Support the Student Sit-in for a Debt Free Future

Students are occupying the State House to demand action for their future.

Photo: Students sitting in at the State House on May 16, 2019.

Students are currently sitting-in as an act of protest at the Massachusetts State House. We are sitting in to demand that the Debt Free Future Act (S. 744/H. 1221) be brought to a vote immediately and that Senate President Spilka and House Speaker DeLeo meet with our representatives to understand the impact and urgency of the student debt crisis.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Are you ready to join us? — The more people we have sitting-in, the more effectively we are able to escalate. We will be sitting in again on Friday, 5/17 from 9AM to 5PM and again starting Monday, 5/20 through the week until our demands are met (from 9AM to 5PM every day). If you are able to join us, or are looking for other ways to help, please fill out this form

2. Are you ready to donate? — Any money you are able to contribute will help us cover travel costs, food costs (for both ourselves and staff in Speaker DeLeo’s and Senate President Spilka’s offices), and bail fund money if we choose to escalate over the course of the sit-in.

3. Are you ready to call and meet your legislators? — This folder contains guides on how to call, set up a meeting with, and actually meet with your legislators. Making your voices heard and getting legislators on our side will help us put pressure on Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka and show them how important this issue is to so many people.

The Debt Free Future Act will enable UMass Amherst, as well as all Massachusetts public colleges and universities, to abolish all tuition and fees. Every day, students skip meals on campuses. Every day, students drop out due to college costs. Every day, students suffer because of the legislature’s inaction on this issue. This has to end, and we won’t leave until it does. Elimination of tuition and fees is crucial to the success and survival of our students, and you can help us make this happen.

For nearly the last two decades, the legislature has failed to take this issue seriously—in its latest blow to higher education, the legislature has underfunded UMass, state universities, and community colleges yet again. Because of systematic state disinvestment from our public higher education, tuition and fees at the Commonwealth’s public colleges and universities have risen 109% since 2001. As students, we now pay double what we used to for enrollment at our public institutions. Enough is enough. It’s our time to reverse the trend and show the legislature what real leadership looks like.

Anything you are able to give allows us to sustain this action and come that much closer to the debt-free future we all deserve. Please, spread the word and show your support in any way possible.

This issue cannot be ignored any longer and with your help, we will win a debt-free future.