Students at Ohio State staged a sit-in protest and demanded that the university cut ties with Columbus Police in the wake of the killing of Ma’Khia Bryant. The protest took place one day after a police officer shot and killed the 16-year-old girl in the city, just as the verdict in the George Floyd trial was reached. Students staged their Wednesday protest in the Ohio Union before taking to the streets to march. Some carried signs with the victim’s name, along with phrases like “say her name”, while another student had a sign that said, “Being Black shouldn’t be a death sentence.” “Ohio State supports the right of our students, faculty and staff to peacefully express their views and to speak out about issues that are important to them,” the university said in a statement.
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Trenton, NJ - Ebele Azikiwe was in the sixth grade last year when February came and it was time to learn about Black history again. She was, by then, familiar with the curriculum: Rosa Parks, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a discussion on slavery. Just like the year before, she said, and the year before that. Then came George Floyd’s death in May, and she wrote to the administration at her school in Cherry Hill, in New Jersey’s Philadelphia suburbs, to ask for more than the same lessons. “We learned about slavery, but did we go into the roots of slavery?” Ebele, 12, said in an interview. “You learned about how they had to sail across, but did you learn about how they felt being tied down on those boats?”
Washington, DC - President Joe Biden has asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to prepare a memo about his legal authority to cancel student debt, chief of staff Ron Klain said Thursday, as pressure grows for the administration to address the student loan crisis crippling millions of Americans. Klain said in an interview with Politico that Biden will decide how to proceed once he reviews the memo, which could be sent to his desk in the next few weeks. "He'll look at that legal authority, he'll look at the policy issues around that, and then he'll make a decision," Klain said. "He hasn't made a decision on that either way. In fact, he hasn't yet gotten the memos that he needs to start to focus on that decision."
Today marks the beginning of the third week of the Columbia University graduate workers strike. The courageous struggle by over 3,000 graduate student-workers for improved wages, benefits and working conditions continues to receive support from workers at Columbia and more broadly throughout the US. Last Thursday, rank-and-file members of the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC), which is affiliated with the UAW, defied an attempt by the union bargaining committee to shut down the strike with a deal that would have signified a de facto pay cut for the graduate students, taking into account inflation and union dues. Now, the university, whose president Lee Bollinger takes home $4 million every year, is significantly ramping up pressure on the graduate students to force them to give in.
On March 18, the Biden administration's Department of Education announced that it will cancel $1 billion in federal student loan debt held by 72,000 borrowers who were defrauded by for-profit universities. These students received subprime educations and worthless degrees, and then were burdened with debt often in the tens of thousands of dollars—all while predatory companies and their investors made millions. The only reason this debt is now being cancelled is because debtors got organized. In 2015, students from for-profit, now defunct Corinthian Colleges Inc. launched the country's first student debt strike, refusing to pay their loans because they had been scammed by their school.