Occupy USF Group Readies for Tuition Protests

Message on campus
Student organizer Dani Leppo
TAMPA (2011-11-3) -

The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading to USF. Today, student organizers held a rally to prepare for a march on the university adminstration office next week. They are targeting tuition hikes planned for students.

"We don't have money, so we use the people's mic. So you actively engage in listening. If you want to vote..." is the chant from organizers from the campus group Students for a Democratic Society.

They took a cue from the Occupy movement by repeating en masse what a speaker says. They occupied a grassy nook near Cooper Hall to mobilize students to march on USF President Judy Genshaft's offices next week.

"We will be met with. They will have to hear our greiveances, says student organizer Dani Leppo. "We are not going to go away. We are not going to stop. They've been pushing us for a long time, so it's really time to sort of push back a little bit. We're the ones sufferering, but we're just students. And a lot of the burden is being put on us completely unneccesarily."

Their main complaint is a 15 percent tuition increase recently approved by state and USF officials. And another 15 percent has been promised for next year. But USF officials say state budget cuts are to blame, and tuition costs in Florida remain far below most of the rest of the nation.

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