When OSA went to ask the legislature for more financial aid, they told us straight to our faces: “Why can’t you just get a second job?”
Hold my beer.
People who make decisions about financial AID have no idea what students are going through, how hard we have to work to just get by, the sacrifices we have to make. So we’re going to show them.
The Broke Student Survey is a way for us to put the reality of being a student in Ohio in front of people in power and show them just how much it takes to get by. If we collect enough responses, we can go to the legislature and say, “See? This is why we need more financial aid from the state!” ESPECIALLY if you are no longer a student, please fill this out so we can show them how big of a problem we’re up against.
OSA has built a team of young people to host events that connect liberation and political work with cultural work and creativity.
The popular “C-Space” return by hosting an issue-specific “Creative Town Hall” on higher education, where young people shared poetry and music related to their experiences in school and their dreams for an education system that gives them joy, purpose, and community.
In between acts, local organizers shared updates on some of the issue fights happening in the city and provided political education around how decisions get made that impact students’ lives. While guests sipped wine and looked at paintings from local artists, OSA members interviewed attendees on camera, digging into their experiences with debt and barriers to higher education. The interviews and footage from that event are being turned into a video that we intend to publish in June.
This event proved something we already believed: when we bring people together to share their stories and engage their creative sides, not only do we build community and space for joy — we also bring people into the fight for their own liberation in a more authentic way. For us, cultural and political work are one in the same.