“Class Confessions” Movement Growing

Cornell University students recently launched their own Class Confessions page.
Cornell University students recently launched their own Class Confessions page.

Last year, I wrote a post about the “class confessions‘ movement on campuses across the country. The Facebook pages for anonymous confessions around socioeconomic class have since reached a new height of popularity. Since my post, at least eight new pages have been created at different schools.

This, of course, is not coincidental. It’s a result of a growing network of first-generation and/or low-income groups that increasingly share ideas about the work they are doing. In February 2015, the Ivy League and other elite schools gathered for a first-generation conference at Brown University. I was on a panel discussion with three other students to discuss our work on our campuses. Class Confessions came up in the conversations. I described how UChicago had been inspired by Stanford’s project to start the UChicago Class Confessions Facebook page in early 2013. Shortly after, we saw Northwestern start their Tumblr and Claremont Colleges start a Facebook page.

What was once a smaller movement that seemed to have spread based on a smaller network of students on social media has become even more powerful because of a gathering of students on a national scale. This forum allowed the class confessions idea to take off. I remember the Columbia University students being very interested in learning about how we had launched ours at UChicago. Shortly after the conference, Columbia launched theirs. Several others have followed suit. Here’s a list of all the class confessions pages I’ve found. Let’s keep having these important conversations.

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First-Generation Students and Social Class Links

November 7, 2014: Interview with ‘Poor Teeth’ Writer Sarah Smarsh on Class and Journalism

Really great interview with Sarah Smarsh, in which she offers insight into the way media frames poor people.

November 20, 2014: First generation summit helps students claim their stories

The University of Florida recently held a first generation summit aimed at helping students learn how to claim and tell their stories. There are so many particularities about the college experience and learning how to share that with others in an honest way is an important undertaking.

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The “Class Confessions” Movement

300-0413-confessions

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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First-generation Student Links

October 9, 2014: Employment expectations no enriching experience by Chayenne Mia

This article is written by a Columbia University student who makes the case for eliminating the work study requirement for low-income students at Columbia, as the University of Chicago recently did.

October 15, 2014: Colleges differ in “first-generation” definitions by Zoe Hardwick

The definition of “first-generation” varies from college to college. This article discusses Dartmouth’s definition, as well as of other schools in the Ivy League.
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