Posted by Asher on:
When: Saturday, June 16
Where: Pardall Tunnel
What: Graduation portraits will be taken in order to "put a face" on the massive amount of student debt that has been caused by UC tuition hikes and high-interest loans.
When: 12pm-4pm (Alternative appointments can be made if that time does not work for you. Also, if you take your own portrait, you can upload it to the website where we will be posting the others: see link below).
What to bring: Your cap and gown (a free one will be provided if you do not have access to one).
--Portraits will be posted on an interactive, online website (listed below) where others can post their pictures in solidarity.
The Facts on Higher Education:
1. The number of students who have to go into debt to get a bachelor’s degree has risen from 45% in 1993 to 94% today.
2. There is now more than $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the United States.
3. Over the last 10 years, tuition and fees at state schools have increased 72%.
4. This year, national, state, and local spending on higher education reached a 25-year low.
While this weekend's graduation ceremony will reflect UCSB 2012 graduates' much-deserved praise and accolades for academic success, it is important to remind the public about the unprecedented financial sacrifices and compromises required to achieve this degree.
Please join me on Saturday, June 16 from 12pm-4pm in a visual protest occurring in front of the Pardall Tunnel. Portraits will be taken of UCSB graduates in their cap and gowns and, rather than holding our diplomas, graduates will hold a sign denoting the amount of student debt that they have incurred over the past four years.
This is by no means meant to detract from the importance of this weekend's celebration for our families and friends. Rather, this is a form of resistance in which we can fully assert our discontent with the financial exploitation we've experienced in a meaningful and visually powerful way. By making the trillion-dollar student debt figure seem less abstract and more real, others can fully recognize the burden that this debt has created while realizing the severity of its implications for the new educated working class.
Please contact me if you would like to get involved and invite friends who you think might be interested
NEWS RELEASE Contact Information:
June 13, 2012 (858) 472-7453
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE firstname.lastname@example.org
UCSB Graduating Seniors to Protest Tuition Costs in Cap and Gown
Students Use Graduation Weekend as Outlet for Growing Discontent with UC Fee Hikes.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., June 16, 2012—Graduating seniors will dress in cap and gown this Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and pose for pictures outside the Pardall tunnel just off of UCSB’s campus holding signs displaying the amount of debt they have taken on to achieve their degrees.
The protest, organized by graduating senior Ashley Richardson and titled “The Degree of Debt: Portraits of Protest,” is designed to “put a face” to student debt caused by UC tuition hikes and high-interest loans. With the upcoming Congressional decision on July 1 about whether or not to double interest rates on student loans, this visual protest directly opposes the financial burden of education which, according to a recent survey featured in the New York Times, has caused the number of students getting a bachelor’s degree in debt to rise from 45% in 1993 to 94% today.
“This is by no means meant to detract from the importance of this weekend’s celebration for our families and friends,” says Richardson. “Rather, this is a form of resistance in which we can fully assert our discontent with the financial exploitation we've experienced in a meaningful and visually powerful way.”
Although the protest will take place on Saturday, those who cannot attend or who wish to support the cause can display their solidarity by taking their own portraits and submitting them to the online Tumblr website: http://portraitprotest.tumblr.com/submit. Submissions will be published alongside day-of portraits. While the protest remains local, the use of Facebook and Tumblr allows for students across UC campuses and additional universities to express their disappointment in the financial undermining of this upcoming generation. “By making the trillion-dollar student debt figure seem less abstract and more real,” Richardson continues, “others can fully recognize the burden that this debt has created while realizing the severity of its implications for the new educated working class.”
For more information on the protest, please contact the media coordinator, Liz Shaughnessy, at email@example.com or (858) 472-7453. The facebook event page can be found at <https://www.facebook.com/events/206902742766207/>. The Tumblr page can be found at < http://portraitprotest.tumblr.com/>.