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National Student Power Convergence

Below is a reportback from Sara Fitouri, Denver-based organizer with COSPA, the Colorado Student Power Alliance.

From August 1st - 5th more than 300 youth from around the nation converged in Madison, Wisconsin for a weekend of radical thought, workshops including anti-oppression and direct action trainings, and reporting back on a year of work in their home states.

To great establishment fanfare, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act has now passed both Houses of Congress, and should be signed by President Obama shortly. Here's precisely how screwed students are. UPDATE: President Obama has signed the bill.

Today we learned that current Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will be tapped as the new President of the University of California system. In many ways, the UC red carpet has long been rolled out for her.

Look, anyone who reads this blog (or follows me on Twitter, hint hint) knows I'm not a big fan of diverting organizing capacity toward legislative vehicles, let alone elections. We can't legislate or elect our way to a more democratic society, nor to a stronger student and youth movement.

That being said...

Cooper Union's current student occupation is as unique as the institution itself. And the opportunities it holds are immense.

5 broken approaches to U.S. student organizing, and why we need real movement infrastructure to build real student power

Thoughts on Bhaskar Sunkara's "Fellow Travelers" in the latest Jacobin.
Roughly 50% of small businesses close shop in their first five years. While not attracting enough customers is a death sentence for a business, not attracting enough members sadly does not have the same effect on leftist parties.

This year's Netroots Nation in San Jose will be a meeting point not just for the larger progressive community, but student activists from all across the country, too. Here's how you can swing a free registration and a free hotel room!

While each campus' particular iteration is different, student government culture is surprisingly consistent across the country. Disdain, in one form or another, for their fellow students can be found among SGA members at universities big and small.

There's been quite a bit of chatter about the latest report on student loan debt out by the New York Federal Reserve Board. All the bad numbers are up: the total amount of student loan debt, the number of students taking out loans, and the number of those who have stopped repayment. But there's one figure that I haven't seen anybody really highlight, and it's the scariest. You can check out a PDF of the findings here.