FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 2009
CONTACT: Katie Sue Cambell – (814) 482-0775, Sarah Buchner – (828) 674-4928
Students to hold funeral for scholarship benefitting low-income people
On November 10, 2009, Students for a Democratic Society will hold a “funeral for the EARN scholarship” on UNC-Asheville’s campus as part of a national day of action for education rights called by the newly-formed Network to Fight for Economic Justice.
Students will assemble at 12:20 PM in front of the dining hall to begin the event. Sarah Buchner, the chair of the UNC-Asheville chapter of SDS, explained what will happen. “We’ll have pallbearers carry our mock-casket, with a few stops along the way, to the final destination on the quad where a tombstone will remain for the rest of the week to mark this scholarship’s short life struck down by the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen.” SDS will also circulate a petition at the protest, collecting signatures that it intends to take to the North Carolina General Assembly.
The EARN scholarship, cut at the state-level due to ‘budget shortfalls’, was received by 10,700 students across North Carolina and was for persons that made less than 200% over the poverty line. The EARN scholarship was particularly for working class and low-income students.
According to a petition circulated by SDS about the scholarship, “Today, in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, when millions are being put out of work and even out of their homes, we cannot let working class and low income students be put out of school while the government spends trillions on wars and occupations all over the world and while the rich continue to get bailed out here at home. We believe that education, like housing, a job, or healthcare, is necessary to live in the United States, and is therefore a right for all people, not a privilege only for those who can afford it.”
SDS member Viviana Moreno said, “We want to send a message to North Carolina General Assembly that youth, students, and workers will not stand for this. Working people will not foot the bill for this economic crisis which has been created by the rich. We don’t want the budget balanced on our backs.”
“The U.S. is fighting two unjust wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, costing hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Why can’t we use some of that money here at home to take care of people’s needs?” commented SDS member Angela Denio.
Students for a Democratic Society is demanding that universities “chop from the top” by cutting the pay of top administrators who make more than $100,000 rather than cutting scholarships and programs that benefit low-income and working class people.
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