College faculty, students vow to get high education into political discussion
Alarmed by the lack of discussion about higher education in state and national elections, college faculty and graduate students on Florida campuses are promising a big push to get the topic more on the radar of political candidates.
This week, an alliance of college professors, adjunct faculty and graduate assistance announced they are starting a aggressive statewide voter education effort that they hope will boost turnout in November and get candidates talking about conditions on college campuses.
“There is not really a conversation about higher education right now,” said Cheryl DeFlavis, an adjunct professor at Hillsborough Community College who is part of the effort called Faculty Forward.
Beyond calls for affordable tuition and helping reduce college debt, DeFlavis said there needs to be an effort to improve working conditions and pay for adjunct professors and graduate students.
It’s not just Florida either. The Faculty Forward project is on 45 campuses in 16 states with the help of SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which is helping unionize adjunct professors and fight for higher wages.
Throughout the fall, the group said it will go door-to-door, run phone banks, and meet with students in faculty to get them to the polls and to push candidates to address their issues.