ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: campus issues

Supporting Sexual Health Care in Kansas Starts with Education

Last week, I attended the Protecting Sexual Health in Kansas forum at Kansas State University. Speakers Jennifer Greene, director of the Riley County Health Center, and Micah Kubic, executive director of the Kansas ACLU, discussed the state of sexual health care in the country and in Kansas, specifically Riley County. Greene called Riley County a “contraceptive desert” as it only has two publicly-funded clinics that offer a range of family planning options. Many of the surrounding counties in the area don’t have a single clinic like that, so the need for contraceptive services are greater there. Looking at the entire state, Greene said that in 2010, 45 percent of pregnancies in Kansas were in unintended. In Riley County alone, 9,190 women (aged 13-44) are in need of publicly-funded sexual health… Read more »

Universities need to offer child care facilities, student housing

Recently,  I wrote an article for my college newspaper asking them to consider opening a childcare facility on campus for student parents. In it, I reference statistics from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research that claim that only around half of all public universities in the United States offer childcare for prospective student parents. Broken down, the study shows only 48 percent of community colleges offer basic childcare services, and 57 percent of public four-year colleges. Of the 3.9 million student parents enrolled as undergraduates at these institutions, 57 percent of them are low-income earners. Single parents, primarily women, have the toughest time of it, often having to work 40 hours a week to provide for their families. According to this same study, only 6 to 7 percent of private… Read more »

Let’s Talk About the Problem of Frats

Last week, the UCLA chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon made headlines hosting what they deemed a “Kanye Western” party in which partygoers showed up in black face wearing chunky gold chains and fake grills. When black student activists showed up to protest the party, they were mocked by party-goers and the validity of their concerns were questioned by the broader campus community. 100 miles to the South, the University of California San Diego chapter of AEPi was publicly reprimanded for creating an official chapter t-shirt that featured a scantily-clad woman serving bread emblazoned with the words “AEPi, Making Women Challah Since 1913”. And that’s just what happened within the last week on two UC campuses. These incidents are not confined to the University of California campuses, either. Earlier this year, the… Read more »

Fight for $15 Comes to UC…Sort Of

I got a what I thought was a welcome surprise during summer vacation leading into my last year at UC San Diego when Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California, announced that the UC system would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2017 for all of its workers and contract workers. The initial boost to $13 starting Fall Quarter would’ve given me a $2 an hour raise at my on campus jobs, exciting news for a debt-saddled coffee-dependent college student. Yet, for all of the great press the University of California has received in the wake of their announcement, it was a lukewarm response to a broader grassroots effort to secure a living wage for everyone. One aspect of the plan that has been largely overlooked is that it fails… Read more »

Take Back the Night at Texas State

This week I attended my first Take Back the Night event at my university. For those who aren’t familiar Take Back the Night is a national organization that serves to create safe communities and respectful relationships. They seek to end sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, sexual abuse. The way my university organized was with a march through campus that culminated with a spoken word open mic at our outside amphitheater. I got a couple of my friends together and we met up with the other organizations that were sponsoring it and decided to march. It was a little nerve-wracking just because it was the first time that I openly marched for anything on campus. I’m an anxious person so I usually choose to show my activism in different ways, but this… Read more »

Education Access is Reproductive Justice

The most recent budget plan put out by Congress includes some serious cuts to federal student loan programs. It would freeze the levels of Pell Grants being offered, even though currently the level is tied to inflation, which does not rise at the same rate as higher education costs. It would also charge interest on student loans while the students are still in school. This would have a chilling effect on the amount of student debt we are saddled with, which is already astronomically high. To make matters worse, the new budget would completely get rid of the loan repayment plans that make it possible for anyone to pay down that astronomical debt. This budget would spell economic disaster for millions of student who already have student loan debt, or… Read more »

Fraternities and Guilt by Association

I’m sure by now most people have seen or read about the video that was taken of members of the SAE chapter at Oklahoma University chanting racial slurs. There have been countless articles written on it, tons of media coverage, and lots of social media interaction. The hashtag #SAEHatesMe has been used to talk about all sorts of issues relating to racism in Greek life. After this video surfaced, OU president David Boren issued a statement condemning the actions of this group. I should applaud the administration for their swift action, but I also think that making a statement that “Real Sooners are not racist” is a little bit ironic. However, the statement issued was undoubtedly further than the University had to go to deal with the problem, and going… Read more »

My Clarion Call

I am nearing the end of my Domestic Exchange at Barnard College in New York, NY. One of the more memorable experiences I had during the exchange was the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). I felt like I was reliving my freshman year at Spelman College. All throughout, I was comparing my NSOP experiences. In a joint talk with Barnard College and Columbia College students, faculty members went over policies about sexual assault and sexual harassment. They discussed the steps that campus safety and the police will take. They also discussed the multiple ways that students can access counseling services and primary care health services. They stressed anonymity and safety of the student body. I was astounded to see two active student organizations that address sexual assault. Students Active For… Read more »