Resolution for Higher Ed For All (UMA)

Resolution in Regards to Higher Education for All


Whereas, the average public college debt in Massachusetts is over $30,000, only around $2,000 less than the average private college debt; and,


Whereas, student debt and public college inaccessibility disproportionately affects minority groups, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) is an institution which serves 18% of students from underrepresented groups, and these groups are underserved by educational institutions and economic mobility; and,


Whereas, UMass Amherst is known for its history of civic engagement on campus; and,   


Whereas, state funding for public higher education has decreased over 30% since 2001, and the underfunding of public higher education increases fees and costs for students, creating a college education that is out of reach for many students; and,


Whereas, the need for public education should not end at high school, but offer educational opportunity through a Bachelor’s Degree; and,


Whereas, the Fair Share Amendment has been passed through the Massachusetts legislature, ensuring new funding for public education and transportation; and,


Whereas, the Debt Free Future Act (H.1265/S.823) eliminates tuition and fees at public colleges in Massachusetts for in-state students, making a college education accessible to a greater percentage of the population; and,


Whereas, the Cherish Act (H.1260/S.823) commits the resources to a strong and healthy public higher education system by funding proper support for staff and faculty, investing state funds into infrastructure projects, and lessening the student debt burden; and,


Whereas, the University Undergraduate Senate has the power to pass resolutions in favor of state legislation, and these Acts are relevant to UMass Amherst students; therefore,


Be it Resolved by the University Undergraduate Senate that the Student Government Association of the University of Massachusetts Amherst endorse these bills, and urge the Massachusetts legislature to pass the Debt Free Future Act (H.1265/S.823) and the Cherish Act (H.1260/S.816); and,


Be it Further Resolved that the Associate Speaker of the Senate send a copy of this Resolution to Senator Jo Comerford, Representative Mindy Domb, the Governor, Joint Committee on Higher Education, and the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.


Sponsored by Senator Leone, Senator Prabhakar, Chair Flanagan, Chair Sussman, and Chair Humphries