You can’t turn on a TV without thinking about November’s election. But beyond the ads, slogans, and soundbites, we need to talk less about individual candidates, and more about the issues we’re voting for.
As an adjunct professor, I am acutely aware of the many issues facing our students: economic uncertainty, crippling student debt, and racism. Because young people have the capacity to sway our elections, our elected officials need to be accountable to them. Now that student debt has crossed the $1 trillion mark, Democrats and Republicans alike need to wake up to the reality facing most of our students, and many of my colleagues. Without drastic changes to increasing debt and stagnating wages, so many of us will continue to be left behind. As a recent study by Teachers Insurance and AnnuityAssociation Institute shows us, those of us who are women and underrepresented minorities pay a particularly high price in the adjunctification of the university.
No matter who wins in North Carolina and nationwide, we need candidates to make higher education a priority. We need fair pay for all workers on our campuses and a solution to our student debt crisis. That’s why I’m getting out the vote on campus through SEIU’s massive GOTVU drive from now through November. I hope my colleagues — and everyone who cares about the future of higher education — will join me.