Tag Archives: West Chester University

WCU students stage pro-DACA rally

By Fran Maye, Daily Local News, 12/6/17

WEST CHESTER >> Each day that Congress delays acting on the Dream Act, approximately 122 people will lose their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection. On Tuesday, scores of students at West Chester University staged a rally to remind local lawmakers of the severity of the situation.

“We are here to put pressure on our elected officials to advocate for this,” said Norma Montesino organizer of the rally, one of dozens that were put on around the country by Organizing for Action volunteers and other grassroots activists in support of the Dream Act.

Montesino, a student at West Chester University, said 900 young people in U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello’s 6th Congressional District are eligible for DACA. Some estimates put the cost of DACA recipients being pushed from the workforce in Costello’s district at $23 million.

DACA has allowed nearly 800,000 young people who came to the United States as children to live, work, and study without fear of detention and deportation. When President Donald Trump terminated the program on Sept. 5, 2017, he gave the 154,000 DACA recipients whose protections were set to expire between then and March 5, 2018, just 30 days to submit costly and arduous renewal applications.

“This is a human issue,” Montesino said. “This is about human rights….”

keep reading at Daily Local News

Carville and Matalin talk left & right at WCU

By Nathaniel Smith, Columnist, The Times of Chester County, March 14, 2016

The married couple talk Trump, and a changing America

The prominent political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin did a duo act on March 11 at West Chester University.

A large crowd came to hear the built-in drama of a Clinton person and a Cheney person happily married to each other (and who, we learned, started dating in Philadelphia 25 years ago). The advance publicity said:

“In James Carville and Mary Matalin’s second joint memoir, Love and War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home (January 2014), Carville and Matalin take a look at how they-and America-have changed in the last two decades. In their two distinct voices, they pick up their story from the end of the 1992 Presidential campaign to their new life in New Orleans today where their efforts to rebuild and promote that city have become a central part of their lives-and a poignant metaphor for moving the nation forward.”

Although that wasn’t quite what they discussed, and they seemed mostly transfixed by the Trump meteor, it was an interesting evening. Where they went back and forth with each other, I’m going to organize their thoughts….

keep reading at The Times of Chester County

Standing up for labor unions

by Fran Pierce (excerpt from her speech for WCU Union Day, October 15, 2015)

Not so long ago, in the 1950’s and early ‘60’s, many, many people in the middle class PROUDLY belonged to and supported the concept of labor unions. Who could be against something that allows ordinary men and women workers to join together and DEMOCRATICALLY ELECT an organization to help them to better their wages and the benefits that will support their families? But of course, that quickly became a threat to the very wealthy and powerful, and so a calculated and well-funded battle began and grew in sophistication and tactics that are still being used today. And in the span of just 10 years that war began to spawn the destruction of those unions so that today, while union membership has dropped to dangerous levels, we bear witness to the destruction of the middle class in the country, with disastrous effects on our economy.

The WAR ON UNIONS is still being fought on many fronts at the same time; the strategies are developed in board rooms, the soldiers hired from expensive law firms, and the battle plans taught to managers and supervisors who were on the front lines. Continue reading

Letting state schools leave will hurt entire system

from Josh Young for State Representative

If bill passes, expect higher tuition, less opportunity

Recently Senators Andrew Dinniman and Robert Tomlinson proposed Senate Bill 1275 that is aimed at allowing larger and financially stable universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education to break away from that system and become a state related university like Penn State, Temple, University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln Universities.

As a former chairman of the Slippery Rock University Council of Trustees I find this bill to be another example of Harrisburg’s lack of commitment to our public education system and the start of another broken promise to Pennsylvanians. I strongly disagree with the senators and believe that allowing West Chester University to leave the State System, which is the purpose of this bill, would result in the beginning of the collapse of the entire system.

The state system is made up of 14 universities in every corner of the Commonwealth and includes small, medium and large universities. We should remember that all of the universities were originally set up as normal schools, then state teachers colleges, then universities. The purposes of these schools was to create well-educated teachers for our public schools. Then, when the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) was created in 1983 the mission became a low cost four-year college degree opportunity for all Pennsylvanians. At the time, Governor Thornburg and the state legislature believed that it was in the interest of the Commonwealth to have a college educated public that did not burden them with massive debt, and they were right.

The state system, similar to the NFL and Major League Baseball, depends on major markets teams paying in to support the small market teams. The same happens with our state schools, big schools, like West Chester, help off set the costs at Clarion, Edinboro, Mansfield and Cheyney. This bill will put Mansfield, a small university in the northern tier, and Cheyney, the only Historically Black University in the State System, in real jeopardy.

As always, the problem is funding. Fast-forward to today and the State System faces enormous challenges. One main cause of the financial struggles for the universities lays squarely at the feet of the lawmakers in Harrisburg. In 1970 about 70% of the budget of the system came from the state appropriations with the students picking up the 30% cost. Today, less than 30% of the systems budget comes from state appropriations and the students are picking up most of the rest.

Today the average student college loan debt for the class of 2012 was $29,200, up $2,800 from 2011. In case you missed it, West Chester University ranked 77 in Kiplinger’s list of Best Values in Public Colleges Under $33,000. If this bill passes, tuition at West Chester and the remaining PASSHE schools is going to explode. Private colleges and the original state related schools, Penn State, Temple, University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University have raised tuition at a faster pace than the state-owned schools. If West Chester University leaves the State System there will be increased tuition for both the remaining PASSHE schools and West Chester. This bill will have a domino effect raising college tuition across the board and putting college out of reach for many who need it….

keep reading at Josh Young for State Representative