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This Guy Used the Second Presidential Debate to Raise Money for Student Loans Over Venmo

Payment-sharing app Venmo has become a popular option for splitting a restaurant bill between friends, paying rent, or…asking for help from the public with student loan debt? That’s exactly what one college student decided to do when cameras flooded his campus for the second presidential debate.

Washington University at St. Louis student Albert Wu took full advantage of all the eyes on his school last Sunday—He made a sign that said, “Student debt sucks”, along with his Venmo username, and stood behind the CNN anchors while they were on air.

You may laugh, but Wu actually made bank off of this stunt. He told Jezebel that he’s actually received over $400 so far and plans to put the money in an emergency fund. Don’t worry, he’s underage and won’t be using it for alcohol!

According to Teen Vogue, Wu has started a trend. After Wu’s stunt Sunday, a freshman student in Canada made a poster that read, “Kanye 4 Prez” along with his Venmo username for people to donate if they agree. A group of Theta Chi brothers also made a sign to ask for money for their dues. 

Wu also told Jezebel that he’s touched by the money he’s received because it has come from people on both sides of aisle. “It’s certainly something that I hope comes up in the debate, because student debt is so relevant, especially for the youth who have such an impact on the vote,” he said. “I think both sides of a political nation can relate to that. We’re Americans who are dealing with this.”

We can all agree that student debt is ~the worst~, and we’d like to get rid of it any way we can—But hopefully our next president will make some changes so we don’t have to resort to asking strangers for money on national TV.

Sarah Nelson is senior at the University of Iowa pursuing a Journalism major, English minor, and Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication Certificate. When she's not binge-watching One Tree Hill or Jane the Virgin on Netflix (again), she's is probably rereading the Harry Potter series or writing for her blog, SarahNdipity. With an addiction to books and coffee, Sarah hopes to take the world by storm as a book editor. Or social media marketer. Or blogger. (She hasn't quite made up her mind yet, but that's okay because who says you have to be just one thing?)