College Artist Corner

UNC Board of Governors Recent Cuts to Education

Posted by: Amiris J. Brown on: February 10, 2012

Protest sign being held by me that reads, "STOP Enslaving MY Future" in the colors of the U.S.A. flag.

Photograph by Justin Hall, taken during the march against tuition hikes.

 

I’m aware that I hold some privileges that other students have been denied of, this comes from both government Financial Aid programs and from my parents. Being able to receive financial support for my college tuition and books continues to have a positive impact on my academic performance. Yesterday, I set-up my artwork to display at the Art Expo, but I was unable to attend the actual event. Instead, I traveled from Appalachian State University (ASU) in Boone to The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, in order to demand my right to an education.

Though I continue to fight for the right to an education for families below the poverty line, as well as the rights of undocumented students, I continue my own journey fighting for my own right to an education. Upon graduating high school, I was statistically at high risk of not attaining a higher education. Luckily, back in 2001 I received a scholarship from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). With that scholarship I chose to attend a community college instead of a four year college, so that I would be able to stretch the money given to me. It was an honor to receive such recognition and aid, and I continued the pursuit of creating positive change in the world.

Sadly, the world changed for the worst shortly after I began my first semester of college. Politically, economically, and academically the world was not the same after September 11th 2001. Suddenly, I found myself volunteering to organize opposition to the war in Iraq, especially since my mother was called to serve there. It personally affected me, just as it still does today. My mother is currently in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, politics along with self-serving economic interests have reeked havoc on the United States economy and stagnated my pursuit of an employable education.

While the wars seem to have no end, the goal of obtaining a bachelors degree becomes ever more bleak. At the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting today, I fought for my human right to an education. All that North Carolinian students are asking for is the right to an affordable education be accessible to all people, regardless of their income level. Today the BOG voted to not only increase tuition, but to freeze financial aid as well. Those decisions made by the BOG today, will significantly hurt the future of people who will come after me, people that I know currently, and myself as well.

Like most college students, I’m always strapped for cash. This is especially true as an art student, and a double whammy having a learning disability that hinders my academic performance whenever I take on inflexible employment while attending school full-time. Due to such hindrances, I am choosing to bootstrap my way up as an entrepreneur. However, I’d like to point out that the North Carolina State Constitution in article nine section nine states that whenever possible, education should be provided free-of-charge. Which makes this a constitutional fight for justice by fulfilling the law of the land.

 

Edited by:

Briant S. Davis

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