Last Monday, the Supreme Court made a decision that could significantly impact the lives of student-athletes. The Court ruled against the National College Athletic Association to allow student-athletes to receive education-related payments of up to $6,000 a year and unlimited non-cash education-related benefits (CNN). College sports bring in billions of dollars of revenue each year. The 2019 March Madness tournament was estimated to have brought $1.18 billion in advertising revenue for CBS and Turner Sports, with networks paying about $800 million for the rights (CNBC). Given the profitability of college athletics, it would be expected that athletes receive fair compensation for the labor that they perform.
Today is the first day of a series of actions organized by the Cops Off Campus Coalition, a network of students, educators, staff, and community members passionate about abolishing policing at all levels of education. I chatted with Alecia Harger (she/they), a sophomore at UC Berkeley and representative for both UC Berkeley Cops Off Campus and the transnational Cops Off Campus Coalition. We discussed today’s Day of Refusal, Abolition May, and the significance of getting cops off of campuses.
Last August, I sat on a panel with the other 1.2% of Black students in my school district to discuss our experiences with racism in our community. All of us had stories to share about encountering slurs, facing microaggressions, and being treated as though we were less than due to the color of our skin.
Yet all of us were also members of Gen Z — a generation praised by figures like Senator Bernie Sanders for our tolerance and decency (Teen Vogue). Headlines propose that Gen Z might be the generation to “end systemic racism” (Screen Shot), and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey hope that racism will die away with older generations (MSNBC). As nice as the idea of racism passively dying off sounds, it cannot be a reality without active anti-racism.
Hate crime charges serve as a sentencing enhancement when someone acts with bias while committing a crime. This bias must be against members of a protected class – such as a specific race, religion, or sexual orientation – and it must be a motivating factor for the crime (Time). It seems reasonable that a crime is more odious if it occurs solely because the victim is a member of an oppressed community.
Less than a quarter of community college students who take remedial courses go on to complete college-level courses. At four-year colleges, just over a third of students assigned to remediation continue to take college-level courses. The majority of students assigned to remediation at two-year colleges or universities will not graduate within three years or six years, respectively (Complete College America). Students who take remedial courses pay just as much for these courses as students who begin with college-level courses and are often left with student loan debt for coursework that did not lead to a degree.