Last week I got a heads-up about a budget teach-in at the University of Massachusetts Boston that was put together by the folks at Massachusetts Students Uniting (Facebook and Twitter).

I asked for links so I could add it to the map, but there wasn’t any media coverage so one of the participants wrote up an account just for us. Here are some excerpts, lightly edited:

Well over 60 students attended, including many student government members. We talked about trends in higher education in Massachusetts — the constant cuts the state has made to appropriations to the state colleges and universities, the cuts to financial aid, the amount of tax payer funds going to private institutions, and the incredibly low ranking Massachusetts holds in funding its higher education system. We also discussed the failing high fee/high aid model that emerged out of Vermont, the effects it has caused at colleges such as UMichigan, the recent instatement of this plan by the UC Board of Regents, and how it is also being instituted here in Massachusetts.

Students shared their own experiences — from working full time jobs on top of a full course load in order to try and complete school on time, to the crushing amount of debt now commonplace among college students.
We also began brainstorming ideas as how to convince the state to increase funding, everything from study-ins, to lobbying, trying to close tax loopholes, and so much more.

Look out for some actions out of Massachusetts next semester as students from public colleges and universities from around the state meet in about a week to begin planning for the spring.

Dan McDowell
Massachusetts Students Uniting

If you’ve got something going on at your campus that you’d like the site’s readers to know about, be sure to pass word along.