Statement from Students Currently Occupying the DePaul University Student Center

We, the students now occupying the Student Center of DePaul University, make a call to the students and faculty of DePaul and the city of Chicago, on behalf of our Vincentian mission, to join us as we protest the forthcoming tuition hikes (both tonight and in the coming days and years).

Our actions this evening have occurred within the larger context of the international STUDENT DEBT CRISIS. Student debt is now the largest debt bubble in the nation (exceeding credit card debt as of this year), tuition rates have risen over 400% in the last 25 years (far above the rate of inflation), and the collection rights of student loan companies are more expansive than any other loan system. As education has been privatized and government funding has decreased, students have been forced to leave school with absurd, untenable, and insurmountable quantities of debt. All the while, military defense spending proceeds unfettered and the banks are bailed out.

At DePaul (the most tuition-based institution in the nation), expansionist policies have caused tuition to rise 35% in the last seven years, causing the average student to leave with $28,000 in debt and the average graduate student with $51,000. As we have manifested in these past hours, and as the London student riots and Spanish student insurrections of this past year have evidenced, students are not willing to accept these conditions any longer and are finding ways to voice our discontent.

Join us in the struggle for a free and open system of higher education.

Come tomorrow at 7:30 AM in the DePaul Student Center (2550 N. Sheffield) as we rally outside of the meeting of the Board of Trustees and demand that they not vote to increase our debts and eviscerate our futures.

In the name of a more egalitarian society,
The DePaul Student Occupiers, 3/2, 2012

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