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The Link Between Profits and Students

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Students in Montreal and across Quebec continue their protest against tuition increases and austerity measures in education with a 12-hour ¨“marathon of intensive vindication,” according to organizers. Today will see rolling student protests mostly focused against banks. In Montreal, marches leave from Victoria Square every hour and will each take unique routes through downtown.

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Let’s get something strait! Everybody has to make a buck to live in the United States. If you’re plumber, you must plumb. If you’re a contractor, you got to build or remodel. If you’re a professor, you must teach and research. But what happens when the school you teach at doesn’t provide the type of jobs necessary to attract students willing to borrow a hundred grand? If you’re an administrator, you want to attract students, so maybe you fudge the figures at how your graduates get jobs after they leave school so that you can attract more students.

That’s a ton of money for many students to lay out only to discover you’re not going to get a job as an attorney after you graduate.

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From the New York Times

LAS VEGAS — For much of the presidential election of 2008, Barack Obama’s campaign was Emma Guerrero’s life. She was one of a dozen volunteers who showed up at an Obama campaign office here every night, taking time from her studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to be part of what she still remembers as the most exciting period of her life.

It was largely because of Ms. Guerrero — and hundreds of other college students like her across the country — that Mr. Obama assembled a formidable machine that helped him roll to victory in 2008, a triumph that included putting Nevada into the Democratic column for the first time in 12 years.

“We did everything,” she said. “We went canvassing. Phone banking. Cleaning the offices. Taking out my bosses’ dry cleaning. Whatever they needed. It was such an amazing time because we all believed and wanted him to get elected.”

Ms. Guerrero said that she did not blame Mr. Obama for the 13.4 percent unemployment rate that has gripped this state, and that she was still likely to vote for him. But as she looks to graduation this June and her job hunt ahead, the emotion she feels is fear, and she cannot imagine having the time or spirit to work for Mr. Obama.

“I don’t think I could do it anymore,” she said. “That campaign was an amazing experience. But I don’t think I’m in the same mind-set anymore. He hasn’t really addressed the young people, and we helped him to get elected.”

Across this state — and in others where young voters were the fuel of the Obama organization, voting for him two to one over John McCain — the enthusiastic engine of the 2008 campaign has run up against the reality of a deadened job market for college students.

Interviews here and across the country suggest that most of his college supporters of 2008 are still inclined to vote for him. But the Obama ground army of 2008 is hardly ready to jump back into the trenches, potentially depriving Mr. Obama of what had been an important force in his victory.

Mr. Obama’s advisers, while acknowledging the shift, said they were confident that the loss of these workers would be negated by an influx of new students who have turned of voting age since 2008. Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, said there had been eight million voters ages 18 to 21 registered since the last election, most of whom were Democrats.

“Their brothers and sisters started it, and they are going to finish it,” Mr. Messina said Monday. “They are storming into our office. Our volunteer numbers are up from where we thought they would be.”

Yet even Mr. Obama’s supporters say it seems unlikely that the president — given the difficulties of these past three years and the mood of the electorate of all ages — will ever be able to replicate the youthful energy that became such a defining hallmark of his campaign. In the last election, Sandra Allen hosted a group of fellow Brown University students at her home to call voters in North Carolina and Indiana on Election Day, a common practice in the Obama campaign. Mr. Obama won those states to the shock of Republicans.

Asked if she would be doing similar work for Mr. Obama this time, Ms. Allen responded: “Not now. And I will not be streaking across the main green of any campus with hundreds of thrilled people were he to be re-elected next year.”

Ms. Allen graduated last year and, after surveying the job market, decided to take refuge in graduate school to wait things out. “I’m not optimistic,” she said.

Jason Tieg, 22, a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho, voted for Mr. Obama with great enthusiasm in 2008. But now, struggling to find a part-time job to help him through school, he is not even sure he would do that again. “I got a job in July as a custodian on campus, but I lost it again when they needed to cut down.”

“I don’t know if I’ll support him next year,” he said.

It is hard to find a state that more vividly illustrates the danger to Obama from declining enthusiasm among young voters than Nevada. Few parts of the country have been harder hit by this recession, with stubborn double-digit unemployment, an unending wave of mortgage foreclosures and huge numbers of homeless. And there are few states where young voters were so crucial to Mr. Obama’s victory.

Mark Triola, who was president of Young Democrats of Nevada in 2008, said at the time, the Democratic organization at U.N.L.V. was about three times as big as the Republican organization. By last year, he said, they were about equal, a trend that students there say has not changed this year. (For his part, Mr. Triola graduated in the spring and found a job in the communications industry — “ideally probably not what I was looking for, but I don’t have any room to complain given what’s going on,” he said.)

Ian Lovett contributed reporting from Los Angeles, and Kim Palchikoff from Las Vegas.

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MILAN (Reuters) – A group of students stormed Goldman Sachs’s central Milan offices on Friday ahead of worldwide protests against financial inequality planned for the weekend.

The Italian demonstrations are the latest bout of anger at banks and financiers as outcry spreads throughout the world following the occupation of Wall Street in New York by protesters over the past month.

Students managed to break into the hall of the Goldman Sachs building in the heart of Milan’s financial district, a few steps away from La Scala opera house, police said.

The protests were quickly dispersed by police and security was restored to the elegant building, though red graffiti was daubed on its walls expressing anger at Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and proclaiming “Give us money.”

Protesters in Italy’s financial capital also hurled eggs at the headquarters of UniCredit, the country’s biggest bank.

As part of the global rally on Saturday, a demonstration is scheduled to start at 1200 GMT (8 a.m. EDT) in Rome, where peaceful protests in front of the Bank of Italy continued on Friday for a third straight day.

(Reporting by Michel Rose)

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