During my time working on our independent study, I have learned a lot about taking initiative, group planning, creating dialogue, and group activism. The most positive learning moment for me was after I gave the workshop to my staff, I felt a huge sense of empowerment. I really felt like creating that dialogue opened some of my staff member’s eyes on this subject. This was the first time a lot of them heard about the student debt crisis. Also, students who were in debt said they felt really good about finally being able to talk about this problem with others. This was a really huge moment for me and I feel like having that 30-minute discussion actually did impact others. Also, the amount of knowledge I feel like I have now on this subject is also really empowering. Since my time in this independent study group, I have learned so much about student debt. I have also learned a lot about my personal situation and I feel much more in power then ever before.
I think my biggest challenge was trying to continue giving my workshops. We had so many issues come up with scheduling staff meetings that it was hard to keep reminding my staff. Also, getting my floor involved was hard too. My floor is very quiet and sometimes ant-social, so if there isn’t free food involved, the wont usually pay attention to announcements or events.
In terms of what might be different, I would say, maybe have one or two major projects for the whole group to work on as a whole for the entire semester. I feel like our group split too many different projects up. For example, the Elizabeth Warren video, the debt fence, workshops, and tabling seemed a bit overwhelming. I think that it would be easier for us to focus on fewer projects and major goals.
To carry this project on, I would say keep the Facebook page going! We seem to have a good following so far and it would be great to add on to it and not lose what we have created this far. The debt fence is also a great way to spread awareness and I think next semester, adding more debt fences around campus could really affect our campus and community as a whole.