As the winter university semester is set to begin, the coronavirus is surging. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, like many universities reliant on tuition dollars, tried to reopen in September with a “public health-informed” semester, as the university called it. That meant a mix of in-person and remote classes and dormitories operating at about 70 percent capacity. Throughout the summer, the graduate workers union at the University of Michigan, the Graduate Employees Organization, or GEO, and Local 3550 of the American Federation of Teachers, had also been preparing for the fall semester by organizing against an unsafe campus opening in the face of a global pandemic.
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This month, the principal of Linda Tutt High School in the small town of Sanger, Texas, said he was approached by an eighth grader eager to share that he had bought a three-in-one men's shampoo, conditioner and body wash. "The first thing he did was he said: 'Hey. Look in my hair,'" the principal, Anthony Love, recalled in an interview Tuesday. "And so I looked at it, and it looked clean," Love said. "But he was excited about it because it was the first time he's ever had his own shampoo." The student, who lives with his mother and sister, said he had avoided using their shampoo because of the smell, Love said. But he was finally able to get his own shampoo, as well as food, at a new student-run grocery store on the school's campus where students can buy food and other essentials, without money.
At the end of November, members of the Columbia University-Barnard College chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) launched a tuition strike campaign against “exorbitant tuition rates” which, they say, “constitute a significant source of financial hardship” during the pandemic. Student demands are wide-ranging and include a 10% reduction in the cost of attendance, 10% increase in financial aid, and an amalgamation of demands from disparate student campaigns, many of which were set in motion long before the pandemic began.
Washington, D.C. — Over 235 organizations sent a letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, calling on them to use executive authority to cancel federal student debt on day one of their administration. In the letter, 238 nonprofit and community organizations highlight that cancelling student debt would stimulate the economy, help reduce the racial wealth gap, and could have a positive impact on health outcomes. The groups write that “executive action is one of the few available tools that could immediately provide a boost to upwards of 44 million borrowers and the economy...
University of Manchester, UK - Teaching staff held a show of solidarity with their students following a 'racial profiling' row at the University of Manchester. Lecturers also voiced their support for students protesting at the university's handling of the coronavirus crisis. A group of staff read out a statement at the Fallowfield Campus on Tuesday afternoon telling students: 'We are with you. We are here for you'. And they told black students and students of colour 'who may be feeling particularly hurt and excluded from the university at the moment' that 'you do belong here'.