Being three of 40 campus stops on the national Textbook Rebellion Tour to raise awareness about the high cost of textbooks and affordable solutions. The tour collected 10,000 petition signatures and was featured in 100 news stories.
Thanks for being part of NJPIRG and helping make 2011 such a success. Check out some of our highlights from the year:
- Making Higher Education More Affordable: Reduced the burden of student loan debt by capping students' monthly loan payments and stopping aggressive cuts to Pell grants, the federal financial aid program that serves more than 9 million students.
- Energy Service Corps: Built more energy efficient communities by educating 850 elementary school, community members, and college students about energy efficiency and weatherizing fifty homes to help homeowners and college students living off campus save energy and money
- Protecting Our Drinking Water from Natural Gas Drilling: Collected 400 petitions and generated 150 phonecalls to Governor Christie’s office to stop dangerous gas drilling, known as fracking, on the Delaware River
- Making Textbooks More Affordable: Everyone knows that textbooks costs are out of control—the average student spends $900 per year! We're promoting cost-saving solutions on campus while also tackling publishers' stranglehold on the market to change prices for good. We're educating students, faculty and bookstores and raising awareness through research and media attention. The Rutgers New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden campuses were 3 of 40 campus stops on the national Textbook Rebellion Tour to raise awareness about the high cost of textbooks and affordable solutions. The tour collected 10,000 petition signatures and was featured in 100 news stories.
- Sustainable U: Collecting 2,000 student pledges to show support for banning plastic bags on Rutgers' campus.
- Fighting Poverty: Organizing our annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, educating 350 students about poverty, collecting 2,500 food and necessity items for local food pantries, and raising $2,000 to fight poverty locally and for famine relief.
- Cleaning up NJ's Waterways: Partnering with the Interfraternity Council and the City of New Brunswick at to organize a street cleanup with 275 volunteers.
- Promoting Public Transit: Teaming up with the cast of Mad Men to make a Funny or Die video supporting High Speed Rail
By joining together and funding NJPIRG here at Rutgers, we've been able get results. Thanks for your support!
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Work on important issues, learn valuable skills, get hands-on experience, and make a difference.
2010: Helped pass a new law called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to lower health care costs for families including young adults by allowing them to stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26. Released a Young Person's Guide to Health Care.
2010: Helped to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which among other things, adds $36 billion into the Pell grant program. NJPIRG Student Chapters and Student PIRG lobbying and organizing over the past several years was critical to the passage of this historic law.
2009: NJPIRG Student Chapters teamed up with AmeriCorps to launch NJPIRG Energy Service Corps, a campaign to increase energy efficiency in low-income communities through education and service.
2009: Helped pass strong legislation called, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act that will end some of the worst abuses of the credit card industry, including some which are often targeted at college students.
2009: Student PIRG and NJPIRG student activists mobilized their peers and helped persuade Congress to include an additional $2.5 billion down-payment for high-speed rail in their appropriations bill, more than doubling President Obama’s original recommendation.
2009: Help to launch the Resolve Conference, where 250 students from across the country were joined by activists, advocates and organizers for a weekend of education and training to create anti-poverty campaigns in their communities.
2008: Helped with passing the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The law contains several important policy changes, including an increase in the maximum authorized level of the Pell Grant to $9,000.
2008: NJPIRG students helped get an Affordable Textbooks provision included in the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act. The provision helps lower the cost of textbooks for millions of students by requiring publishers to disclose textbook pricing and revision information to faculty and requiring publishers to offer textbooks and supplemental materials "unbundled."
2008: Students working on NJPIRG Student Chapters New Voters Project teamed up with the RU Voting Coalition and collected over 5,000 voter registration forms. In the days leading up to the election we contacted over 28,000 young voters across the state to remind them to vote.
2008: Across the country, Student PIRGs' New Voters Project helps register 118,000 young voters and contacts 440,000 voters to turn them out to the polls
2008: Surveyed over 2,000 students and released a subsequent report, “The Campus Credit Card Trap,” which garnered nationwide media coverage.
2007: Joined the nationwide Student PIRGs' What’s Your Plan? Campaign which talked to the presidential candidates over 100 times on the campaign trail, to ask them about their plans for global warming and higher education.
2007: In September, NJPIRG worked with a national coalition to help pass the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the largest increase in federal student aid in 20 years. This law also made dramatic cuts in interest rates for student loans. We followed up by helping pass the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was signed by President Bush in August 2008. That law contains several important policy changes, including an increase in the maximum authorized level of the Pell Grant to $9,000.
2005: Despite a strong push by the oil industry and their allies in Congress, NJPIRG Student Chapters and the State PIRGs were part of a successful campaign to beat back the latest effort to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling. The fight was the latest in a 25-year effort to combat drilling in this pristine wilderness.
2005: NJPIRG Student Chapters helped to register 5000 students to vote in the fall 2005 New Jersey election. The registration effort was followed by a GOTV campaign, contacting 16,000 registered 18-24 year-olds on 12 college campuses across the state. According to a study of raw precinct data by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) the number of votes cast in precincts with a high concentration of college students increased by an average of 19.9 percent above the 2001 election.
2005: In the fall, NJPIRG Student Chapters along with the Student PIRGs across the country launched the Campus Climate Challenge. The goal of the challenge is for 500 colleges across the country to take the lead in fighting climate change by committing to reduce their emissions to 90% below 2005 levels by 2050.
2005: Water Watch Responds to Hurricane Katrina: In response to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Region, NJPIRG’s AmeriCorps program New Jersey Community Water Watch raised $4000 for its survivors. They then traveled to Mississippi for a week to assist in rebuilding and distributing supplies.
2005: Hunger and Homelessness: NJPIRG Student Chapters in New Brunswick organized the nation’s second largest Hunger Cleanup. Rutgers students raised more than $10,000 for Tsunami Relief, baby food distribution at the Franklin Foodbank, and other national programs.
2004: New Voters Project: NJPIRG Student Chapters helped to register over 4000 voters as part of the national, non-partisan New Voters Project. The state effort combined with the national campaign resulted in a 10% increase in turnout for 18 to 24 year old voters from the 2000 to the 2004 election.
2004: Making Textbooks Affordable: NJPIRG Student Chapters and the Student PIRGs released Rip-off 101, a report exposing the ways that publishers drive up the cost of textbooks. The report generates press coverage across the country and brings attention to these practices. The report was followed by the launch of an online bookswap, and a network of 700 math and physics professors from across the country calling on Thompson Learning to stop releasing needless new editions.
2003: Water Watch: NJPIRG’s AmeriCorps program New Jersey Community Water Watch organized river cleanups across the state for national “Make a Difference Day.” 455 students attended cleanups in New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Camden, Newark and Atlantic City.
2002: Protecting Renters' Rights: NJPIRG Student Chapters won city inspections of rental housing in New Brunswick.
2002: Working For a Clean Energy Future: NJPIRG Student Chapters and the State PIRGs worked together to defeat a dirty federal energy bill.
2001: Making Higher Education Affordable: NJPIRG and the State PIRGs helped to win a $1.7 billion increase in financial aid, lower interest rates and a bigger tax deduction for student loan payments.
2000: President Clinton announces PIRG-sponsored plan to protect 60 million acres of national forests
1998: Student PIRGs win law requiring colleges to distribute voter registration forms to students
1995: State PIRGs deliver 1.2 million petition signatures to Congress, helping stop rollback of environmental laws
1994: NJPIRG and AmeriCorps launch New Jersey Community Water Watch, an AmeriCorps program targeted at educating and activating citizens and community members around their local waterways.
1991: NJPIRG passes the Pollution Prevention Act. This helped reduce hazardous waste generation in New Jersey by 50% over the next 10 years.
1990: NJPIRG passes the Clean Water Enforcement Act. The law, which became a national model, forced mandatory fines for serious water polluters and served as one of the strongest laws of its kind in the nation.
1986: NJPIRG and the State PIRGs win a campaign to strengthen the Superfund law, creating the national toxics release inventory.
1985: NJPIRG helps to form the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.
1984: NJPIRG and The State PIRGs' newly launched National Student Campaign for Voter Registration helps registers 750,000 student voters across the country in its first year
1983: NJPIRG and a labor-environment coalition won the Worker, Community Right to Know About Toxics Act, requiring the industry to publicly report use, storage and transport of toxic chemicals.
1983: NJPIRG files the first in a series of citizen lawsuits against New Jersey’s worst water polluters.
1978: NJPIRG wins tax incentives for solar power.
1975: NJPIRG plays a lead role in stopping the construction of Tocks Island Dam, thus preserving the Delaware River and thousands of acres of farm land.
1974: NJPIRG launches its stream walking program, collecting evidence of illegal polluters and writing a manual for volunteer stream monitoring programs.
1972: Students at Seton Hall University start the first NJPIRG student chapter.