Thank you for making our 2017 Advocacy Day the biggest and most powerful one yet! Put March 27th from 5-8pm in your calendar for our next General Assembly Meeting.
State funding for our public colleges and universities has fallen by over 30% per student over the past 15 years. That means higher costs for students, greater reliance on adjunct faculty and more privatization on our campuses. That’s why students, faculty, staff, community members and supporters are standing up and fighting back at Advocacy Day this year.
What is Advocacy Day?
Advocacy Day is an annual event where supporters of our public colleges and universities head to the State House to share their stories about high tuition and fee costs, struggling to piece together an income as an adjunct professor, the burdens of student debt on their families and the other challenges we all face because of the high cost of public higher education.
We also share the essential story of education. The story of how we build communities, how we teach future generations, and how we join together to learn about the world. We write that story every day at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.
Your story is important
Are your student tuition and fees too high? Do you and your family struggle to afford college? Are you worried about how student debt will affect the future for you and your children? Are you an adjunct faculty member working for low pay and no health insurance? Are you a staff person who has seen their pay erode? Are you concerned that the yearly budget cuts by the state are hurting the education we provide to students?
Your story is important. And legislators want to hear it.
On Beacon Hill, just 10 phone calls can make a difference and get legislation supported and passed. We are showing up in force at the State House on March 1 to share our stories and be the difference. Legislators want to hear from students and working families in their district, and hearing from you could get them to support a vision of high-quality, debt-free public higher education that provides more opportunities for students and treats campus workers with dignity and respect.
So start thinking about the story you want to tell, and we will be working with you to perfect that story as we lead up to the event.
What are we asking for?
Our overall ask is simple: We want a high-quality, debt-free future for our public higher education system.
To move closer this year, we are asking legislators to:
- Commit to a High-Quality, Debt-Free Future
- Pass the Finish Line Grant to provide One Year Free
- Full funding for campus budgets to freeze tuition and fees
- Commit to debt-free public higher education through the Fair Share Millionaire’s Tax Amendment or other means
- Invest in Faculty and Campuses
- Full funding for all worker contracts/collective bargaining agreements
- Support adjunct faculty through pay equity, retirement and health care
- Full funding for campus budgets to meet their basic requests
- Protect Immigrant Students and Communities
- Protect in-state tuition and financial aid for DACA students
- Prevent colleges and universities from releasing student data
When and where?
Advocacy Day is on March 1, 2017 and starts at the Massachusetts State House at 10 a.m. There are events in the Great Hall of Flags from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and at the UMass Club from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. We will also be supporting on-campus events for people who cannot make it to the State House on March 1.
9:30 AM to 10:15 AM — Registration
10:15 AM to 11:00 AM — Speaking Program
11:00 AM to 11:30 AM — Prepare for Legislative Visits
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM — Visit with Your Legislators
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM — Lunch in the Great Hall, submit feedback forms, regroup by campus, debrief
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM — Community College Student Leadership Association (CCSLA) Reception
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM — Cooldown and Student Conversations
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM — Public Higher Education Impact Reception
Transportation and Food
There will be transportation from the campuses, and we will have lunch ready for you at the State House after you visit with your legislators.