We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

USSA Stays Strong

by Jake Stillwell Friday, Jul. 16, 2010 at 8:06 AM
media@usstudents.org 202-640-6570 ext. 572

The United States Student Association (USSA), representing more than 4 million students nationwide has opposed Congress' legislative tying together of educational funding and the funding of war. Their own 63rd Congress convenes at UCLA July 15-20. Call for interviews.

In today’s political climate, advocacy organizations engage in idealistic battles for social justice, but often settle for minor victories that, although tangible and productive, fall far short of their expounded ideals. The United States Student Association (USSA), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most inclusive student organization, recently had such an ‘opportunity’. But, with much more than a ‘minor’ victory at hand – substantial funding for a significant percentage of their membership via Pell Grants – they still resisted taking a major step away from their principles.

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides funds to low-income undergraduate and certain post baccalaureate students. The grants may be used at any one one of about 5,400 participating post-secondary institutions. Grants are awarded on the basis of a student’s expected family contribution; the cost of attending a particular institution (as determined by that institution); the student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether or not they attend for a full academic year or less.

It is the federal government’s cornerstone financial aid program: it has enabled millions of low-income students to attend college. However, the program currently faces a $5.7 billion shortfall.

Because the Pell grant is a discretionary spending item, Congress is under no obligation to provide it with funding. Year after year, appropriators arbitrarily set Pell Grant funding levels too low, consequently, the shortfall. Congress’ solution was to appropriate the required dollars within the FY2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, a bill primarily to fund on-going war operations in Afghanistan. With these two components, educational funding and military support. it neatly brought Members together who might not have wanted to be together. And, thus, there was a line in the sand drawn.

The USSA Board of Directors, which is comprised of college students from around the country, voted not to support the bill. The Board members recognized that the $227 billion in federal funding for operations in Afghanistan is a central reason why there has been little money for higher education programs since 9/11. In fact, while national defense makes up over 20 percent of the federal budget, higher education comprises less than one percent. To ignore this egregious spending disparity, and blindly accept war appropriations as a legislative vehicle to fund the Pell Grant Program neither addresses the root cause of why the Program is suffering from a massive shortfall nor does it provide a path which the USSA is in favor of establishing.

Simply out, the nation’s most needy students deserve better than arbitrary funding levels that are reliant upon defense spending breadcrumbs in the federal budget. USSA does support Pell Grant funding, but in a responsible way that ensures stability and predictability for students and families.

USSA could have supported the war supplemental bill, focusing on its immediate benefits to college students, and left, undisturbed, the issue of military spending. USSA Board Members could have still held their heads high, knowing that they helped over eight million Pell Grant recipients secure larger sums of financial aid next year, furthering the organization’s mission of increasing college affordability. But what about next year? What if the United States decides to invade another country? How long must higher education take a back seat to foreign adventurism? Despite the potential hit endured by the Pell Grant Program, the USSA Board of Directors asked these essential questions and took a stand against continued legislative divestment from higher education.

The courageous leadership of USSA has, thereby, set a new tone for the American Student Movement. This week, July 15-20, hundreds of student delegates from around the country – representing 400 campuses and more than 4 million students – are convening at the University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA for USSA’s 63rd annual National Student Congress. With a renewed commitment to the high ideals of what an educated society can accomplish in the pursuit of social justice, with a movement of unparalleled grassroots organizing capacity and access to national decision-makers.

Following a year of vigorous student protests over fee hikes and college budget cuts, both in California and nationwide, it is a critical time for these student leaders to come together and shape the new discourse and action agenda for the student movement. With practical, youthful idealism abounding in the hallways of UCLA, the 63rd National Student Congress will bring the country one step closer to making education a fundamental, human right for all.

Major developments will be posted to www.losangelesfreepress.com
The United States Student Association (USSA), is the country’s oldest, largest, and most inclusive student organization with more than 4 million students on more than 400 campuses. It’s 63rd annual National Student Congress will be held July 15 – 20, 2010 at the University of California, Los Angeles to set the organization’s federal legislative agenda and elect the 2010-2011 officers and board of directors. Past USSA Congresses have sparked groundbreaking campaigns on civil rights and social justice, including racial integration and gender inclusion. –

Jake Stillwell
Communications Director | U.S. Student Association
1211 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 406 | Washington, DC 20036
o: 202.640.657 ext. 572 | f: 202.223.4005 |
Email: media@usstudents.org |
Web: http://www.usstudents.org
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
It's simple, really nonya Saturday, Jul. 24, 2010 at 9:44 AM
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy