SF State took part in the annual Up to Us competition, where students get to run a campaign on raising awareness about escalating national debt and how millennials can help to secure the economic future.
This is the fifth year SF State has been a part of Up to Us. The University is third in the country, with almost 250 students who have signed the pledge that states, “Securing our fiscal future is an important priority for America’s next generation.”
“Our goal for SF State is to obtain at least 900 pledges by December 1,” said Nathan Bowman, Up to Us team leader and sociology major. “We’re planning on starting the first of our three events within the end of October, and that’s when we really see a boost in our number of student pledges.”
According to the Up to Us foundation, the federal government now spends $269 billion on interest for national debt, which is more than it typically spends each year on education.
“I think when you look at the national budget, putting one percent of a particular program into another for funding would help a lot,” Bowman said. “The debt is almost raising $4 trillion dollars each year, and I really think it’s just too much mismanagement on a federal level.”
With around 60 universities and city colleges nationwide that want to tag alongside Bowman, he believes that raising awareness is a vital tool in helping future generations decrease the intimidating national debt.
“I’ve signed the pledge each year that SFSU has had this campaign,” said Andrew Critchfield, a junior who studies music production. “One day I want to have kids of my own, but every time I learn more about our debt and how much it is increasing, it really discourages me about the future.”
Since school interest costs are projected to double within the next decade, Up to Us knows fixing this dilemma needs to be kicked into high gear.
“I’m always shocked when hearing how many people are unaware of our national debt,” said Elizabeth Cardona, vice team leader and event coordinator for Up to Us at SF State. “For our events, we just want students to know that change is possible with their support. To sign the pledge, all we would need is their email, name and either their personal zip code or the University’s zip code.”
At the opening event near the quad, Cardona will be handing out flyers, selling t-shirts, putting on games and even feeding the student body with pizza. After that day, she expects that SF State will go back to being the number one ranking out of the 60 schools.
“I think because I am a woman who is also a minority, the more knowledge I have about this national dilemma, the more powerful I feel,” Cardona said. “It helps a lot just to know how to manage money, especially in this day and age where we have a president who has gone in and out of bankruptcy over the years.”
Up to Us believes current students of this nation can have a huge impact on future generations by shedding light on the issue of national student debt, which has only been getting worse.