From Occupy Wall Street to Music for Change: Students Speak Out

Participants of Occupy Wall Street, the “people powered movement for democracy” have protested themselves into a fourth straight week of demonstrations in Manhattan. Respondents to the blog post made by Adbusters on July 13, according to New York Times blogger Clyde Haberman,

“are denouncing the recklessness of the financial titans who brought the economy to its knees and who continue to thrive unrepentantly.”

Even ice-cream entrepreneurs Ben & Jerry have joined the fray, declaring via their website that,

“We realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change. We support this call to action and are honored to join in this call to take back our nation and democracy.”

Students comprise a great share of the dissenters gathered in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park and beyond, with residents of college towns such as Ft. Collins, CO, Atlanta, GA and Des Moines, IA to name but a few, eagerly getting involved.

Demonstrations have popped up in non- collegiate cities nationwide as well.

Some financially frustrated college students in New York City have helped to organize an unrelated yet similarly-minded event that will address the need for more personal finance education to be availed in post-secondary institutions everywhere. Just one day shy of the one-month anniversary of the start of the Occupy Wall Street Demonstration, the Student Credit Card Education Initiative is hosting a free event at Sullivan Hall called Music for Change. Organized specifically to reach out to all college students in the NYC area who are clamoring for more in-depth personal finance education, Music for Change will be an evening of song and sharing, as performers and special guest speakers impart upon the audience personal money management advice and tips regarding financial literacy.

“Students have been hard hit by rising tuition costs and the governments’ ever-tightening of its belt on contributions towards education; students are increasingly feeling the squeeze. Like their predecessors of the ’60s, they’re using music as a form of expressing their dissatisfaction.” said Michael Germanovsky, PR Director for the SCCE.

Ultimately, greater financial literacy will enable young adults to know exactly what they are getting into when making the decision to apply for a credit card. Most often, people make mistakes with credit cards because they don’t have a complete understanding of how they work.

The mainland U.S. is not the only area where there is rising concern about the financial future of its youth. The Bank of Guam has declared October 20th to be “Get Smart About Credit Day.” Bank representatives will be visiting schools throughout the island and making presentations to high school seniors. On the agenda is credit, specifically how much is needed. Also how to manage debt will be discussed.

“It is vital that young adults learn about the responsible use of credit and that such decisions have far-reaching consequences,” Bank of Guam President and Board Chairwoman Lou Leon Guerrero said to “Just like a family, a company and even the government, consumers must be aware of all the costs of credit, including how your future may be challenged by using too much debt now.”

Those speaking will clearly explain the distinctions between debit cards and credit cards in order to help their audience comprehend that though they physically appear to be nearly identical, they are not the same at all.

“The very basic difference is that when you use a credit card, you are borrowing money, on which you must pay interest if you pay over time,” said Jackie Marati, senior vice president and marketing administrator at the Bank of Guam to “While if you are using a debit or check card, you are accessing funds you already have in either a checking or savings account.”

According to Marati, “The most important thing any cardholder, current or prospective, can do is to learn about the responsible use of credit cards.”

Photo: Paul Stein/Flickr

Related Post