I recently spoke on KMUZ Community Radio in Salem, Oregon about how labor unions are fighting for reform in higher education and how this connects to creating a just, equitable, and socially minded campus community.
Adapted excerpt after the jump – check the link here:
KMUZ Willamette Wakeup Labor Report with Andrea Haverkamp
I know that you have particular interest in transgender and gender nonconforming people in engineering, and that on your blog you take on anti-semitism and racism. And I see that you’re sometimes speaking as a person of (Jewish) faith. What happens to transgender and gender nonconforming people, ethnic and racial minorities, and women in engineering programs in higher ed under this system? Is there a connection between the top-heavy bureaucracy and the conditions you are describing?
Whether it is women, underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, LGBTQ+ individuals in higher education, this disconnect – this top-heavy bureaucracy – is intimately connected to the sky-rocketing cost of tuition and skyrocketing cost of living in this town as we pull more and more one-percenters to work at this university. People come not only as individuals, but it brings a whole gentrification engine into Corvallis and into these big state public universities that are now being run as private businesses. And there is a certain class of people who are able to send an undergraduate to school for maybe $50,000 if they can afford it. But many people can’t are from marginalized communities. So already it puts your undergraduates as a disadvantage as the population becomes wealthier and less diverse, or selling ourselves as diverse for prizes, scholarships, and job opportunities – having to essentially tokenize ourselves to be a part of this system.