Press Release: Speakers Announced for 5th Annual Public Higher Education Advocacy Day at Massachusetts State House on Monday March 7th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     February 16, 2016


Contact: Natalie Higgins,, 978-227-8473


Speakers Announced for 5th Annual Public Higher Education Advocacy Day at Massachusetts State House on Monday March 7th


Hundreds of Advocates Will Rally at the State House for Fully-Funded, Affordable, Accessible, Well-Staffed Public Higher Education


Monday March 7, 2016 hundreds of public higher education advocates representing all three higher education segments (community colleges, state universities, and UMass) will visit the Massachusetts State House to advocate for increased support to ensure fully funded, affordable, accessible, and well-staffed public higher education in the Commonwealth.


Registration begins at 9:30 AM in the Great Hall, followed by a Rally at 10:15AM. Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago will kick off the rally, followed by students representing each segment, and Barbara Madeloni, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Juhi Dasrath (Springfield) is a second year student at Springfield Technical Community College and Student Government Association President. Stephanie Houten (Melrose) is a sophomore/transfer student at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, she originally attended Bunker Hill Community College. Marven-rhode Hyppolite (Lynn) is a graduating Senior at UMass Dartmouth. Natalie Higgins, UMass Amherst alum and Executive Director of PHENOM will emcee the event.


Following the rally, advocates will visit with their legislators to share personal stories, dramatic statistics, and their passion for quality public higher education. In addition to funding campus budgets, discussions will also focus on the importance of support our faculty and staff, addressing deferred maintenance on the campuses, and restoring the value of the MASSGrant program and creating a path to debt-free public higher education in Massachusetts.




The Public Higher Education Summit Group is a coalition of representatives of campus administrations, legislators, union members, community organizations and the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) that meet monthly at the State House.


PHENOM unites students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others from community colleges, state universities, the UMass campuses, and the broader community to advocate for better funded, affordable and accessible public higher education in Massachusetts. The 500,000 people who make up the Massachusetts public higher education community are the sleeping giant of Massachusetts politics. By mobilizing a large and engaged grassroots network, PHENOM is waking up this sleeping giant so we can get the resources to create the public higher education system we and our children deserve.