Occupy Wall Street: Why are students flocking to protest?

The crowd of protesters in Zuccotti Park is largely made up of college students who have come to NYC from schools across the country.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, now in its sixth day, is largely comprised of college students. Why is this demographic so attracted to this protest? Metro spent a night with protestors in Zuccotti park and spoke to college students about what brings them there.

In the midst of a “student work group,” college students sat on the pavement into the early morning hours to discuss what they wanted out of the protest. Within minutes, it was clear that each student had very different demands and ideas of what has gone wrong with the current system.

“Basically, every semester they are raising tuition by, like, $300,” said Chris, a Hunter College student who didn’t want his last name used. “I understand if they have to raise tuition, but doing that every semester as a multi-year plan is going to screw so many people out of college.”

Linnea M. Palmer Paton, a grad student at NYU, heard about the protest on Saturday and decided to join to promote environmental awareness.

“Our economic policies are forcing people to give up their agrarian life style,” she said. “And we do that on top of allowing ourselves to buy goods from countries that either exploit their workers or whose environmental standards are so low that many of their people suffer from health conditions.”
 

Students encouraged each other to protect their textbooks and notes in a safe spot within the park, reach out to professors and ask other students to join the protest. The protesters acknowledged that there are many different messages
floating around the camp, but said they discuss their differences during
daily “people’s general assemblies.”

Columbia University professor Todd Gitlin spent the 1960’s protesting the Vietnam War and corporate aid to the apartheid regime in South Africa. He said the protesters would need more than anger to sustain the movement.

 “They may have some sort of sentiment, but that isn’t enough to maintain any momentum or win allies or accomplish anything,” Gitlin said.

Palmer Paton said she hopes Occupy Wall Street will at least serve as a reminder to her generation that it must find a political voice.

“Numbers say that we don’t vote that much and I think that’s very dangerous, not only for democracy but also our society,” she said. “If you don’t have an informed democratic society that actually goes out and votes and continues a public dialogue about what is right and just and fair, then you end up with corporate control of the government.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…