Student Debt Crisis Forum

Marshall Student Center event will examine the cost of higher education, student debt and debt solutions.

By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2012) – It’s National College Affordability Week and no better time to discuss the issues of how to pay for higher education. The opportunity to do so at USF comes on Wednesday. 


Students in Free Enterprise at USF (SIFE) is hosting the organization Young Invincibles (YI) for a forum on the cost of higher education, student loan debt, repayment options and solutions to the student debt crisis. This free event happens Oct. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Room 3709.


Young Invincibles invited the two candidates for Florida’s 13th Congressional District seat, Democrat Jessica Ehrlich and Republican incumbent C.W.  Bill Young, to speak at the event.


A little over a year old, YI started out as a group that met in a law school cafeteria and is now a national organization.  It represents the interests of 18 to 34 year-olds to make sure their perspective is heard, “wherever decisions about our collective future are being made. We do this through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, sharing the stories of young Americans, campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation and advocacy intended to change the status quo,” according to the organization’s website.


SIFE’s Executive Director Katherine Gonzalez says her organization is committed to staying focused on this issue even after the forum is over. 

“We believe all students need to be cognizant of the cost of their education before they graduate with a large student loan debt that they cannot pay back. SIFE has a project we call The Firm where we speak with students about this very issue as well as credit, overall debt and other financial matters. This program is something we will gladly bring to any student organization if they would like to have us come in and speak with their members. We will help them set up a convenient time and date.”

SIFE, now being rebranded as Enactus, is a global organization with chapters at over 1,500 college campuses in over 40 countries. The USF chapter is now seven years old. The organization offers students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills as they get involved in campus and community projects. They apply business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to help improve the quality of life of all those with whom they work.

SIFE is open to students in all disciplines and all they do is voluntary. Their legacy projects include the Refill-A-Bull and Suit-A-Bull services that are responsible for making free water available for water containers to cut down on plastic bottle waste and for making business attire available on loan for free to students.

For more information, contact SIFE via email:

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.