Although I’m a little late in posting this, I want to take a moment to recognize National Adjunct Walkout Day, which took place earlier this week.
Many people outside of academia, and many undergraduate students currently enrolled in college, are not aware of just how much the landscape of higher education has changed in recent decades regarding the proportion of faculty on the tenure track as compared to those in adjunct/contingent/part-time/visiting positions, and exactly what that trend means for educational quality and workplace justice. Nevertheless, this is an issue that affects us all: students, families, citizens, and workers.
To learn more about National Adjunct Walkout Day, you can start by looking here, here, here, here, and/or here.
This past Thursday, November 20th, was the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), a day on which we make an extra effort to raise awareness of, remember, and protest against past and ongoing violence and discrimination directed at transgender people.
In observation of this day, I went to Concord with a couple of friends to participate in the first annual TDoR event organized by the Concord Feminist Health Center. We walked from the center to the state house carrying candles, spoke a few words to honor the many transgender people who have been subjected to violence and other injustices, then walked back to the warmth, snacks, and good company to be found at the center. For more information about the event, see this article in the Concord Monitor.
I met some great people during the event, and I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening than by making a public stand in support of transgender people and the values of justice, equality, and non-violence.
November 4th is Election Day! I firmly believe that it is our responsibility as citizens to participate in the governance of our communities by voting for the representatives and policies that align most closely with our values.
To illustrate: as a kid, my mom frequently presented me with the following options: you can either wear a jacket OR complain about being cold (hint: she wanted me to choose the first one). But woe unto me if I refused to wear a jacket and still complained! That was a recipe for a very annoyed mom, and she had good reason to be annoyed. The person who wants the world to be different (that is, better) and yet is not willing to do their part to bring about that different, better world is either lazy, irrational, whiny, or some combination of equally unflattering traits (as my mom has been known to say on occasion, a brat).
So if you have ever complained about the government, about elected officials, about existing policies, or the like (and the huge majority of us have), that shows that you already believe that the world could be different and better when it comes to governance. So you ought to do something about that if you can. Voting, like putting on a jacket, is for many (but sadly, not all) of us, one of the easiest things that we can do about it.
If you are unsure about which candidates are most deserving of your vote, I recommend visiting https://votesmart.org/voteeasy/. If you answer a simple series of questions about where you live and what you value, it will calculate which candidates in your district are most closely aligned with your beliefs, and give you all sorts of information about the candidates, the issues, and American electoral politics more generally. Don’t worry! Project Vote Smart is not aligned with any political party, PAC, or other special interest group, so you can be confident that they are giving you “just the facts.”
I have been talking to students quite a bit lately about sexual assault: what it is, what makes is wrong, what the law says about it, how to prevent it, how to talk about it, and what to do if it happens to you or someone you care about.
There are lots of resources I could point out to help us not only think and talk about this serious issue in appropriate, productive ways, but also, most importantly, to prevent sexual assault. I want to take a moment to point out one in particular:
It’s On Us
This campaign, recently launched by the White House, is designed to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault on college and university campuses, and to encourage individuals to make a commitment to take action in ways that will help stop sexual assault.