Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Students to march on Whitmore Thursday in defense of education

Today, Thursday March 4, has been declared a “Day to Defend Education” across the nation. Students from numerous organizations at the University of Massachusetts are rallying, marching, calling Massachusetts’ political officials and, according to several of the protesters at UMass, “standing in solidarity” with the students of the University of California.

The group spearheading the majority of the activities today calls itself the UMass Coalition for the March 4th Day of Action to Defend Higher Education.

The UMass Coalition will be holding a public demonstration rally in front of the UMass Student Union at noon. The group will also be marching to the Whitmore Administration Building after several speeches, many of which the group expects to be students voicing their opinions about the current state of higher education.

“We are trying to gain momentum for a march to Whitmore. We have a list of demands that we are going to be making of the university to be completed by March 31,” said UMass Coalition Public Relations Officer Evan Serio, “at which point, the administration will need to be able to supply us with the steps with which they will be tackling these issues.”

“This is a mobilizing effort,” said Serio. “We have a list of our demands, and we have stated that we will not stop organizing or demanding until our demands are met.”

According to Serio, the Coalition’s concerns surround such issues as stopping the rising cost of attending UMass and preventing fee proposals such as the Commonwealth College fee and the flagship fee from being placed on the student body.

The Commonwealth College fee would be a mandatory fee placed on all student members of Commonwealth College, but has not yet been officially instated.

According to SGA Senator Andrew Prowten, interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life Jean Kim said in a Student Leader Advisory Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. yesterday that the administration is not going to discuss implementing the flagship fee until after federal and state money for the school’s budget have been determined.

“We’re not asking, we’re demanding because we’re students, and we pay the salaries of the administration,” said Serio.

In an e-mail sent to Don Lippincott, one of the organizers of the event, interim Kim stated, “I understand that you are among the leaders planning to participate in the National Day of Action to Defend Higher Education on March 4th with a demonstration here on the Amherst Campus. As you know, I offered to meet with you to discuss several of the issues of concern to you and others. The invitation still stands.”

“I personally attempted to see Jean Kim, but unfortunately the days I have gone to see her she has been in larger administrational meetings,” said Serio. “The coalition has never purposefully avoided talking to her, but I think it was difficult coordinating when people were available. [Kim] has only been available to speak during her popcorn hours.”

Serio said he attended one of Kim’s popcorn hour meetings, held daily at 4 p.m., and he was unable to speak with her about the matter because she was in what he believed “was a department meeting.”

“We are mobilizing on the UMass campus because that is where we are, that is where the education hits home and that is where the budget cuts and the fee hikes hit home,” said Serio. “I personally know my children will be going to get a public education, and regardless, if I were going to a private institution or not, I would still be mobilizing for this cause.”

“We have undergraduates and graduates, faculty, staff and community members working with us,” Serio continued. “This is an issue that is plaguing the K-12 schools and any public institutions and the private institutions are feeling trickle-down effects because it has to do with state funding.”

“I think it is going to go well,” said UMass Coalition member and senior Katie Roussos. “I think it is going to be a really great launching point for further action on behalf of the students and promote student participation in budgetary issues.”

“We want to hear as many speeches as possible, and we want to hear as many peoples’ stories as possible,” said Serio when asked if the group’s speakers were already pre-determined. He stated that all students are invited to speak in what is an essentially “open mic” forum outside both the Student Union and then Whitmore.

“Everyone here has a stake in what is happening and the changes being made,” said Serio. “We have a stake, but we don’t have a choice, and we’re starting to take that choice back.”

Members of the UMass Student Government Association are planning a “call-in” day to contact Senator Scott Brown and gain his support for the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA).

“We have contacted Senators [John] Kerry and [Paul] Kirk,” said SGA Senator Melissa Urban. “They both have told us they support SAFRA.”

Several attempts to contact Senator Brown were unsuccessful.

Alyssa Creamer can be reached at acreamer@student.umass.edu. Hannah McGoldrick can be reached at hmcgoldr@student.umass.edu.

Comments
5 Responses to “Students to march on Whitmore Thursday in defense of education”
  1. M.S. says:

    Music video (from students in the state of California)

  2. Jerry says:

    Paul Kirk hasn’t been a Senator for a month.

    How do you know its spring time in Amherst?

    There’s a rally in front of the student union followed by a march on whitmore.

  3. Ed says:

    > Members of the UMass Student Government Association are planning
    > a “call-in” day to contact Senator Scott Brown and gain his
    > support for the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA).

    Let me see: the same SGA that has been trashing Scott Brown’s supporters for as long as I can remember is now going to ask him to come to their assistance?

    Ain’t Likely….

  4. Turd_Ferguson says:

    This is stupid. A cut of subsidies does not equate to a raising of fees. To the contrary, it equates more with a lowering of the taxes that would initially have gone to have payed for these subsidies. The bottom line is that no matter how much people are protesting, there simply isn’t going to be any money that simply magically appears. Wed all like education to be free, but if it were, who would pay the professors and grad students and people who are putting the utilities into the school?

    Anyone who is participating in these protests is seriously loony.

Leave A Comment