Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bringing the movement home

Oh look, Riles is talking about Occupy Wall Street again. *Yawn*

Check this out:

'The young man standing next to the “Jail Sallie Mae, Cancel All Student Loan Debt” sign in Liberty Plaza last night could very well end up in jail himself – not for protesting economic injustice and marching on Wall Street, but for doing sex work to pay off his student loans. "My loans are $1,300 a month," he said. "My rent is $1,300 a month. My salary is $2,600 a month. You can see the problem. So I work as a prostitute for food and utilities."

Though he works a day job in the tech sector, it’s not enough to get by. "But it could be worse," he continued. "I could have to do sex work for all of it."'

What, that's weird Riles. What a crazy one-in-a-million story!

'With the Department of Education estimating that outstanding US student loan debt will soon exceed $1 trillion and job growth stalled, students face the very real prospect that there’s no way to ever pay back their debts. As of this May, new graduates are leaving college with an average of $22,900 in debt each, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, makes the class of 2011 the most indebted in history. They are members of a generation of students who knew taking out loans to finance a degree – or two – was a gamble on their own futures. As Lindsay Personett, a recent graduate from Oklahoma City University, put it at Wednesday’s solidarity march to support the Wall Street occupiers, “Kids are told to get this expensive degree and you’ll get a job. You end up owing too much and owning nothing.”'

...$1 trillion in student loan debt? That's a very unhappy number Riles.

I know, friend, I know. There's more, I'm sorry to say:

'My father has been the sole financial supporter of my family for 18 years, because my mom chose to stay home and raise kids that she would be able to be proud of and take credit for, and now all of her training is outdated and useless. He works for the state making above-average salary, but due to medical bills, co-pays, therapy, physical therapy, surgeries, and medications, we live paycheck to paycheck and often are unable to pay bills on time. 

I graduated high school with an honors diploma with advanced placement. I got into every university I applied to, with promises for financial aid, scholarships, and grants. After graduating with a 3.4 gpa and high SAT scores, I chose to attend the private university that offered the best program, financial aid, scholarships, and job opportunities after graduation. 

In my third year, I am over $41,000 in debt not including interest, I will be graduating during one of the lowest economic points in history, and my career path pays an average salary of $35,000 a year, if I am even lucky enough to land a job. 

I take an overloaded class schedule of 20 course hours, I work four minimum-wage paying jobs, roughly half of my paycheck is taken out for taxes, and because my university is so expensive and didn’t hold up their end of the deal to help pay my way, I will be responsible for my parent’s inability to send my brilliant younger siblings to a college at any higher level than community college. 

I have had a job since the day I got my license at 16, I am responsible, I am intelligent, and talented, and yet, I still struggle to afford food and find myself going to bed hungry in the one of the richest and most bountiful countries in the world.

I am the 99%.'

Well shit, Riles, maybe I should take a more serious look at this Occupy business. Maybe I'm part of the 99% too.

Another world is possible. Join the revolution.

Sources for this blog post:

Sex Work to Pay Off College Loans? How the College Debt Racket Sucks Young People Dry -- And Led Many to Occupy Wall St.

We Are the 99 Percent Tumblr

- Riles Patrick Murphy, proud member of the 99%

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