Empowerment and Education – Occupy Student Debt Campaign – 2/10/2012 Meeting Minutes

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Feb 10, 2012


Attendance: Ann, George, Annie, Sue, Robert, Pam, Chris, Henry, Hilary, Colin


Facilitator: Chris

Minutes: Ann

Stack: Robert


Sue’s OccuTrip Feb 19-27

Pam: We should give Sue some materials to distribute that ask people to help us organize events and solidarity actions for 4/25.

Sue: I am not sure how much control I will have over the planned events.

Hilary: We need literature.

Robert: Our content should address why tuition is going up; we should tailor it towards tuition increases.

Pam: Our detractors have been focusing on the Pledge when our agenda is much more broad.

Hilary: People in Seattle have been asking for materials

Pam: We need material that doesn’t have an academic tone: what is the cause of this crisis?

Henry: We need to make the case that this debt was forced upon people. It’s not a choice.

Sue: We shouldn’t rush the design of the materials.

Pam: Maybe we need a new name and new branding. Pam knows people who own studentdebtstrike.org.

Robert: The language of forgiveness is what separates us from other non-Occupy campaigns.

Chris: Let’s use the “strike” language.

Ann: My concern is that “strike” implies an end once conditions are met.

Pam: Maybe we need another site, separate from the pledges, where we reframe the discussion

Robert: Proposes that we have some materials for Sue’s trip. CONSENSE.



Robert updated us on the plans so far and on the coalition (village people, clerical union, NYU faculty). We need to emphasize that NYU is a model university for debt financing of higher ed. Six billion dollar project, three times NYU’s endowment. No financial plan. We need to frame this as a debt issue. Event will take place in front of Stern School of Business of Feb 21 @1PM. Please come. This is important. Planning meeting is Sunday, Feb 12 at noon at Cooper Sq.


OccupyEd National Call

Sue and Robert: March 1 as day of action seems to not be coming together. Will probably be a big day for UC. If we have events that we want to post we can do so on their website. http://www.occupyed.org/


St. Peter’s Teach-In

Sue will be speaking at this teach-in at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City on Wed. Feb 15. It’s al all-day event featuring David Backer and others.


1T Planning

Sarah’s flyer. Though we like the flyer, Robert proposed that we table the design until we can talk to OccuPrint. Maybe we need to start using our logo. CONSENSE.


Pam: Received a message from someone in Stockholm about a global day of teach-ins on Apr 25, the same day as 1T. Pam may record a video talking about our campaign.


Other ideas for 1T

-Civil Disobedience at Sallie Mae

-Financial Aid offices actions

-Teaching materials (Brian Holmes)

-No pay day

-Burning debt letters


Annie: We should consider occupying a for-profit university since those students are indebted the most. Annie will email about setting up a sub-group to look into this possibility.


George: Since we are launching a nationwide day of action, we need to take responsibility for what we are asking people to do and be very precise about the kinds of actions we endorse and recommend.


Pam: Our campaign should be non-violent.


Annie: If we occupy fin aid offices, aren’t we just going to piss off clerical workers who have nothing to do with this?


Hilary: Fin aid offices should not be our target.



Get in touch with Annie if you want to be involved in a teach-in on or leading up to 4/25

Annie also suggests some possible speakers: Ruthie Gilmore, Tony [last name] from Kingsborough CC, David Harvey. She has also contacted David Harvey. Andrew and George. Annie will also contact David Graeber. Pam is working with Brian Holmes.


Forum on the Commons

Chris and Robert are attending next Friday night. Plan to focus on our principles. What is the value of education in a for-profit education world?


E and E Organization


E and E is having a hard time getting enough people to show up. Need at least 5 people each week for ComHub. Should we 1) ask people from the sub-groups to show up once a month to meet the 5 people minimum? 2) schedule E and E meetings after OSDC at 60 Wall so people will stay? 3) rename OSDC and other sub-groups as E and E.


Hilary: I don’t like meeting at 60 Wall, but I think it’s a good idea to meet there sometimes.


Chris: Will discuss this with E and E and perhaps OSDC will meet at 60 Wall next time so E and E can meet afterwards.


License Agreement

Some people putting together a book emailed us. They want to use text form our website in a book about Occupy. Will we sign a release? We don’t own our ideas and there is no one who can sign a release for them so, no, we’re not signing any release. CONSENSE.


Online and Policy Strategy

Pam: Do we want to support/endorse the recent proposal by UC students about paying tuition based on income AFTER college? There are problems with this policy from the POV of this campaign. TABLED.


Ann: What should we do about Twitter/FB and all the reform campaigns that are out there (Stef Grey’s Sallie Mae petition recently succeeded in getting SM to drop $50 unemployment fee.)


Pam: Should we contact Occupy Student Debt?


Ann: I believe these groups are affiliated with or inspired by Applebaum. Occupy Student Debt links to Applebaum’s page and asks supporters NOT to support out campaign. We should try to contact Applebaum again.


Pam: I think we can retweet/endorse any proposal that gives debtors some relief.


Annie: But we need to remain a critical voice in this conversation. TABLED




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