October 28, 2005

TFCD Plans to Host Fall Summit

October 28, 2005
For Immediate Release

Tennessee Federation of College Democrats to hold 2005 Fall Summit

NASHVILLE, TENN. – The Tennessee Federation of College Democrats would like to announce plans to hold its 2005 Fall Summit in Nashville on November 12th. The purpose of the summit is to organize chapters and develop a statewide strategy for turning out college students in the 2006 elections.

“The TFCD is in an ideal stage to begin working with chapters all across our state and to develop our statewide strategy for turning out college students in the upcoming elections,” said Alex Youn, Vice President of the Tennessee Federation of College Democrats. “College campuses are our territory and we plan on doing everything possible to make victory a reality next year.”

Participation from all College Democrats chapters across the state is encouraged. Those who attend will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions on a variety of issues, including: crafting a message, membership recruitment, fundraising, and campus activities. More details on summit activities will be announced in the coming days.

The summit will be held on Saturday, November 12th. We ask that all those attending plan on staying in Nashville from 12 noon until 6:00 pm.

To attend the summit, we ask that you visit the following website and complete the registration form:


For more information, please contact:
Alex Youn, Vice President [alex.youn@gmail.com]
Jessica Causey, Programs Director [jmc3p@mtsu.edu]

About the TFCD
The Tennessee Federation of College Democrats of America is a group designated to unite, lead and coordinate chapters of College Democrats of America on university campuses throughout Tennessee.


October 20, 2005

TFCD Statement on the Republican Culture of Corruption

NASHVILLE – The American people are faced with the growing problem of Republican corruption that extends from the local levels of government to its highest levels in Washington, D.C., with the corruption of national scandals even reaching into Tennessee.


Karl Rove, widely known as the brain of Bush’s political career, has found himself in the public eye in recent months. Rove’s scrutiny surrounds his involvement in the leaking of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Plame is the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, an outspoken critic of Bush’s preemptive strategies in Iraq.

“People are beginning to realize that in the time Karl Rove has spent controlling President Bush’s every move, he has neglected to ensure that his own actions are as picture perfect,” said Alex Youn, Executive Vice President of the Tennessee Federation of College Democrats. “What those within the White House have done to Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson does not at all fit under their banner of compassionate conservatism – it flies in the face of it.”

Now there are allegations concerning Bill Frist’s dumping of millions of shares of HCA stock from his blind trust. Just days following Frist’s sell-off, HCA, a family company still run by Frist’s brother, reported disappointing earnings and the stock dropped 15 percent. A formal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commisssion is now underway.

“This behavior is unnacceptable to the peope of Tennessee,” said Youn. “We deserve better leadership from our senators in Tennessee. We deserve much better than Frist is showing our state with his committment to personal gain and corporate interests.”

More disturbing are the circumstances surrounding Tom DeLay’s use of PAC money to influence Texas State House seats. Delay was indicted by a Texas grand jury on criminal conspiracy charges. A week later DeLay was indicted again by a different grand jury on a new charge of money laundering. Two of the three candidates seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Tennessee next year, Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, received substantial campaign contributions from PACs controlled by DeLay.

“Now is the time for these candidates to return the tainted campaign contributions they have received from DeLay,” said Youn. “If they don’t, the link between these Republican candidates and DeLay should make Tennesseans think twice about voting for any Republican in next year’s elections.”

October 02, 2005

The Raid on Student Aid

With the high cost of textbooks, skyrocketing loan debt and shrinking grant aid, students are digging behind the couch cushions to scrape together what it takes to pay for college these days. Students and their parents all around the country are having to work harder to afford college, but are facing mounting debt as they reach for graduation day.

As schools kicked into gear for the fall semester, the Republican controlled Congress reconvened after Labor Day to tackle major national issues including addressing the looming national deficit. Unfortunately, they continue to ignore a major issue: that students are coming up short when it comes to paying for college. Worse yet, both the House and Senate proposed cutting as much as another $14 billion from student aid programs.

The bill in the House of Representatives cuts student aid by raising student loan interest rates and eliminating critical borrower benefits. The Senate bill would raise interest rates on loans parents take out.

Democrats continue to propose that Congress work to make college more affordable- and less burdensome to students and their parents. The Democrats’ proposal would eliminate excessive subsidies to lenders and recycle the funds to use them for additional grant aid instead, while providing lower interest rates on loans. Sadly, the Republican led Congress' current plan plunges us deeper into a hole making college more difficult to pay for than ever.

How deep is the hole?

Every year millions of students fall short of what the federal government estimates is the cost of paying for college, even after adding up all available federal and state aid, expected family contributions, and student work. A typical low-income student falls $3,800 short a year at a 4 year school, while the typical middle class student falls $2,300 short. This is not pocket change.

Nearly half of all full time students work 25 hours or more every week, more than experts recommend for a student with a full course load. Students are also taking on increasing debt, with the average college graduate finishing with a diploma and almost $20,000 in student loan debt. In today’s math, more work equals higher debt.

At universities and colleges across the nation students are struggling. To make matters worse in 2003 alone 200,000 qualified high school graduates chose not to go to college due to increasing costs– and similar numbers do so every year.

Will Congress keep digging the hole?

The first rule of holes is that if you find yourself in one, stop digging. But this year, both Congressional Education committees were told to reconcile the federal deficit with cuts to student aid. While this process is touted as necessary to reduce the federal deficit, it actually increases the federal deficit by $35 billion over 5 years. Therefore these cuts neither accomplish the deficit reduction goal nor help millions of students emerge from college debt. Under the House plan, the average student borrower could pay up to $5,800 more in student loans.

Congress appears to be balancing the federal deficit on the backs of students.

We’re in this together

Hurricane Katrina exposed social and economic fault lines that are all too real. As Americans we are all in this together, but we have to provide young men and women the opportunities to earn the education that will allow them to give back to their communities and contribute to society as a whole. A college degree increases the size of the skilled work force, ensures a higher salary upon graduation, and increases the likelihood that students will become the civic leaders of tomorrow. Now is the time to strengthen the programs that are available to provide students access to an affordable education.

The second rule of holes is that you should fill them. The way to do this is to make college more affordable and more accessible for all who want to attend.