Announcements and Upcoming Events
Betsy Leondar-Wright: Class Action Keynote Speaker
Saturday, October 18th ~ Grainger 5120 ~ 9:00am
Betsy Leondar Wright is the Program Director and Senior Trainer at Class Action, a national non-profit working to end classism and provide a safe space for people of all backgrounds to identify and address issues of class and classism. A long-time activist for economic justice, Betsy has led hundreds of workshops all over the US on classism, cross-class alliance building, and economic inequality . She will be hosting two workshops during her visit to campus.
Morning: Class in our Lives, Classism on Campus
Afternoon: Responding to Classist Comments and Microagression
Attendance at both workshops is not mandatory; attendees may come at their leisure during the day on Saturday. WCSU is very excited to bring Betsy to our campus, so we hope to see you all there!
WCSU is Testing Out a New Laptop Rental Program!
If you have ever been in need of a rental laptop for a few days, but College Library was fresh out of computers, you’re in luck! WCSU is testing out a new laptop rental program! For the next month, we will offer laptop rental services to students as part of a trial laptop rental program. Students shall be able to rent out for as long as you need but must be returned within a week if another student requests it, and laptops will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. Stop in our office at the SAC #3205 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
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A Look Ahead:
WCSU is hiring!
WCSU is pleased to announce a new internship opportunity for this fall! We have partnered with University Health Services for a Personal Narratives Project, and are seeking an intern to help us collect, film, and feature the personal stories of working class, low income, and first generation students, faculty, and staff. The position is compensated and will require a time commitment of 5-10 hours per week. Please email a resume to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!
~WCSU is designing a FIG!~
Have you ever wished there were more courses on campus that focused on class? WCSU is organizing a FIG to be offered in fall 2015. More details to come as we develop the courses, so stay tuned!
What does it mean to be "working class?" Who is a first-generation student?
First-Generation College Student:
a student whose parents did not graduate from a four-year college or university (per the UW-Madison Office of the Provost)
"[There is no] single definition of what constitutes...class. We recognize, instead, that the term has multiple meanings and associations. ...Discussions of class should consider class as a category of identity, a socio-economic category, an aspect of social structures of power and privilege, and as an aspect of discourse. We must also consider the complex relationships among class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, place, and other social and political groupings." (per Youngstown University's Center for Working-Class Studies)
Who "counts" as working-class?
About 46% of Americans self-identify as working-class. Sociologists and economists estimate that 62% of Americans are working-class. 74% of Americans can count themselves as working-class if not having a bachelor's degree is the only criterion. Workers earning between $25,000-$75,000 per year likely have a working-class job. (per Sherry Lincoln's keynote speech, "Does Class Matter at College," Oct. 6, 2009 at the Memorial Union)
"differential treatment based on social class or perceived social class. Classism is the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and strengthen the dominant class groups. It’s the systematic assignment of characteristics of worth and ability based on social class. That 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 (resulting in drastic income and wealth inequality), the rationale that supports these systems and this unequal valuing, and the culture that perpetuates them." (from the website of Class Action)
The Working Class Student Union seeks to give voice to working class students on our campus, while creating a safe space for us to come together and talk about our experiences. Through creating a network of support, we also will be advocating for ourselves as students on the UW campus and members of the Madison community. We feel that as working class students, we share a unique identity that has traditionally been silenced. We are actively working to break that silence and the stigma it has created, so that we can advocate for ourselves and the issues that are deeply impacting us, such as tuition increases and lack of representation in our curriculum.
Our workshops are created and facilitated by an officer of the Working Class Student Union and can be
tailored to fit within your timeframe and to address any specific questions or concerns your group may
Please click here for more details.
If you or your organization is interested in an educational workshop, please contact our Outreach Director, Hannah Kinsella, at email@example.com.
Advocacy and Support
The WCSU Directors have all been trained in advocacy and support. If you are a student looking for advice or would appreciate someone coming with you to visit the Financial Aid Office, an advisor, etc. please email our President, Pablo Montes, at