Students in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars across the country rallied at more than 300 college campuses Thursday to raise awareness about the youth unemployment epidemic through the #FixYoungAmerica movement.
The University's chapter joined the cause, taking a stand in Free Speech Plaza, where Megan Thibodaux, chapter president and biological sciences senior, and other NSCS members occupied a booth with posters, handouts and determination.
Along with supporters nationwide, the University's chapter will capture campus rallies via photos and videos, which will be submitted to MTV and shared at mtv.com.
"We're raising awareness about the youth unemployment epidemic, and we're trying to recruit Stephen Colbert to be an identity behind this whole cause," Thibodaux said.
Cori Runfalo, chapter treasurer and biology senior, said Colbert was chosen as the cause's face because he's a well-known figure with the resources to make a change.
Thibodaux said the youth unemployment problem has increasingly worsened. As a senior graduating in December, she said she shares the same worry as many of her classmates.
"They're freaking out and having anxiety over finding a job because there's a limit now that used to never be there," she said.
Runfalo said the movement isn't solely for graduating students struggling to find employment. It's also for those who don't have the means to obtain a college degree, which further lessens their chance for a decent job, she said.
Thibodaux said the NSCS also has partnered with the Young Entrepreneur Council to encourage young entrepreneurship among students as a solution to the unemployment problem.
The awareness advocacy doesn't stop at the rallies, Thibodaux said. There is a movement to snag one of the top-trending topic slots on Twitter by tweeting #FixYoungAmerica messages to Colbert.
Runfalo suggests further awareness techniques for students interested in helping.
"If they really wanted to do something, they could contact officials in the government," she said.
While the unemployment awareness campaign has only begun, Runfalo offered encouraging words to worrisome students about finding jobs.
"Don't give up, she said. "It may seem hard, but be persistent."
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