President Obama’s college-campus swing urging action on student-loan debt is neatly tied to Wednesday’s 1TDay, named for the moment that student debt is expected to hit the $1 trillion mark. Protesters against this debt load, which they deem “beyond tolerable,” are gathering in Manhattan’s Union Square with concurrent actions in some 20 cities from Amherst, Mass., to Santa Cruz, Calif.
“This is the first step in a political process,” says lead organizer Andrew Ross, professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University. His involvement stems from a growing awareness of his own students’ burden, he says, pointing to the fact that NYU student debt is some 40 percent above the national average.
“I’ve been aware that my own salary depends in part on students racking up an enormous debt that takes decades to pay off, if they even can,” he says.