PHENOM Board Meeting, September 19, 2011

Held at Quinsigamond Community College

 Attendance: Lane Lloyd, Patrick Burke, Nicole Ouimette, Max Page, Emily Round, Nedia Morsy, Paola Ozuna, Anastasia Wilson, Nicole Mitchell, Ben Taylor, Ryan Manita, Craig Slatin, Ken Haar, Jim Tarr, Stasha Lampert, Alex Kulenovic, Hollywood Aman, Ferd Wulkan


  • Nicole has formed Students for Affordable and Valuable Education (SAVE) at HCC and has begun doing class raps.
  • 2 Higher Ed Summits organized by PHENOM held in past few weeks to develop common strategy among public higher ed advocates for casino money, supplemental budget, and next year’s state budget.
  • The joint effort led by PHENOM was successful in having the House allocate some of the casino revenues to higher education.  The bill now moves to the Senate.
  • PHENOM is supporting a GEO-led initiative to roll back the change to “co-insurance” at UMA and UMD that would cost some students a lot of money.
  • Department of Higher Ed Student Leadership Conference has been postponed until  March.

October 24 Legislative Visits to Campuses

Details of the Caucus’ effort to have many legislators visit many campuses are not clear yet.  We decided to move ahead and plan events on as many campuses as possible for that day or during that week.  While they may end up different depending on campus particulars, we will develop a template for an event and for how to maximize student/staff/faculty involvement in a way that builds our advocacy capacity.  PHENOM has resources available: power points, film on debt, speakers.

Nicole O., Max and Ryan will work on developing a roadmap/template.







Possible Street Action in November

There was consensus that it would be good to do a creative, visually stimulating, media-attracting, empowering street action in Boston related to student debt in early November.

A committee consisting of Ryan, Stasha, Alex, Emily, Ben and Jim will very quickly make a recommendation about the date, time, and exact nature of the event.  The recommendation will be circulated via email, comments encouraged, and a discussion held by conference call.  We will at least nail down the date and general parameters of the action by September 26.

Dates that are being considered are Nov. 2, 3 and 4, all of which had pros and cons.

Brainstormed ideas for the action include:

  • Walk from UMB to State House
  • Involve other progressive groups, especially ones concerned with various forms of debt
  • Use props such as chains to symbolize the burden of debt
  • Can involve private college students as well as public
  • Have large posters with simple statistics that can be left along the way
  • Make sure to film what we do
  • Have large puppets highlighting a simple skit that can be done several times
  • People wear or post signs showing the amount of their debt
  • Use action to build toward a student walkout
  • Ask everyone we encounter to do something right then – e.g. make a phone call
  • Have stickers
  • “We’re not your slush fund”   “Students are not the rainy day fund”    Use umbrellas
  • Do (part of) the action in front of the Boston Globe (near UMass Boston)
  • Do 1-minute rallies or flash mobs in crowded downtown areas
  • Illustrate what it’s like if a) very little money for higher ed, b) lots of money for higher ed
  • Put signs up on Federal Reserve or other appropriate target
  • Get lots of handwritten personal letters about student debt from students
  • Contact media
  • Hold educational meetings on campuses leading up to the event
  • Suggest such action to people in other states
  • Use the student loan debt clock (
  • Make sure we have PA system to amplify sound
  • Have kiss-ins like students are doing in Chile
  • Show Default: The Student Debt Film before – have professors bring classes to see it.


Statewide Student Association

Alex is coordinating PHENOM’s effort to have numerous SGA leaders endorse the idea of an SSA and organize other SGA’s to participate in its development.  CEPA at UMA is also working on this.



This must be a priority for PHENOM.  Everyone on the Board is asked to organize one house party this year.  We should also reach out to alumni associations.


Next Board Meeting: Monday, November 14, 6:30 PM, Quinsigamond Community College