Tag Archives: Universities

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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Professor: Value Of College Extends Beyond Paychecks

As the product of and a firm believer in a Liberal Arts Education, this article really spoke to me.

My father and I fought constantly about my majors in College.  He wanted me to major in Business, which bored the hell out of me, and I wanted a Liberal Arts Degree in History.

I won.  And I’ve done just fine…

And I wouldn’t have given up the experience of being exposed to so many new and different things and learning to look at the world in through new lenses and filters.

I firmly believe the purpose of College is to learn new things, learn to be open to new thoughts and be exposed to different ways of seeing the world.  It’s about learning to question, learning to think critically and learning to make fact-based decisions.

It’s not about making money.  That will come if you know how to think, grow and plan…

From NPR:

Many American families are asking whether sending their children to college is worth it if they end up in jobs that pay less than the cost of tuition.

Mike Rose, a professor of education at UCLA, says it makes complete sense for people to be concerned about the economic benefits of college.

“We respond to the threat that’s most imminent, right?” Rose tells Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon.

But, he says, there are many other reasons to get a college education.

Rose, the author of Why School? and other books, cites the idea of intellectual growth — “not just learning things to make a living, but also learning things to enable you to do things with your life, to enable you to find interests and pursuits that may in some way or another expand the way we see things.”

There are also social benefits, he says: learning to think together, learning to attack problems together, learning how to disagree.

“One of the great things about bringing so many people together in this common space,” he says, “is that you’re almost forced to have to deal with and encounter people who see the world in a very different way from your own, ways that you maybe never even thought of.”

Rose points to the Jeffersonian ideal that having a functioning democracy requires having an educated citizenry. The concept may be difficult to appreciate when one is working as a barista, he says, but that might be exactly the time when a person should be thinking about it.

“You know, to be able to think about our economic situation in some kind of an analytical and sophisticated way is not something that comes easy,” he says, “and I think it does come with study.”

Rose says that if we preach only the economic payoff of education, we affect what and how we teach.

“It ends up affecting the way we define what it means to be educated,” he says. “That’s pretty important stuff to be thinking about in a free society.”

via Professor: Value Of College Extends Beyond Paycheck : NPR.

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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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Democratic Professors vs Republican Professors: A Comparison

Interesting article from Inside Higher Education.  Especially in light of the recent information that the Koch brothers and other right-wing billionaires are trying to endow professorships to control what and how information is being taught in colleges…

Also, the Republicans don’t really think everyone should be able to go to College…That’s clear from their policies.

Hat Tip to Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire where I first saw this article mentioned…

Republican professors and Democratic professors presumably produce different outcomes when they enter the ballot box, but what about when they record grades?

A forthcoming study finds that there may be notable differences. Democratic professors appear to be “more egalitarian” than their Republican counterparts when it comes to grading, meaning that more of the Democratic grades are in the middle. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to award very high grades and very low grades.

Another key difference is that black students tend to fare better with Democrats than with Republicans.

More:   News: Red Grader, Blue Grader – Inside Higher Ed.

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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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Rutgers Parents Outraged by Snooki Speech – FoxNews.com

I knew there would be a backlash…

I still can’t believe they paid her $32K, which is 2$ more than they are paying Toni Morrison to give the graduation speech…

If I was paying Rutgers tuition, I would be furious…

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.–Angry parents of students attending Rutgers University blasted the decision to pay Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi $32,000 to give a campus talk last week — and said she should stay on the Jersey Shore, the New York Post reported Sunday.

“It’s disgusting,” said Nester Delgado, 43, whose daughter is a Rutgers freshman.

“Next year, is it going to be J-WOWW or The Situation?”

Parents fumed that Snooki was paid nearly $10,000 more than the $23,466 they have to fork over annually in tuition fees and housing to send their kids to the Garden State university.

“I don’t think she’s a good representation of a role model for my kids,” said Christine Getz, 47, a part-time preschool teacher who has a son and daughter at Rutgers.

The boardwalk bimbo drew 2,000 students to both of her Q&A sessions Thursday night at which she offered tales of her rise to “guidette” stardom, and offered such advice as “When you’re tan, you feel better about yourself,” and “Study hard, but party harder.”

The backlash comes after many students spoke out against the decision to host the reality TV star on campus.

“As an RU student, I’m really ashamed,” one student tweeted, according to FOXNews.com

“My tuition dollars wasted on Snooki,” another student wrote. “Rutgers probably could have paid her with a case of beer.”

Members of the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA), which organized the event, defended the high speaking fee, saying the group had been looking for someone who could appeal to the student community.

“We’re trying to provide different kinds of experiences to students,” said the group’s president, Ana Castillo.

Snooki’s $32,000 fee caused a stir when it was revealed she got $2,000 more than Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison will get for this year’s commencement address.

via Rutgers Parents Outraged by Snooki Speech – FoxNews.com.

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