Though all of you are likely familiar with the need-blind debate last year and campus conversations full of blatant classism surrounding the subject, you may or may not have seriously examined how this classism runs rampant through Wesleyan University and pervades the experiences of its student body and administration.
We implore you to answer this question:
Have you ever experienced classism at Wes? Tell us about it.
Here’s the form. Some questions after the jump to get you thinking:
Thanks to Jalen Alexander ’14 for these questions to get you started!
How many students from working class and poor/low income families have on-campus work-study jobs? How many also have off-campus jobs? How might these jobs affect academic work and experiences with campus life?
In what ways might a four-year residency requirement support or inhibit a student’s academic success? How might this be different along the class continuum?
Are there class biases in who is admitted to campus clubs, fraternities, and societies?
What differences might exist between the study habits of students from middle-class and wealthy families and working-class and low-income families? Why might this be? What might this say about systems of public and private education in the United States?
What are the general working conditions for janitorial/custodial staff? Custodians in residence halls?
Are there any Board members from working class or poor/low-income backgrounds?
In our follow-up, we discuss your responses, our own experiences, and what we can do as a campus to bring about awareness and activity around classism and its consequences at Wes.
Wesleyan as an institution is an apparatus for maintaining class divisions in society. We shouldn’t be looking at instances of classism like exceptions to the rule, failures in the function of the institution to be reformed. It’s the purpose of the place – the University is the manufacturer of class oppression.
so should we all just leave the University? create something new from within? opinions?
does anyone have a good definition of classism? i don’t really get it
Classism is prejudice or discrimination on the basis of social class. It includes individual attitudes and behaviors, systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper classes at the expense of the lower classes