Students take to the streets of Nassau for protest of student debt
NYSTOWN, N.Y. — Students took to the street of Nassaugas University Sunday, protesting the burden of student loan debt that many graduates have to repay while they attend college.
As students filled the streets, several chanted “We are not indebted” and “Stop the debt.”
“I’m here to support the students who are fighting for an equitable college education,” said Michael McBride, 19, who attended SUNY Binghamton.
“I’m tired of the debt.
It’s too much.””
My parents are working.
They can’t get a job.
It sucks,” said Devena Nyan, 21, who graduated from SUNY Oswego.
“But I love it.”
Many of the protesters were students at SUNY New Paltz, but there were also students at the university of Delaware, where Nyan studied and a few other colleges.
At SUNY, students are able to borrow money from the state for college tuition while in college.
But many students are saddled with a huge debt.
SUNY President Mark Schlissel announced in March that he was reducing the maximum debt a student can owe from $28,000 to $16,000.
But he also reduced the maximum amount of student loans the state could disburse to students by $1,500, meaning many students would have to borrow a lot of money to graduate.
Students at SUNNY Binghamon have taken to the campus to protest the burden they have to pay while attending college.
The SUNY student newspaper, The Student, said in a February story that SUNY has more than 20,000 undergraduates who owe more than $20,000, and more than 2,500 students who owe over $50,000 of debt.
“This is an issue that affects the whole community,” said Nicholas Smith, the editor of The Student.
“It affects our entire student body.
We’ve got to take action.”
Students at the SUNY College of Engineering and Computer Science have taken on the challenge to raise awareness about the debt burden that many students have to deal with.
The college’s Student Union, Student Action and Students for a Fair Education launched a campaign to pressure the university to stop the disbursement of federal aid to students and to increase aid for lower-income students.
The students say that while there are plenty of options for students to attend SUNY for college, a significant portion of them are still struggling to pay the bills.
“I feel like I need a job,” said Jordan Smith, a junior at SUNTEC.
“That’s the main reason I want to be here.
That’s why I’m so committed to this.””
There are some great opportunities here for the next generation of people, but I think this is an area where we have to work together,” said Smith.