Colleges and Universities
Petition to American Offices of Higher Education, Department of Education
Reduce the tuition of America's public colleges
What is the purpose of going to college? Isn’t it to further the education of America’s next generation in something that they’re passionate about? While this may be the case, it’s pretty difficult to think of the so-called “bright” future when you’ll end up graduating with over $20,000 worth of college debt. Public Four-Year Tuition Costs in the United States: 1987-1988: $3,190 1997-1998: $4,740 2007-2008: $7,280 2017-2018: $9,970 (213% increase) Most likely, the student would pay the tuition fee themselves, with much difficulty as the rising cost of higher education has led to a collective $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. In 2012, 71 percent of graduates from four-year colleges carried debt, with students at public schools owing an average of $25,550. With these thoughts in mind, it’s not surprising that many young Americans choose to not pursue a higher education. Even though financial aid may be provided to some, not every single college attendee is able to be covered by scholarships or aid. Our goals are: To bring attention to the high college costs that continue to increase annually Gain your support in demanding for lower college prices Lower the tuition of America's public colleges America’s future doctors, lawyers, business people, and architects lie in the next generation, but the only way to bring these workers out is to give them the education that they need and desire for at a fair and reasonable cost. Without this future generation, the future of America may cease to exist. There needs to be cheaper or lower cost for the futures of tomorrow. The future lies in the hands of the present. Don’t let them down.
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Student debt will be the next bubble to burst. Tell Congress to forgive student debt
Student loan debt in America is the largest form of any debt, other than home mortgages. Many student loan borrowers are defaulting. If nothing is done, this could be the next bubble to burst, propelling the economy into another recession. It doesn’t help that overall earnings for young people is substantially lower than past generations. With rising cost of living, the burden of student loans, and the reality of lower wages - recent graduates are struggling for the basics. It’s only a matter of time before more student loan borrowers default on their loans. Congress could do something about it, they could forgive student loan debt by passing the Student Loan Forgiveness Act. Tell Congress to help reinvigorate the economy and simultaneously avert the next financial crisis - forgive all federal student loan debt and pass the House Student Loan Forgiveness Act. Across the U.S., student debt is holding an entire generation back from life’s major milestones; from buying a first home to starting a family. Some states are starting to take notice. Maine is one of the first U.S. states trying to help student loan borrowers. Over one-third of Maine’s population is at or near-retirement. In an effort to attract young Mainers who’ve left the state for higher paying jobs elsewhere - while also reinvigorating the state’s economy - Maine is giving student borrowers a second chance. In the state’s new program, the state will help recent grads pay off their student loan debt through a state-tax reimbursement, ranging from $3,500 to $5,000 a year over a ten-year period. States shouldn’t have to go it alone. Tell Congress to forgive federal student loan debt. Large student loan burdens have meant graduates aren’t investing in themselves or the economy like past generations of Americans. It’s easy to see why. Forty-four million Americans are carrying the burden of student loan debt, amounting to a whopping $1.5 trillion. For perspective, America’s credit card debt was $1 trillion in 2017. Only one-third of student loans are in repayment, the rest has essentially been put on hold or is in default. Across the U.S., 1 million Americans default on their student loans every year. By 2023, 40% of borrowers will default on their student loans - pushing us all into the next recession and shrinking the middle class. Whether or not you have student loan debt, student loan defaults will devastate the economy - hurling us all into the next recession. Tell Congress to prevent the next recession before it happens, forgive student loan debt.
Petition to Mary A. Papazian
Open Letter to President Mary A. Papazian
We, the SJSU students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as community members, ask you, President Papazian, to respond to the demands made by the Student Homeless Alliance (SHA). As you are aware, 13.2% of San José State students have experienced homelessness in the past year (according to the 2018 CSU Chancellor’s Office Study of Student Basic Needs). With a student population of 33,000, this means that over 4,000 SJSU students have experienced homelessness within the past year. Clearly, this is totally unacceptable, and we believe it deserves your immediate attention. SHA’s demands are reasonable. They include: 1. A minimum of 10 parking spots in the 7th Street Parking Garage for safe parking (this is an increase from the originally promised 5 to 7 spots that the SJSU administration agreed to in July, 2018 but has yet to enact);2. A minimum of 12 beds in the dorms for homeless students, where they can stay up to 60 days (this is expansion of two beds for two weeks that is now offered);3. $2,500 emergency grants for students to remain in housing if they cannot afford rent. We acknowledge and appreciate that you have met one of our original demands, and that is to provide a resource list of homelessness and hunger services to all students at their Transfer/Freshman Orientation, as well as a clear and direct workable link for food and housing security under the ‘Current Students’ tab on the SJSU website. However, you have had the above three demands before you for two months. To draw attention to the SJSU student homeless crisis, students wrote you a letter asking for a meeting (which has not happened), slept out at the Smith & Carlos statues to be in solidarity with homeless students, marched on campus, and held a candlelight vigil in front of your office. Taken by themselves, the above demands will not end student homelessness. However, they are an important beginning. If you agree to implement them, it will demonstrate your willingness to address the concerns that have been brought before you by your constituents, the students. And now that Governor Newsom has proposed $15 million dollars to the Basic Needs Initiative (over $650,000 per campus) in his new budget, SJSU will now have the financial ability to not only meet our demands, but to do even more. We, the signatories to this letter, await your response. **Please identify on the petition comment if you are a SJSU student, faculty, staff, alumni, or community member.
Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Vermont State Senate, Vermont State House
Universities: Differentiate Between Bad Grades and Sexual Assault
When a student is convicted of sexual assault and then dismissed from their college or university, there is little to no indication on this person’s transcript as to why they were dismissed. At some colleges and universities, a small asterisk is placed at the bottom of his/her transcript indicating they have been dismissed. This symbol is used to indicate a dismissal for poor grades as well as the commitment and conviction of sexual assault. It then falls upon the college or university viewing this person’s transcript to not only notice the small asterisk, but then to contact this person’s former institution and inquire about his/her dismissal. This is a rare occurrence. When a student is convicted of sexual assault, many college and universities are mainly concerned about getting this person off their campus, which is understandable and something that needs to happen. However, what happens when s/he transfers schools and arrives on a new campus? This person’s new school most likely is not fully aware of the reasoning behind their dismissal, and without proper knowledge of his/her past. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), 51% of all alleged rapists have at least one previous conviction, 19% have 2-4 previous convictions, 12% have 5-9 previous convictions, and 8% have 10 or more previous convictions. RAINN also states that 69% of the people that have been sexually assaulted are aged 12-34. Female college students aged 18-24 are 3 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than females in general. We are proposing a bill that would require colleges and universities to explicitly indicate that this person was dismissed for sexual assault and is therefore a danger to students, faculty, and staff not just at the college or university s/he is dismissed from but to any institution to which s/he applies. This bill would transform the admissions process allowing colleges and universities to manage risk before it even steps foot on their campus and would serve as a preventative measure to combat sexual assault on college campuses. In addition to bettering reactionary services available to someone after s/he has been sexually assaulted, there needs to be systems in place to stop it from ever occurring. Should a college or university choose to ignore this new indication to the applicant’s past, the school would then be held accountable in the event this person commits sexual assault on their campus, eliminating the possibility the college or university could claim ignorance. New York and Virginia have passed similar laws requiring their colleges and universities to indicate whether students were dismissed due to sexual assault. They had hoped to create a domino effect, with other states following their lead in the hopes that a federal law would be introduced. Unfortunately, this did not happen. By signing this petition, you are expressing support in favor of a bill that would require colleges and universities to explicitly mark on a student's transcript whether or not they have been dismissed from that institution on the grounds of sexual assault. It is time our country stops protecting the perpetrators of sexual assault and starts protecting those who have been sexually assaulted and implements measures to keep the number that have been assaulted as low as possible. explaintheasterisk.org Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explaintheasterisk/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/explainasterisk or use hashtag #ExplainTheAsterisk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/explaintheasterisk
Petition to UC BOARS Committee
Make Computer Science count in California #CSinCA #MakeCSCount
In California, unlike most states, computer science is only an elective. This discourages students from taking it and schools from teaching it. California ought to be a leader in computer science. Make CS count in California and let all our kids have access to this foundational field. While most of America has already made this change, California doesn’t count CS toward graduation or college admission requirements. For this reason, most California schools don’t even offer it. As one of California’s few CS educators, I’ve witnessed the direct impact on my students in Oakland. Strained by the rigors of filling their schedule with required courses, few students can even consider computer science. It’s heartbreaking to see a student forced to choose between CS, which would be foundational to her career, and the courses required for college. No student should have to make such a choice. I’ve seen computer science transform the lives of my students. In America’s top universities, CS is rapidly becoming the most popular field of study. Leaders across academia and business have declared that computer science is foundational. California is making big moves to embrace CS. Schools across the state are adding CS classes. Governor Brown and the State Legislature have passed new laws providing a path for computer science to count towards graduation and university admission. In spite of these advances, the ultimate decision rests with the independent University of California Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) , and so far they’ve rejected proposals to make computer science count. I’m joining elected officials and dozens of academic and business leaders who stepped forward this week to ask the BOARS committee to update their math requirements (category “C”) to count computer science. Allowing computer science to count as a “C” credit will drive curriculum adoption by schools and enrollment by diverse populations across the state. Join us in urging the U.C. BOARS committee make computer science count. Together let’s bring California’s education system into the 21st century.
Petition to Binghamton University administration
CANCEL CLASSES THURSDAY 1/31/19 @ BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
From the University Instagram Page:"A wind chill warning is in effect from now until 6 p.m. Thursday (1/31/19). Wind chills as low as 20 or 30 degrees below zero are expected. Based on current conditions, the University will remain open and operational. However, we will continue to monitor the weather..." Wind chills of 20 to 40 below zero are possible through Thursday morning. At those temperatures, it can take less than 10 minutes to develop frostbite on any exposed skin. Given the icy and slippery conditions, commutes to class from residence halls and parking lots can exceed 10 minutes.
Petition to Martha Pollack
Cancel Cornell classes on Thursday, 1/31
With horrible wind chills of -20 tomorrow, it will be extremely unsafe for students to get to class tomorrow. Weather channels are advising to stay indoors. Ithaca College and local schools have already cancelled classes. Please look out for the safety and well-being of your students.