Hunger and Homelessness
MaryPIRG students and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness hosted the National Resolve to Fight Poverty Conference where over 100 students from across the country came to UMD to learn from experts how to help fight poverty. At the conference we had a “Faces of Homelessness” panel presented by the National Coalition of the Homeless where formerly homeless people shared their stories and opened our eyes to the realities of the homeless population. We also had a Hunger Banquet put on by Oxfam where students experienced the disparity of global food scarcity by simulating an average dinner for different populations of the world.
MaryPIRG teamed up with RHA and Residential facilities to apply for a grant that would provide more campus access to reusable water bottle refilling stations. 85% of single-use plastic water bottles never get recycled wasting valuable resources and money. By encouraging students at UMD to use reusable water bottles, we can save the average student over $1,000 each year.
US PIRG launched the national Textbook Rebellion Tour to raise awareness about the high cost of textbooks and affordable solutions. The average student pays $1,137 for textbooks every year. We want to let our professors and administrators know about more affordable options for textbook like Open Source Textbooks. The tour collected 10,000 petition signatures (1,000 from here on campus!) and was featured in 100 news stories.
It’s time to make politicians pay attention to us. The best way to get them to pay attention to young people and the issues we care about is to show up to register to vote and show up to the polls. MaryPIRG and the TerpsVote coalition registered over 750 students to vote for the City Council election (more than double two years ago!).
The cost of Higher Education has skyrocketed in the past few decades. We need to ensure that our young people graduate college and compete in the global workforce. To aid in these efforts, US PIRG reduced the burden of student loan debt by capping students' monthly loan payments and stopping aggressive cuts to Pell grants, the federal financial aid program that serves more than 9 million students.
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