Occupy Colleges announces new “No Cuts, No Compromises” campaign

Occupy Colleges announced a new “No Cuts, No Compromises” campaign today, calling on state governors to freeze cuts to education at all levels across the U.S. A petition, located at http://studentsoccupy.nationbuilder.com, has already received several hundred signatures. Details from the press release are below:

NEW YORK, NY (April 5, 2012) – Occupy Colleges announces its latest weapon – a petition to freeze all cuts in education in all the United States. They are asking for any American over the age of 18 to sign this important petition, which, if adopted by state governors, will freeze cuts in state education budgets for all grade levels.

The petition, called “No Cuts, No Compromises,” demands that state governors pledge not to make any cuts in their education budgets. The hope is that a freeze in budgetary cuts will stop college tuition increases in its track, by not providing a reason for college and universities to seek the difference by raising tuition. Because the petition asks for no cuts in the entire education budget, all grade levels will be affected, in effect, freezing all cuts which could potentially lead to more cut-backs in faculty, resources and programs in public schools.

Kari Britt of Dover, New Hampshire, shared her support for this petition, “I agree whole heartedly with this petition. I know from personal experience that it is impossible to find a job that pays enough to afford student loan payments. I chose to borrow money to pay for my college education because I believed that it was an investment. It’s time for the other side to hold up their end of the bargain.”

Shawn Foster of southern Oregon agrees. “As both a graduate student and the parent of two college students, I understand the enormous financial burden that college has become. However, I also understand that it is essential for the current time. The time has come to reconfigure how higher education funding works,” he said.

The average cost of education has risen 66% in the last 20 years. Administrator salary has not only also risen considerably, but like Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, can exceed the million mark – $1.8 million, to be exact.

Facilitators from Occupy Colleges and students from University of Rhode Island, North Carolina State University and Occidental College have created this online petition with the long-term goal of ending student debt and making college affordable. This petition provides a short-term solution for state leaders. A solution that asks them to leave education budgets “as-is.” Should there be a necessity to cut state budgets, cut it from another sector of the budget, but not the education budget. Students and Americans at-large will no longer accept compromises in education. To be clear, this petition does not affect allocating additional resources toward education, it just demands that no cuts be made.

The No Cuts, No Compromises petition has been in circulation for a few weeks, but the first week of April is its official launch. It’s part of a series of initiatives that will mark American Spring. Occupy Colleges aims to obtain at least 10,000 new signatures every month and 30,000 signatures by July. On July 4, 2012, the signatures will be grouped by state and sent to respective governors. It’s important residents, 18 and over from all 50 states participate in this endeavor so the petition can be implemented in all states. Participation will also show government leaders that education is important to all Americans.

The petition is located at http://studentsoccupy.nationbuilder.com/. All Americans who believe education is a right and not a privilege should sign on today.

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Written for Occupy Colleges 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

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