Wall at STU symbolizes national student debt

St. Thomas University Students’ Union erected a wall of debt in the George Martin Hall foyer as part of a national campaign started by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.

Students can write their current or projected debt numbers on a red paper brick and it is taped up to create this wall.

Universities across Canada are erecting walls like this, said STUSU VP education Luke Robertson.

“This will provide a very good image and demonstration of the severity of student debt across the country,” said Robertson.

As a member of CASA, the STUSU thinksi it is it important to participate in this campaign.

“This campaign is important because student debt is a multi-factor contributor to a lot of student issues,” he said.

Robertson said because of the debt load students have after graduation, there are many things students can’t afford to do.

“Students are unable to do things people were able to do 40 years ago like buy a house following school or buying a car,” said Robertson. “The fact that student debt is something that is putting students behind now is something we really need to address.”

Robertson also said debt is one of the main contributing factors to mental health problems like anxiety and stress while at university.

STUSU president Elizabeth Murphy said this campaign is something CASA is constantly working towards for present and future students.

“It’s to [help] improve the lives of students,” said Murphy.

She said this campaign will also open up the door to discuss debt more on campus.

“It’ll be interesting to see how much debt is on campus,” said Murphy.

Robertson hopes to have at least 300 students participate in the wall and help start a conversation about student debt at the national level.

The wall will be up until Friday and any student can participate.

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