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Support for Santa Monica students, faculty, staff

Santa-monica-students-jill-stein.gifIn December of 2011, Dr. Stein met with students at Santa Monica College, including Harrison Wills, the president of their student association and a Green Party member. Stein issued the following statement this morning:

"Students and other members of the Santa Monica College community were cruelly pepper-sprayed this week for trying to participate in a public meeting about the sky-rocketing tuition costs for public higher education that are about to be imposed on them. They are heroes for standing up for this imperiled foundation of our  economy and our democracy.

Specifically the students were voicing their objections to the proposed quadrupling of fees for many summer courses through a so-called "Two-Tiered Tuition" system. This comes in the aftermath of decades of tuition increases across the country which have made a college degree as much as ten times as expensive for students compared to just a generation ago. Most college students are going into deep debt to pay these high costs already, with roughly 30 million students and recent graduates struggling to repay college debt amidst desperately high unemployment rates for recent college graduates. 
We need these students to be fully educated so they can transform our Wall Street-run, fossil fuel-dependent, obsolete economy into a just, sustainable green economy for the 21st century. And as thinkers from Benjamin Franklin to W.E.B Dubois, John Dewey, and today, Diane Ravitch have warned, we need an educated citizenry in order to strengthen democracy, especially today in the age of Citizens United.

For all these reasons, higher education needs to be accessible to all. That's why I have made student loan debt forgiveness a key priority of my campaign. If we found a way to bail out the bankers who crashed the economy with 16 trillion in giveaways and free loans, we can forgive the much smaller 1 trillion dollar debt of the students, who are suffering the economic consequences of that waste, fraud and abuse.

I am committed also to making public higher education free and open to all students -- like our primary and secondary schools -- since a college education is as critical for economic security in the 21st century as a high school degree was in the 20th. This is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing, as shown by the GI bill which returned $7 in increased revenues for every $1 invested by the federal government.

I met many of the amazing students at Santa Monica College in my visit to the campus this past December. They are truly leaders in the fight for generational justice in their courageous stand against high unemployment, rising higher education costs, exploitative college loans, and escalating climate catastrophe that all fall most harshly on the backs of their generation. In fighting for justice for their generation, they are standing up for a healthy economy, democracy and ecology for us all."
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commented 2012-04-06 12:47:54 -0400 · Flag
awesome, that is what I woke up thinking about this morning! thank you
commented 2012-04-06 12:25:11 -0400 · Flag
Hi Rachel – for starters, see http://www.FirstAmendmentPledge.org
commented 2012-04-06 11:50:23 -0400 · Flag
Thank you for addressing this violation of human rights. Many people are tired of the rights of citizens bein overlooked by leaders who are more concerned about the stock market. I would like to know what you would do, as President, to re-align the police forces and judicial system to protect citizens, what would you do abou these violations of constitutional rights?
published this page in News 2012-04-06 10:17:00 -0400