UCF Student Labor Action Project members interrupted President Hitt's State of the University Address on Wednesday, protesting student debt.

Chanting "Hey, hey, President Hitt doesn't care about student debt," Nick Leon and other members of SLAP rose from the side of the Pegasus Ballroom in the Student Union carrying a banner they made conveying the same message.

"There are a lot of faculty here and staff who have seen debt and may qualify for this program, but they don't even know that they exist," said Leon, a senior physics major.

Leon is referring to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which allows students who are employed by the government or a nonprofit organization to be eligible for potential loan forgiveness.

Leon said that SLAP has reached out to President Hitt's administration about signing a pledge that urges the administration to implement the program.

"I thought his comment [on student debt] was good advice, but sometimes it's not as easy as picking a cheaper apartment," said Nicole Hamm, political science and sociology major, referring to President Hitt's response that students should be responsible for how they handle their money.

"I think he needs to take that initiative to help our students," Hamm said.


Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_ or email her at

Read or Share this story: