BCC Rallies for Public Higher Education Funding

Students and community want an end to underfunding.

Students, staff and members of the Bristol Community College community rallied at the Fall River and New Bedford campuses on April 26 to oppose the latest budget proposal that would increase costs for students and working families at public colleges and universities.

The current MA House budget proposal underfunds public colleges and universities by over $50 million, meaning tuition and fee increases for the people who can least afford it.


Fall River Herald News: “BCC students, faculty rally for affordable college education” (link)
New Bedford Standard Times: “BCC rallies for higher ed funds” (link)

PHENOM Board Member and BCC Professor Colleen Avedikian, BCC Professor Dan Gilbarg, and BCC student Paul Vermette all spoke in New Bedford.

“Public education, public higher education, needs to be affordable and accessible,” Avedikian said. “And people must be engaged in the fight for public higher education. It’s part of being in a democracy.”

The speakers at the Fall River campus included: Amy Blanchette, PHENOM Board Member and BCC student, Fall River Mass in Motion Coordinator Eric Andrade, PHENOM Executive Director Zac Bears, and Jessica Wong, a BCC and UMass Amherst graduate who is an AmeriCorps member in Fall River.

“It’s a disservice to students and keeps people from progressing,” Wong said. “The only thing more expensive than investing in higher education is not investing in higher education.”

Andrade, a BCC and UMass Dartmouth graduate, said he has $30,000 in student debt.

“It’s disheartening,” said Andrade. “There should be investment in higher education.”