YDSA spreading awareness about their upcoming student debt protest

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Dustin Clark | @dustinclark.oof

YDSA spreading awareness about their upcoming student debt protest

On Saturday March 5 at 3 p.m. the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), gathered at Faner Plaza to tell people about their upcoming student debt protest taking place on May 1.

According to an article published in the Daily Egyptian there have been protests about student debt in the past. In 2014 Strike Debt Carbondale and other organizations decided to bring awareness to the issues that student debt causes.

Because Biden can only cancel federal student loans and not private ones so he was able to forgive some of the student loan debt, but people are still not happy that all of it has been forgiven,

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Ben Patterson, the co-chair of YDSA, said people need to be informed about the current situation revolving around student debt.

“Our President, Joe Biden, said and promised that he’d get rid of student debt, or at least a portion of it, and he hasn’t done so. A lot of people are going into debt just to go to school,” Patterson said.

People should stay aware of the current student debt situation because it affects everyone who goes to college, and is considering going, Patterson said.

Patterson expressed he is about 30 to 40 thousand dollars in debt and it has been hard to pay off.

“It’s definitely hard trying to save up money to pay it down, especially when all the loans I’ve been trying to get aren’t exactly covering everything for a full year. So, I have to pay out of pocket on top of saving up money for payments I have to make once I’m done,” Patterson said.

Kyle Sullivan, the head of the volunteer committee for YDSA, said people are not being unreasonable in asking student debt to be forgiven.

“It’s not a handout. It’s about cutting out what’s really an economic tumor because every dollar that an American is spending on student debt is $1 that they aren’t spending on major life milestones,” Sullivan said.

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Sullivan said because people have thousands of dollars of student debt, it is harder on them to plan for their future.

If government programs need to be cut in order to cut down on student debt, the military should be first, Sullivan said.

“We have an obscenely high military budget. We have a lot of corporate handouts to things like the oil industry and big agriculture,” Sullivan said. “These incredibly wealthy corporations that make billions and profits and we’re still handing them money that they don’t actually need.”

Sullivan said we are not limited to where we can get the money to lower the national student debt.

Randy Hodge, a senior at Southern Illinois University (SIU), said private and public loan industries have too much of a foothold in the education system and that is probably the reason Biden is hesitant to cut student debt.

“Private and public loan industries and education industries are a much bigger lobby than people realize,” Hodge said.

Hodge said these industries are preventing people from paying off debt they collected from higher education.

Students pursue a higher education because they want a career, and it is hard to do so when the education system is used as a way to get money out of people, Hodge said.

“The education system is completely controlled by profit motive. [When people] think of education, we think of pursuing dreams and goals, but all of it is a 100% wrapped up. In fact, the corporation’s see it as a place to extract wealth from,” Hodge said.

Hodge said because corporations have a lot of influence in the Department of Education, it is causing problems for many students financially.

“If our local community leaders are interested in reversing this trend and staying on top, then they need to crush student debt and they need to crush the ballooning costs of college,” Sullivan said.

Assistant to the Editor Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @DEJaniyah. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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