Newark, DE - On May 24, over 150 angry students and community organizers gathered outside of Sallie Mae’s annual shareholder meeting to show support for a small activist contingent that attended the shareholder event. Students travelled from all over the country to protest, including organizers from Florida and New Jersey. The initial demand was to hold a discussion with Sallie Mae CEO Albert Lord. The protesters slammed Sallie Mae for being one of the top profiteers from the current student loan debt crisis.
Student debt has recently surpassed total credit card debt in the United States. “Sallie Mae is a racist, oppressive institution that enslaves students in massive amounts of debt for the benefit of the one percent,” stated Michael Sampson, a Dream Defender from Tallahassee, Florida. Chants from the rally included, “Sallie Mae, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side,” as well as, “Let us in,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, student debt has got to go.”
Better repayment options and an end to predatory practices were among the demands stated by protestors. The contingent that attended the shareholders meeting presented the company with over 45,000 signatures supporting the protester’s demands. However, Lord continued to refuse to meet with the demonstrators. The action was organized by the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) along with the United States Students Association, and was attended by many other organizations such as SLAP-UCF/Orlando, Gainesville Area Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Montclair State SDS, Dream Defenders and Fight Back Florida.