As student debt surpasses trillion dollar mark, students express frustration with not so bright future ahead of them
NEW YORK, NY (June 5, 2012) - Burdened by debt and silenced by the media, graduating students will exeunt the college stage with a silent, but firm expression of their angst and frustration. Some students will wear blow up ball-and-chain shackles to symbolize their financial distress, while others will write the amount of college loans they owe on top of their caps at their graduation ceremonies.
On April 25, 2012, the debt of American students surpassed the trillion-dollar mark. It is for this reason that students at small and large colleges and universities across the nation will bear symbolic props and statements that reflects what lays ahead for them.
Institutions signed up to participate in this nationwide demonstration include, George Washington University (graduation ceremony - Thursday, May 17), CU Boulder (Friday, May 11), and the University of North Carolina (Sunday, May 13), where New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will conduct the commencement speech honors. We have recently added the University of Washington and Ohio University(Saturday, June 9), and, Oregon State University (Sunday, June 17). We expect many more schools to sign up in the coming weeks.
Occupy Graduation was an idea formed by the collective voices and initiatives ofOccupyWallSt.org, Occupy Colleges, Occupy Student Debt, Occupy Together, Ben Cohen, from Ben and Jerry’s ice cream; “Default: The Student Loan Documentary,” Backbone Campaign, EDU Debtors Union, Forgive Student Loan Debt and Wear Your Debt.
Occupy Graduation urges students to participate. Signing up is as easy as organizing a group of 10 or more students and then visiting the Occupy Graduation website at http://occupygraduation.org/. Please note, this demonstration is a way to express student frustration without destroying graduation or disrespecting the meaning of this event for classmates and parents.
Organizing students interested in more ideas on how to effectively and respectfully be “heard” on graduation are encouraged to visit the website. In addition, students interested in purchasing the staple ball-and-chain props, but unable to do so for financial reasons, can contact Occupy Graduation for a reduced rate.
Written for Occupy Graduation by Diana Delgado. Ms. Delgado is a freelance writer primarily focused on government, politics, women and Hispanic/Latino issues. She is also a public relations professional with experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Ms. Delgado has been on board with Occupy Colleges since October 2011. She holds a graduate degree from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, and is based out of New York, New York. Please follow her on Twitter: @dduchessny