The “Class Confessions” Movement

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Over the past few years, there has been an increasing consciousness of socioeconomic class on college campuses. We are seeing students raise awareness in various ways, such as through panel discussions and articles. However, some campuses have taken to social media to spur widespread conversations about “class confessions.”

Class confessions refer to anonymous confessions related to students’ class backgrounds. Stanford’s First-Generation Low-Income Partnership started this project a few years ago. They had students make submissions through a google form and discussed them openly at an event. About two years ago, they also used a Tumblr to publicize some of the confessions, which caught my eye.

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In early 2013, I was working on starting a low-income, first-generation student group. When I heard about class confessions, I started to bounce around the idea to other students. In the spring of 2013, some students and I launched the UChicago Class Confessions Facebook page. It was so successful that we even had a USA Today College article written about us.

UChicago submissions:

“Coming into my house first-year, I was often surprised at all the house outings totaling $10, $25, or even $60. The house outings didn’t seem catered to students of low income backgrounds. We don’t all have money to spend each weekend on dinners, movies, and trips.”

“Too often have I felt pressured to purchase food out in order to optimize my time on campus. Buying food on campus makes me feel guilty because I was not brought up with this culture.”

Northwestern followed the trend last year with their Class Confessions Tumblr. Arguably the most successful version, Northwestern collected over 500 confessions and had an unprecedented amount of coverage from their campus paper. The latest version of class confessions comes from the Claremont Colleges consortium. Students launched the Claremont Class Confessions Facebook page this summer.

While class confessions is still a small movement, the awareness it has brought to some campuses is undeniable. I still get people coming up to me saying how our Facebook page changed their perceptions on class. It’s a trend worth following and I hope more schools decide to take part in the class confessions movement.

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