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ERIC Number: EJ1004648
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May-13
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Students Try to Break Taboo around Social Class on Campus
Sander, Libby
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2013
When Heather Berg arrived at the University of Virginia in the fall of 2011, she was struck by the seemingly posh lifestyle many of her fellow students enjoyed. Now finishing her second year, she has friends who also felt that culture shock at first. But it's been hard to find them, and to speak candidly with anyone about the impact of money--or lack of it. Last fall, Ms. Berg and two classmates started a group to raise awareness of class and to advocate for more support for low-income students. So far, the group has put on several events, including a well-attended panel: "How Public Is Our Public University?" Next academic year, organizers want to reach out to new students especially, as they try to get their peers talking more openly about the social and economic forces that shape their lives. At the forefront of the student-led effort to acknowledge such issues is United for Undergraduate Socioeconomic Diversity, or U/Fused. Started in 2010 by students at Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and Duke University, the group has spread to 13 other, mostly private institutions, with student members from varying income brackets. Wendy Guo, who graduates this month with a degree in biology from the Chicago campus, has led efforts to raise awareness of class there. But she worries about traction. Students juggling classes and jobs aren't inclined to take part in abstract discussions of money, however lively they may be. So Ms. Guo tries to keep things practical. Even with different types of events, Ms. Guo laments the same challenge as her counterparts at more elite institutions: Sometimes it's a struggle to get people to care.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri; Virginia