PHENOMenal News – Winter 2011-12

This newsletter has news of our growing coalition, interviews and commentary by a range of student activists, insightful analysis by PHENOM’s Organizing Director, photos of PHENOM in the streets, and more.  Please write to us at  if you would like copies to use in your organizing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          .

PHENOM Convenes Advocates

by Ken Haar, Westfield State University

What began in January 2011 as an attempt to get all the advocates of public higher education in the same room to support the FY 2012 higher education budget evolved into regular meetings with those same advocates working together to fight for public higher education on a number of fronts.

Higher Education for the 99%

by Alex Kulenovic, PHENOM Organizing Director

The “Occupy Wall Street” encampment in New York, and its many offshoots, resonated with anyone who has had the feeling that the game is rigged. Anyone who suspected that our entire economy, our tax code, our law enforcement, and our government have been made to serve the wealthiest few at the expense of the rest of us, must have at least been tempted to join a rally and even sit in a tent for a while.

Building a Statewide Student Association

An Interview with Hollywood Aman

Student leaders from around the state have begun talking about forming a Statewide Student Association (SSA) of the sort found in many other states. Typically organized as a federation of student governments, the SSA allows students to pool resources to have more power as they work on common issues. Hollywood Aman, a PHENOM Board member, is President of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Bunker Hill Community College and is active in the Massachusetts effort.

Organizing at Holyoke Community College

By Nicole Ouimette

Students for Affordable, Accessible and Valuable Education (SAVE) is a club at Holyoke Commu-nity College (HCC). It was formed in September 2011 out of a need for a more involved student body to address the overwhelming concerns of the inaccessibility and unaffordability of public higher education. SAVE addressed the national and statewide student debt crisis during a “Student Speak Out” event at HCC in October 2011 and hopes to continue the hard work of getting students involved on campus and in the community during the upcoming semesters