The Ohio Student Association is helping build a vehicle for people impacted by the crumbling public education system so they can get the power to transform that system to fit their needs.
The pandemic has been a major source of stress for students who have had to adapt to these new circumstances and demands. Our chapters have been fighting for the interests and issues of young Ohioans. Our chapter on Central State University successfully petitioned and won a refund of housing and meal plan costs for the Spring 2020 semester, as well as an extra $1,000 from the CARES Act. In August, OSA member Jarrod Robinson wrote an Op-Ed for the Columbus Dispatch on the topic of student debt which can be read here.
Education debt relief is an issue that OSA has fought for since day one, with recent efforts including a roundtable with Sherrod Brown last year where our members shared their student debt stories, as well as traveling to DC to take on roles in the “Pick Up the Pen, Joe!” protest in the spring. It is vindicating to see how the vehement efforts of OSA members over the years and so many young people and organizers across the country have paid off. Nonetheless, we also recognize this as just one of many steps in the arduous and persisting battle for a more equitable education system – and we will keep fighting to make sure higher education in Ohio remains affordable for all.
Over the spring and summer, we worked with the Honesty for Ohio Education organization to hold testimony workshops to help students advocate for a fair and honest presentation of history and concepts in school. This has meant showing up against Ohio’s version of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ with HB616. Young Ohioans deserve an honest and accurate education that includes and honors all of our experiences, no matter our race or background. They deserve more than being stuck in a learning environment where their identity and experience are denied and erased.