College students are being urged to scrap plans for beer bongs on sunny beaches, in favour of a serious-minded spring break in Ferguson, the Missouri town that was roiled by protests and unrest following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old. Six months after the death of Michael Brown, activist leaders in the St Louis suburb are looking to sign up 250 young people for a grittier week of “community service and civic engagement” including registering new voters, running food banks and cleaning up streets. “Maybe there were some people who had planned to go down to Miami or Acapulco, and now see that there is something bigger,” said Patricia Bynes, a Democratic committeewoman for the town and a co-founder of the Ferguson alternative spring break programme. Bynes said the week would not simply be a continuation of the protests that spread from the region in August to New York, California and elsewhere around the US.
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Quad Partners, a New York private equity firm that is invested heavily in the for-profit college industry, and whose founder has aggressively opposed regulation of that troubled industry, has acquired a controlling stake in the respected trade publication Inside Higher Ed (IHE), which often reports on for-profit colleges and the policy disputes surrounding them. There has been no public announcement, but the Quad Partners website now listsInside Higher Ed as one of its investments, among a range of education-related companies, including for-profit trade schools Beckfield College, Blue Cliff College, Dorsey Schools, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and Marinello Schools of Beauty. Doug Lederman, one of IHE‘s two top editors, confirmed to me that Quad purchased a majority interest in IHE in November.
On Saturday, November 29, 2014, days after the Grand Jury Decision, Knox College Women’s Basketball Player Ariyana Smith bravely held a one woman demonstration at the Knox College v. Fontbonne University game held in Clayton, MO. During the singing of the national anthem, Ariyana walked with her hands up towards the American flag and fell to the ground for a full 4.5 minutes to bring awareness to the inhumane killing of Micheal Brown in which his body was left to lay on a neighborhood street for 4.5 hours. While Ariyana lay on the ground in honor of fallen black lives, she was told to move so they could start the game. Refusing to compromise the integrity of the movement, Ariyana stood after the full 4.5 minutes with her fist proudly in their air.
"LearnServe was an after-school program for high school sophomores and juniors who were identified as leaders in their schools and who were also interested in social change," Arrington told Truthout. "We met professionals who worked in different nonprofits. Through them, I realized the impact one individual can have. I saw the passion these individuals put into their work and it lit a fire under me." Later, when LearnServe asked participants to identify an unmet need in their community and then formulate an action plan, including a mission statement and an organizational strategy to address it, Arrington's passion ignited.
Prospective students in the United States who can’t afford to pay for college or don’t want to rack up tens of thousands in student debt should try their luck in Germany. Higher education is now free throughout the country, even for international students. Yesterday, Lower Saxony became the last of seven German states to abolish tuition fees, which were already extremely low compared to those paid in the United States. German universities only began charging for tuition in 2006, when the German Constitutional Court ruled that limited fees, combined with loans, were not in conflict the country’s commitment to universal education.