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[xmca] Student Debt
Just passing along this post about an event (at the University of Chicago)
that considers the problem of student debt. Although I doubt anyone can
make it to the event, it is interesting for the way in which it points to a
huge problem that many of us in academia probably don't talk too much
about, and it does so in a very "playful" space called "Debtopia".
This National Day of Action celebrates the One Trillion Dollar mark on
student debt (that's $1,000,000,000,000,000). Student debt is personal
and national and all around in the structure of higher education. Both
graduates and undergraduates, our parents and our children, the
education we enjoy and the jobs anticipate -- debt weighs on it all.
Welcome to "Debtopia Carnival," a day on the Quad to open questions
and imagine alternatives.
"Debtopia" is a land where students are weighed down by the pressure
of debt and the privatization of their futures, where students are
lost in bureaucracy, buying time to escape the barren job market and
making life decisions based on immediate market value. The
administrators cheerfully refer to the place as "Loantopia," advising
students on how to invest in their own future, while our collective
future withers away even in our imaginations.
The booths at the Carnival will be designed both to make visible how
student debt touches different aspects of higher education (from
financial aid to career choices to graduate labor), but also will
offer creative ways to assert how we value our education differently.
The day will not only be meant for education and awareness-building,
but also as a provocation to spark conversations on campus.
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition
Department of Communication
University of California, San Diego
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