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University of Utah students demand “Education for all!"

By staff |
September 4, 2016
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Utah students kick off the semester by demanding education for all.
University of Utah students kick off the semester by demanding education for all. (Fight Back! News)

Salt Lake City, UT - Thirty students joined Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at the University of Utah Marriott Library Plaza on Aug. 30. Utah SDS is demanding state-funded scholarships for undocumented students as part of the national SDS campaign “Education for all!”

In Utah, Senate Bill 81, that passed in 2009, bars undocumented students from applying for state-funded scholarships. One of these, the Regents Scholarship, is a merit-based scholarship with three award levels. The most prestigious award grants $1250 each semester for up to four semesters. This scholarship covers roughly a third of a full time student’s tuition at the University of Utah. This amount can be crucial for a student’s ability to afford school.

SDS at the University of Utah is demanding that the Regents scholarship, as well as other scholarships, be available to undocumented students. Most undocumented students attended high school in Utah prior to applying to college.

"We believe education is a right. That is why all over the country, SDS is fighting for affirmative action, protection of LGBTQ students, and here in Utah we are fighting to kill Senate Bill 81," said Sean Taylor with Students for a Democratic Society.

“Our local SDS chapter intends on fighting for undocumented people’s access to education by mobilizing on campus, as well as up at capitol hill. We feel that we must address blatantly racist and unjust legislation and policies through organizing,” said Megan Barnhurst of SDS.

Students chanted, “Education not deportation!” and “Money for jobs and education! Not for war and occupation!” Hundreds of students stopped to watch and listen on their way to their next class. Some joined the rally and were eager to learn more about SDS and the campaign at the information table.

The rally ended with a Trump piñata bash and information about upcoming SDS meetings and how to get involved.

Theresa Nielson of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization concluded, “The struggle for ‘Education for all!’ is not something symbolic. It can truly improve the lives of people and is part of the greater struggle for the liberation of oppressed people.”

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