From PHENOM’s 2015/16 Newsletter:
Senator Elizabeth Warren had some high praise for PHENOM and its efforts to fight for high-quality, affordable and accessible public higher education. She sent a video message to PHENOM’s Conference on Expanding Access to Higher Education held November 7, 2015 at Mass Bay Community College. Warren said, “Thank you for the important work you’re doing each day to build opportunities for students in Massachusetts. You’re making a real difference.”
One of PHENOM’s founding principles is the belief that “All our institutions of public higher education should serve the full range of students in the Commonwealth; for example, neither race, class, disability nor age should serve as a barrier to attending and completing college.”
While PHENOM has done a lot of work around affordability, we recognize that there are other barriers to accessing a college education besides cost. Even if higher education were free, many people still have to overcome significant obstacles in order to attend college. PHENOM is not waiting for college to be free to address them!
This was very much in evidence on November 7 at Mass Bay Community College at the conference on Expanding Access to Higher Education. Over 50 people, activists and organizers from many community organizations and a majority of our public campuses, spent a whole day identifying barriers, sharing best practices, and coming up with recommendations around Transportation, Students of Color, First Generation Students, Trans and Other GLBTQ Students, Students with Disabilities, Immigrant Students, Students with Children, Low Income Students, and Survivors of Sexual Violence.
Through follow-up meetings, reports and future conferences, PHENOM expects to continue the work of this conference.