, Koch controls the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, an institute that set much of the Bush administration’s environmental deregulation policy. And similar conditional agreements have been made with schools like Clemson and West Virginia University. ThinkProgress has analyzed data from the Charles Koch Foundation, and found that this trend is actually much larger than previous known. Many of the Koch university grants finance far right, pro-polluter professors, and dictate that students read Charles Koch’s book as part of their academic study:

MORE:   ThinkProgress » REPORT: Koch Fueling Far Right Academic Centers At Universities Across The Country.

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Forever Prep in Virginia

This is for my fellow Virginia Preps…

By that, I mean those of us who went to Washington and Lee, Sweet Briar, Randolph Macon Woman’s College, Mary Baldwin, UVa, Hollins and a few other colleges in Virginia in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

We were the preppiest group of people you could ever hope to see…

Those of you who are my friends on FaceBook have seen the pictures…

I referenced the pictures to this “Virginia Living” magazine article last month.  Now the full article is on line.

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full article:

If you happened to attend college in the early 1980s, then you probably remember The Official Preppy Handbook. Izod shirts and pastel sweaters were experiencing a fashion moment at the time, and the book arrived as a wryly affectionate satire of a culture where the house wine was a gin and tonic, “summer” was a verb, and a man could appear in public dressed in wide-wale corduroys embroidered with a repeating motif of Irish setter’s heads, and no one would laugh.

Though the Handbook largely concerned itself with the northeastern preppy, the breed’s Virginia cousin was entirely recognizable in the book’s pages and even accorded the occasional nod. And in fact, though we were much more likely to summer at the River instead of Nantucket, and we considered Princeton about as far north as we’d be willing to go for an Ivy League education (or better yet not go north at all when we had better options right here at home), Virginians were confident that we could out-prep the preppiest Groton grad with one hand tied behind our Lily Pulitzer-clad backs.

For one thing, timelessness and tradition are cornerstones of the prep ethic, and it’s not for nothing we named ourselves the Old Dominion. There have been Virginians with a preference for things the way they used to be since the first Jamestown colonists stole a last fleeting glance backward to the receding shores of England—and in most matters your traditional Virginian has always considered it safe to trust in the principle, “What would Mr. Jefferson do?”

More:   Forever Prep – VirginiaLiving.com.

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