Student Debt Protesters Disrupt Student Financial-Aid Parade

Emmakristina Sveen | Contributor

A group of student protesters disrupted a parade of student financial-aid administrators on Monday in New Orleans, demanding that a college education should be free of all costs for everyone.

Administrators responded to the hecklers, saying that they were wasting their time protesting the “wrong people.”

On the day two of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators conference, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported, vocal students assimilated with parade bystanders to hand out fliers that urged the conference attendees to propose tuition-free colleges and littered the streets with fake $35,000 bills.

The protesters were organized by the Debt Collective and all sported red felt squared that symbolize the strike on debt.

At the end of the parade, nearly three dozen of the hecklers approached and began yelling at the financial aid administrators — angry that the administrators has failed to propose the implementation of colleges that are completely free of charge the day before.

“Go to college, get in debt! Student debt IS a crisis,” students shouted, according to the Chronicle. “No cuts, no fees, education should be free!”

The administrators, however, were confused as to why they were being attacked when NASFAA fights for the protesters’ very cause.

“You’re protesting the wrong people,” said an administrator. “We give scholarships to students. I don’t get your argument.”

In addition to harassing the aid administrators, the Debt Collective created a Twitter account trending the hashtag, #Nasfaa2015, to make commentary on conference meetings and foreshadow their protest.

NASFAA president Justin Draeger stated that he wasn’t sure what the protesters were hoping to achieve, considering that the organization works with students to help them apply for discharge of loans.

“They have legitimate concerns,” Draeger said in a pre-parade interview. “But I think their tactics get in the way of their message.”

Other aid administrators, however, had slightly more hostile responses for the hecklers.

“I work at a low-cost community college, sweetheart,” a different administrator responded to a chanting student. “Maybe you should research who we are before you protest.”

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