Chants against student debt and championing the concept of free tuition echoed across campus from Old Main to the LBJ Student Center Wednesday as students protested in the Million Student March.
The widespread movement is divided between national and campus goals and focuses on calling for free tuition and giving students the opportunity to have a say in how their tuition dollars are spent.
“We think that education is a right,” said Kennedy Swift, studio art freshman, who took part in the march.
The march wound around most of central campus and even went in to the student center itself, with students shouting slogans such as, “Banks got bailed out, students got sold out!” through megaphones.
“We want transparency on how tuition money is being spent,” said Victoria Politte, communication disorders sophomore. “We don’t want our money going towards wow factors like new fancy buildings.”
Some of the campus goals created by students for the Million Student Movement at Texas State involve a complete freeze in tuition rates and fees, a halt on all spending projects they feel are frivolous and the creation of a student tuition advisory board.
The national goals of the movement are tuition-free public college, elimination of all student debt, $15 minimum wage for all campus workers and divestment from private prisons by all colleges and universities.
Kristoffer Celera, computer science junior, said there are ways students can get a free education without demanding the government give it to them. Celera, who is a member of Young Americans for Liberty, did not support the protest.
Celera was dressed up as his alter ego “Donald Tramp” during the march. Donald Tramp has garnered substantial attention on social media, as Celera wears Donald Trump-esque wig, a suit jacket and no pants.
Throughout the march Celera could be seen dancing and striking various provocative poses holding a sign stating, “Your debt, your choice.” Celera was not the only outspoken protestor against the march, as other Trump supporters made themselves heard at the end of the procession in the amphitheater.
There were also other students present at the beginning of the march and at the end who did not take part, but voiced concerns over the goals of the movement, discussing their views with its members.
Robert McAlmon, a mathematics graduate student, said he agrees with some of their points, but thinks it is more important students know where tuition is going and how it is used.
“I think we should make school officials more accountable for where our money is going,” McAlmon said. “I know that a lot of our money goes to sports and overpaying administrators which I don’t think is right.