Last Friday, PHENOM organized a rally in Government Center, outside of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Boston Office. The rally raised awareness of the student loan debt crisis and expressed thanks for Sen. Warren’s introduction of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. Sen. The bill will allow qualified student loan borrowers to refinance their student loans to the current lower rates. PHENOM was joined by a number of other community organizations, including Crittenton Women’s Union and the Youth Jobs Coalition.
After an introduction by PHENOM’s new Executive Director, Natalie Higgins, Senator Eileen Donoghue (D- Lowell) opened the event with a heartfelt speech about her work to address the student debt loan crisis in Massachusetts. Ruthie Liberman, VP of Public Policy at Crittenton Women’s Union, followed with stories of CWU’s clients’ struggles with debt and their campaigns to address the costs of higher education. Anastasia Wilson, a UMass Amherst PhD candidate in Economics, detailed her research on the causes and consequences of student debt in Massachusetts, from a paper that will be published in the near future. Then Marven Hyppolite, a recent UMass Dartmouth graduate, recounted his own struggles with student debt and the barriers it created for so many of his peers, in accessing and continuing their higher education. Finally, Ferd Wulkan (PHENOM), presented Senator Warren’s office (Chris Lange) with a thank you card signed by more than sixty PHENOM members.
Warren’s bill will be voted on tomorrow, September 9th, 2014. We will provide an update of the results of the vote later this week.
For more information on the legislation, visit Generation Progress.