AFT On Campus: Fall 2015

  • Editor's Note

    Looking forward, looking back Virginia Myers

    On Campus moves online to celebrate AFT’s 100th anniversary

    IT WAS MAY 9, 1916, when eight Chicago unions joined together and formed the American Federation of Teachers, their charter signed by American Federation of Labor President Samuel Gompers. Just two years later, the higher...

  • Where We Stand

    We are our union Randi Weingarten, AFT President

    As we reflect on 100 years as the American Federation of Teachers, there is one expression I keep coming back to: We are our union.

    Our union was founded a century ago to establish a voice for teachers so they could combat factory-like conditions in public schools, advocate for fair pay...


    The high cost of living with student debt. Virginia Myers

    Tomi Stahlberg just graduated from the University of Helsinki, a prestigious institution in Finland. He has a master’s degree in history, a field he chose because he loves it, not because a career in history would be the moneymaker he’d need to pay off his student loans.

    That’s because...

  • This is your granddad’s debt

    Student loan debt a heavy burden for older Americans

    DID YOU THINK student debt was just for millennials? Think again: Student debt among older Americans has grown from $3 billion to $18 billion in the last eight years, and the percentage of people unable to pay off those loans has more than doubled, from 6 to 12.5 percent, according to the...

  • Student debt horror goes viral

    A new database of horror stories about unpaid student loan debt is giving collective voice to victims of corrupt student-debt collectors, shining a light on repeat offenders and helping others avoid them.

    Abusive collectors of student debt—and there are many—range from those who...

  • Pay it off

    Sharing simple solutions with student loan debtors

    There is a way out of student debt, and AFT locals want you, your students, your families and anyone else who’s taken out a student loan—or considered one—to know about it. They are teaming up with Jobs with Justice and the Student Labor Action Project to offer online guidance, practical...

  • The Debt Divide

    The racial and class bias behind the ‘new normal’ of student borrowing

    TODAY, TAKING OUT LOANS is the primary way individuals pay for college—a major shift in how our nation provides access to higher education. While concerns about the growth in college costs and student debt are nearly universal, much of this concern focuses on how college debt is affecting the...

  • Fighting back from default

    Montanans no longer lose their licenses if they default on student loans

    Thanks to legislation championed by Moffie Funk, a self-proclaimed “proud member of the MEA-MFT” and a member of the state’s House of Representatives, Montana has repealed a law that stripped people of their professional and driver’s licenses if they defaulted on their student loans. Montana was...

  • Top 40 universities hold two-thirds of wealth

    as if it’s not enough to have a gaping chasm between students who can pay full tuition and those who go into debt to attend college, a report from Moody’s underscores the “balance sheet advantage” held by wealthy colleges and universities as well. The difference between mega-endowment...

  • Clinton tackles student debt and college access

    Campaign mantra: Costs won’t be a barrier, debt won’t hold you back

    Student debt may seem far from the weighty issues with which presidential candidates must grapple—war in the Middle East, for example; climate change; persistent poverty; immigration. But student debt has an enormous impact on millions of individuals, and by extension affects the economy of the...

  • Member Profile

    Sharing a passion for justice

    Bonnie Halloran motivates students to advocate for fair housing in Detroit

    Bonnie Halloran’s course description reads like many others: There is required reading, a grading rubric and course objectives. But look a little closer and you’ll see the document is peppered with phrases like “...

  • Member Profile

    Native American, world citizen

    Kay McGowan applies anthropology at United Nations and in the classroom

    WHEN CLASSES ENDED this past spring, Bettie Kay McGowan (known as Kay) wrapped things up with her anthropology students at Eastern Michigan University and turned her attention to her duties at the
    United Nations...

  • In the news

    Anti-academia in Wisconsin
    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has slashed $250 million from the state’s higher education budget, dropping faculty and staff positions and stretching resources at public colleges and universities. As if that wasn’t enough, he has used the budget to...