How Students Seized The Year

It was another turbulent, traumatic year, and students saw some of the worst of them. With Covid-19 came abrupt campus closings, pure online education, and the disintegration of student life as we had come to know it. But meanwhile the young people continued to organize. Not only did they keep their pre-pandemic priorities alive amid the chaos; They fought for fair treatment of their fellow students and educators, for human rights abroad and the right to vote at home, for racial justice, against sexual violence, for an end to student debts, for a sensible approach to climate change and for a free future from intolerance and fear. Student Nation was able to document part of this upheaval in more than sixty articles written by students in 2021. We selected 10 pieces from last year to highlight their exceptional writing and reporting. We are deeply grateful to the Puffin Foundation, whose tremendous generosity made this work possible.

MARCH 16: Protecting pro-Palestinian activists can feel almost impossible – but these students did it

This article describes how student organizers successfully countered a demand that UCLA release the names of anonymous speakers at a National Students for Justice conference in Palestine.

APRIL 22: Platforms like Canvas play quickly and easily with student data

Very few universities still have to reckon with the enormous consequences of the data fairness of technologies for distance learning, argued our authors.

JUNE 9: No generation without representation

There are few sensible representation levers for young Americans – that is, for people under 40 – in policy-making. This systemic lack of sustainable, youth-specific roles throughout the federal government restricts young people’s ability to act and makes them feel undervalued, even or perhaps especially when democrats are in power.

June 29th: How the pandemic made it difficult to become a doctor

Covid-19 limited class size and made medical schools more competitive while also giving students less experience as internships in training hospitals were paused. This article examines the long-term effects of the pandemic on future doctors and their patients.

AUGUST 2ND: College graduates at UT Austin are undervalued, underpaid, and demanding answers

After the first year of precarious pandemic logs, University of Texas graduates at Austin raised concerns as their health benefits were diminished. A student organization, [email protected], spent months constantly exerting pressure to get answers and redress.

AUGUST 27: Joe Biden can cancel your student loan debt

Legal experts, the Senate Majority Leader, and borrowers agree that the president has authority to cancel student loan debt. But after almost a year of Biden’s tenure, nothing has changed. Unfortunately, with payments slated to resume soon and student debt at an all-time high, this article is more relevant than ever.


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