Students at Texas State University have joined 141 other college campuses and will participate in the Million Student March. The march is a nationally coordinated event that encourages college students, former students, and faculty to respond to the rapidly growing education crisis in the United States.
Texas State University March organizer Rudy Martinez said the demands include “tuition free institutions, a cancellation of the 1.2 trillion dollars that 40 million students hold as far as student debt goes, and we want $15 wages for student workers.”
Texas State University’s Office of Student Affairs recently held an open hearing for the campus community offering students the chance to discuss the increase of tuition and fees for the 2016-2017 school year.
Since 2008, tuition and fees have raised almost $1,000 for students taking the minimum 12 hours. Students participating in the march have used to social media to express how unfair it is they can afford college one year and not the next as well as the debt they accumulate throughout their college career.
Many students seek on campus jobs to reduce the amount of debt they have, but with minimum wage earnings it sometimes can be impossible. Texas State University March organizer Taylor Cavin said the importance of student worker wages in the movement includes “specifically for on campus workers because these are already identified people that do need help paying for college and they are still being paid a wage where even if they work 60 hours a week, they still cannot afford tuition. So they are still being forced to get student loans even though they are working on campus, so working for the institution that’s taking their money”
Organizations such as Bobcats for Bernie and Black Women United have joined in solidarity for the event. Martinez said they are aware that their demands will not be met immediately after the march but understands they are in it for the long hall, explaining “Well we know that our demands will not be met on Thursday, we know it’s not going to happen overnight. But our aim is to start a sustained movement where faculty knows who we are, what we want. It starts with the march, it starts with a dialogue, it starts with speakers from Old Main to in front of the president’s house. As far as I go, I’m willing to take it as far as occupations as the campus go are staging walkouts. So we are pretty much in it for the long run. And hopefully one day we can be seen as students and not consumers.”
The million student march is scheduled for November 12 at noon and will begin at Old Main and end at President’s house.