Not Much of a Protest

About 20 members of the North Carolina Student Power Union protested today in front of the North Carolina General Assembly. The advertised topic was rising levels of student debt, but a spokesman for the “#FightBackFriday” group also mentioned “the issues of Moral Monday” and workers rights among the group’s grievances.

The group demanded a “Debt Free UNC” by 2020–but not by cutting any UNC faculty, employees, or classes. They carried a string of flags (pictured) representing the 18,000+ students who graduated this year with some type of student debt. They also carried signs vilifying Governor Pat McCrory and his budget director Art Pope.

Perhaps the students didn’t hear that the conservative Board of Governors voted not to raise tuition this year? Or that they actually cut the student health fee at one UNC campus? Or that the governor’s budget preserves $4.5 million for UNC Need Based Scholarships? Or maybe they just wanted something to protest.

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Jenna A. Robinson

Jenna Ashley Robinson is the president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, NC.