York Students (and Vari Hall) Drowning in Debt

YFS building a wall
Rahman Mohamed

Xpressions Against Oppression (XAO), a campaign launched by the York Federation of Students (YFS) aimed to bring social change by tapping into revolutionary feelings of empathy through various forms of resistance, began to take action against growing Student Loans On Tuesday, October 1 by starting the Wall of Debt in Vari Hall at York University.

Students of all-years were asked about their debt as they left class and walked through Vari Hall.  All students, regardless of amount, were asked to write what their debt was and leave a message.

Messages ranged from “A down payment on a HOME!!!” and “I DON’T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE” to “0 due to 4 jobs”, “0 I [heart] my parents” and “I couldn’t do it without my parents”.  Some even said “18,000 & I’ve been paying!! WTF” and “I applied for OSAP and I still don’t have enough money to be here >.<”

Numbers on the debt wall ranged $872-$300,000.  At 3 PM on Oct. 1 the Canada Student Loan Debt calculator on the YFS website sat at just over $15.5 billion.

At one point a student in Vari Hall was overheard saying “I’m going to do my readings; this is making me sad”

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