Green News, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit, Environment, Healing, Peace, Political Resistance in Florida. News gathering space for Crimes Against Humanity & Ecocide in the Gulf of Toxico & after affects on life here. Now covering FRACKING, MINING, LNG PIPELINES, WATER QUALITY & so many more environmental issues. Updates from WISE WOMEN MEDIA--THE RADIO SHOW & CHALLENGING THE RHETORIC. Hoodooing in the Green Swamp & other Wild Places throughout our State.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Tampa students occupy administration building to defend education rights
Matt Hastings of Tampa Bay SDS holds a sign before the rally. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Students speak out in Marshall Center. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Catherine Lim and Tyler Fox of Tampa Bay SDS dropped a banner inside of the Marshall Student Center at USF. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Students confront Administrators in building lobby. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Tampa, FL - Students gathered in the Marshall Student Center, on the University of South Florida's (USF) campus, on March 6 protesting budget cuts and tuition hikes. The average USF student's debt is over $22,000 from loans. Meanwhile, the school's Board of Trustees – those who cut the budgets and raise tuition – are made up of representatives of corporations like Tampa Electric Company and Fifth Third Bank. Last year the Board voted to raise tuition by 11%. On top of this, Florida Governor Rick Scott has cut $300 million from the eleven state universities' budgets. Now, the USF administration is threatening to raise tuition yet again.
Students marched into the Marshall Center demanding that the school “Chop from the top.” From there, they dropped a banner from the fourth floor which read “Education is a right, not a privilege.” Inside, the students, most of whom were a part of Students for a Democratic Society, gave speeches.
Susie Shannon, a staff worker and member of AFSCME Local 3342, said “The union's position on education is that it should be free! Students shouldn't have to get two jobs or put debt on their families in order to get an education. We have the voice to do something about it.”
Jared Hoey of Tampa Bay SDS said, “We can't default on student loans. While the banks on Wall Street got billions in bailout money, we didn't get a dime! Where the hell is our bailout?”
From there they marched through campus to the office of USF President Judy Genshaft. The USF president has not taken a firm stance on the budget cuts nor the tuition hikes. SDS demanded that she join the students and fight against the budget cuts brought on by Governor Scott's office in Tallahassee. Across campus the crowd chanted, “No cuts, no fees, education should be free!”