The Issue of Student Debt

  1. In Matthew Renda’s article, “The Betrayal of Student Activism?”, he discusses the incident involving the six students from the University of California Santa Cruz who protested the increase in tuition price by blocking traffic near the city. These six students were later arrested and sentenced to thirty days in jail. The university then proceeded to suspend the students without providing them a hearing. This created a huge outcry against the University for punishing the students so harshly for peaceful protests. It even angered some who heard about another student from UCSC that participated in a protest near Washington DC that was not punished at all. Do you believe that the university was justified to suspend them without a hearing? Why or why not? Also, do you think that inconveniencing innocent bystanders is a good tactic to getting one’s ideas across? Do you think that the students should have protested in a different method? If so, why or why not?
  2. The former president of the University of Delaware, Patrick T. Harker, wrote an article regarding the issue of increasing student debt and how to fix the problem. The debt is causing middle class citizens to struggle to pay for a quality education. He proposed many ideas, including that universities should be learner-centric instead of teacher-centric. He thinks that by doing this we would use our resources more efficiently and effectively. He also believes that courses should integrate technology more and more and slowly break away from the traditional classroom methods. He encourages more creativity in the classroom as well. Do you agree with Harker that learning should be centered around students, not teachers? Why or why not? How can this method be implemented into the classrooms? Would this idea be one that sounds great in theory, but impossible to integrate into the curriculum?


Big Words:

Bewildered – to perplex or confuse especially by a complexity, variety, or multitude of objects or considerations

Ambivalent – simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action

Paragon – a person or thing that is perfect or excellent in some way and should be considered a model or example to be copied