SGA rejects student loan termination letters to Biden, Harris – The Quinnipiac Chronicle


Quinnipiac University’s Student Government Association on October 27th voted not to endorse an open letter urging President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to immediately cancel all federal student loan debt.

SGA President Nick Ciampanelli said the letter was inherently only trying to solve the problem temporarily and that the organization did not stand for that.

Connor Lawless

“We are here to support current and future students at this university,” said Ciampanelli. “By taking action to temporarily resolve such a current problem, we will not cling to our own values.”

After the SGA voted to reject the motion, the Quinnipiac Democrats were released a statement and expressed disappointment by saying it is “an insult to low-income students who rely on credit” to come to Quinnipiac, as well as those graduating in debt.

Around 65% of Quinnipiac students received federal loans, according to U.S. Department of Education data. The average debt amount for a Quinnipiac student after graduation is between $ 19,500 and $ 27,000.

The association created A petition calls on the SGA to reconsider its decision. The petition had only 21 signatures at the time of publication. Paul Capuzzo, president of the QU Democrats, told The Chronicle he was disappointed with the SGA’s decision.

“It felt like a slap in the face,” said Capuzzo.

Given the SGA’s argument that it would only fix immediate problems, Capuzzo said by not signing the letter, it shows that the SGA is unwilling to “walk and chew gum at the same time”.

“You should be ready to solve the immediate problem, put a band-aid on it and then solve the problem later,” said Capuzzo.

You should be ready to solve the immediate problem, put a band-aid on it and then solve the problem later too. “

– Paul Capuzzo, QU Democrat President

For 10-15% of Quinnipiac students whose parents took out Parent PLUS state loans, the average total debt after graduation is $ 78,439. the twelfth highest in the people.

As the chronicle reported In March, Quinnipiac’s freshmen tuition and fees increased 3% between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. In this academic year it increased further by 1.15%.

When the SGA members debated whether to accept the motion and support the letter, none of them mentioned the amount of debt the students are bearing. The debate centered on whether the letter represented the opinion of the entire student body.

Although the letter only required Ciampanelli’s signature, it also had to state how many students it represented. While the SGA encouraged students to come and share their posts, no one appeared to the open forum.

Caroline Mello, a senior senator, said at the SGA meeting on October 20 that she did not know how students would feel if the SGA accepted the request.

“I would personally sign this, but I have concerns that SGA will sign it as a whole because it is a very political statement,” Mello said.

Isabelle Strandson, a sophomore senator, said at the same meeting that she was “uncomfortable” with the language of the letter because SGA had not brought it to the student body at all.

“I don’t think it’s our job to vote on whether or not to support this statement without being able to pinpoint exactly what students think about it,” said Strandson.

Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Jeremy Gustafson said at the SGA meeting on October 27th that the systematic problems will not end with a simple signing of the letter and will only benefit current, non-future students.

“IIt doesn’t solve the problem, ”said Gustafson. “Rather, it simply perpetuates these as summit topics with the student financing.”

SGA Vice President Chris Longchamp Sr. did not support the letter. He said passing the motion violated the training he had previously received as an economist at Quinnipiac.

“This doesn’t make very good economic sense going forward, considering we are only canceling student loan debt for the current college students,” Longchamp said. “Also, it’s pretty selfish of us to say that we want to cancel the debt for ourselves, but not for future generations.”

Chairman and economics professor Donn Johnson told The Chronicle that there are no wands that can simply make debt go away. Johnson asked what makes education different from other goods if people didn’t cancel their home or car debt.

“Canceling student debt is not free for the nation, someone is still paying,” Johnson said. “Taxpayers (pay) one way or another. And these loans are held disproportionately by families with middle and upper incomes. “

However, Assistant Professor of Political Science Marcos Sc Close said it was a good idea for the federal government to cancel the debts of current students for a number of reasons, including economic incentives, financial freedom for students after graduation, and fairness to the profits that come from the cost the student.

“We adopt huge corporations whenever there are crises because the money is supposed to be seeping away and they are supposed to be creating jobs, but we know that a disproportionate amount of money stays in the hands of the top 1% and never reaches the workers,” says Sc likewise called. “What if we used tax dollars to help an enormous number of people directly?”

Sc also said that if other countries can offer free education to everyone, so can the US. He said the US has spent billions on unsuccessful wars, which means there are more effective ways to adjust the country’s budget to prioritize people’s quality of life.

“This shows that we can think longer and have the resources to develop better policies,” said Scöß.

He has been forgiving since Biden became president in January $ 11.5 billion the end $ 1.75 trillion of student loan debt. Among the students whose debt was canceled included students with total or permanent disabilities and students who had qualified for the Borrower Defense Repayment Program.

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