A Total Commitment to First Gen Students

Instead of a program located in one department, Mount Holyoke provides a dynamic, collaborative initiative focused on ensuring that the august institution is meeting the particular needs of first gen students. According to Latrina Denson, associate dean of students for community and inclusion at the college, the collaborative, the First Gen Network, is comprised of administrators, faculty and staff who come together to ensure that first gens can successfully navigate the various components of college life that could pose challenges. They connect regularly with the college’s First Gen Low-Income Partnership, or FLIP, a student organization for first generation and low-income students that helps students find... Read More

B1GS: First Gen College Students

I am a sophomore at Rutgers University-Camden, studying psychology with a minor in childhood studies and social work. I am also – with great pride – a first generation college student. I aspire to become a child psychologist. During the spring semester of my freshman year, I had the opportunity to attend the Class Action First Gen Summit with six other classmates. This experience was welcoming, influencing and uplifting. It wasn’t until this summit that I truly looked at myself and acknowledged what I have accomplished. At the summit, I learned that my identity as a first gen student was... Read More

Feel the FLoW

Throughout my first years of college, I couldn’t help but notice I was different than my peers. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but it was a constant feeling of separation. As I tried to explain this sensation to my friends, it became obvious that nobody else could feel this difference but me. It was an invisible, omnipresent reminder that I didn’t belong. I walked around campus feeling inferior, doubting my own academic abilities, and contemplating whether college was the best option for me. It wasn’t until I took my first sociology class that I obtained the tools necessary... Read More

Roseanne and the Changing Working-Class

When ABC’s Roseanne premiered in 1988, it arrived in the era of Reaganomics with policies that stripped power from unions, sent blue collar jobs overseas and flattened wages throughout the Rust Belt.[1] Roseanne Barr, creator and star, argued the show intended to “speak directly to working-class viewers in an active feminist voice over the people’s airwaves about the true nature of Reaganomics on their lives.”[2] For nine years, audiences watched as the Conner family scrapped to get by in a world that never let them get ahead. Only in the final season, when Roseanne wins the lottery, do the Conners experience... Read More

Roseanne: A Working-Class (S)hero Returns

The Roseanne reboot promises to tackle love and politics. Pack your bags and hit the road, folks. On  March 27th we’re going back to Lanford. The return of the hit 80s/90s sitcom Roseanne is the latest in a wave of nostalgic revivals hoping to recapture our hearts. And while other reboots have stirred up controversy, few have been as hotly anticipated – and debated – quite like Roseanne has. Here’s what we know: 20 years have passed since we last saw Dan, Roseanne and their blue-collar brood. Dan is alive. Jackie is a Nasty Woman. The kids now have kids... Read More

Social Class, Equality at Heart of International Women’s Day

There are countless reasons that people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). The day provides a focus and opportunity to celebrate women’s contributions to society, highlight our struggles for equity, point to the huge pay and educational discrepancies suffered by women and girls, and thank women for fostering the well-being of families and communities. But, many people are unaware of the origins of IWD. Women at the turn of the 20th century – when the nascent stirrings of the later celebration began – were not only seeking to address gender inequity but social class inequality as well. IWD grew out of the need for better... Read More

American Exceptionalism Leaves International Women’s Day Blank

When searching for information about International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018, I knew I would not find details from the U.S. government. It doesn’t coordinate IWD events or recognize it as an official holiday, unlike 26 nations that include Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Russia and Uganda. However, I was surprised when I had to make a concerted effort to locate the United Nations website even though it established the day in 1975. The UN IWD site also links to UN-Women and its ongoing “Planet 50-50 by 2030” campaign for gender equality. But a private partnership in Australia, supported by several large corporations,... Read More

Janus v AFSCME:

What the Supreme Court May Strip from Workers The roar of the approaching storm can be both heard and felt in workplaces across the United States. The prospects inherent in a much anticipated – and in many places feared – Supreme Court decision in the case Janus v AFSCME has the political Right giddy. Among workers’ rights advocates, there is trepidation. Part of the problem is that the political Right misconstrues what is really at stake should the Supreme Court side against workers and their unions. Presenting the debate over union fees paid by non-union workers in the public sector... Read More