Student Debt and Rising Tuition

My goal in using wordpress as an online platform to create my website is to spread the message about the rising cost of college tuition and the overwhelming debt upon graduation to as many people as possible. The benefit of this type of platform is that it is a fast, effective, and affordable way to get information out there. Besides being someone actually living through this problem right now, there are several ramifications that are not always thought about at first glance such as the postponement of marriage and children, limited entrepreneurial pursuits, increased default rate and damaged credit, and the limited pursuit of public interest jobs in favor of money driven jobs.There are several interesting articles with statistics about the anxiety factor from this trend. It is important to offer solutions as well as the problem so my website will offer statistics and links to current organizations working toward a solution to the college tuition/debt crisis including SALT, TICAS, service loan forgiveness, and the Million Student March. While touching upon the political climate and what we can expect under the new administration, my website will strive to enlighten viewers that this is a relevant problem for all of us, not just those of a particular political party. To sum it up, my website will attempt to make the viewer trust that this is a real problem affecting the majority of students and help them see that a solution is necessary for the good of the country’s economic future. With information from major media outlets and video clips of the million student march I plan to organize my website into the problem, future ramifications, possible solutions, and what to expect politically. Hopefully viewers will understand the problem more and realize  that just figuring out how to finance their education is only the beginning of a much larger problem.debt

Advocacy: Fighting to Resolve Problems in One’s Society

To me, advocacy means being educated on the seriousness of a particular issue in our society and fighting politically, legally, economically, or socially to resolve or improve it to help others. It means fighting for justice for someone who is unable to for any reason. Without lobbyists advocating for change, government officials and the general public might not be particularly aware of the issues in their societies that need to be resolved. I think of movements such as the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and the Occupy Wall Street movement when I think about movements that work to create change generally. All three included direct, open protests that were impossible for their audiences to ignore, were about issues that were urgently essential to their participants’ lives, brought issues that were not even in the newspaper to the front page and cable news headlines, and are still alive today. While the Occupy Wall Street movement began much more recently (2011) than the civil rights movement and women’s movement, which can both be traced back to the mid-late 1800’s (civil rights in terms of African Americans’ rights as freedpeople and American citizens), all three movements are still going strong or are at least very well-known within our society today.

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The Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21. 
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At a Black Lives Matter protest.

I would like to explore:

As a student who will graduate with debt, I am very interested in any way that I can get out of paying off said debt with constantly growing interest and in what the workforce will look like when I graduate and have to pay off my loans, along with many other college students across the country.

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I also care a great deal about mental health awareness because I have seen so many of my friends and family members suffer from mental health problems: everything from various eating disorders to insomnia and depression. Mental health is still a very stigmatized issue in our society, but the only way to de-stigmatize it is to inform the public about it so they do not fear or marginalize those with mental health problems.

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I am fascinated by the movements to improve our educational system, such as the Education Opportunity Network’s goal to reorganize America’s public schools to better support students personally and academically regardless of economic factors or zip codes. I firmly believe, both personally and as a future teacher, that every person has the right to the best education possible for them personally if they wish to take advantage of it.

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I would like to explore these movements to better understand their history, their future goals, and how their actions may impact the national or global economy in the future, since these factors may potentially have significant impact on my personal economic well-being as well as that of the U.S. itself. Given the current political climate, I would expect problems with the movements advocating for change getting through to lawmakers. Since their non-conservative agendas will likely contradict the plans of the conservative Congressmen, Senators, and President and could make their lives and re-elections difficult if they agreed to support these movements’ more liberal agendas.

Advocacy: Education and Action

To me advocacy is educating yourself on a topic that is often misconstrued, misinformed, or not even spoken about and to then take the information you learned and present it to others in order to bring about awareness and understanding.  The ultimate goal is to change how the topic is handled or viewed by our current society.

The word movement instantly brings to mind the historic women’s voting rights movement and its connection to the current women’s movement seen advocating for a multitude of topics very recently at the women’s march worldwide.  Historically the Civil Right’s movement sought to bring to light the issues faced by those marginalized in America specifically African-American people and the ways in which they were and still are mistreated.

With awareness comes a call to action.  “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Desmond Tutu.  This quote by Desmond Tutut, a South African social rights activist, connects the education side of advocacy to the movements that come from advocacy.  Once aware of the issue and injustices in this world there must be a movement to create a difference.  The final goal of advocacy is to no longer need to spread awareness of an inequality because the inequality no longer exists.

The student debt movement interests me and intersects with my life as the movement strives to lower the amount of debt students face upon graduation. The women’s rights movement strives to make sure women have equal rights, reproductive rights, and much more. By exploring these movements I will become aware of inequalities that affect me and work with other like-minded people to make a difference in my own and  my peers future. Moving forward I anticipate challenges convincing others that there are still issues to face when it comes to women’s rights and making a change legally in the current political climate.