Links of the Week

SQE letter to the editor about Prop 55
The Pioneer (CSU East Bay)
There are a ton of candidates and ballot measures vying for our attention this election season. But one in particular Proposition 55 deserves a closer look, and a yes vote.

Proposition 55 deserves a ‘yes’ vote
The Collegian (Fresno State)
It is an investment in our future. Because of this, Students for a Quality Education is standing with CSU faculty, staff and even the CSU board of trustees to support Proposition 55.

California State University tells its athletes not to say ‘man up’ or ‘like a girl’ in new campaign because they are ‘offensive terms’
Daily Mail
A university in California is telling athletes not to use phrases such as ‘like a girl’ or ‘man up’ as part of a new campaign against offensive language.
California State University-Chico’s athletics committee unveiled 17 posters last week, each with a banned word or phrase.

California’s largest state worker union to vote on strike
Sacramento Bee
State government’s largest union is edging closer to a strike.
SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker has called for a strike vote of the union’s 95,000 members beginning next week, according to a statement on the union website.
The union is trying to get a bigger raise than the 2.96 percent pay hike Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is offering. Brown’s proposal would raise SEIU salaries by 12 percent over four years, but also require its members to begin paying a contribution toward their retiree health care costs.

The U.S. Elections: Room for Higher Education Policy?
Inside Higher Education
As this oddest of all U.S. national presidential elections careens into its last month,  we can take a moment to reflect on how higher education policy has figured in. Surely higher education has not been a leading issue, instead far overshadowed by national security, immigration, public spending and taxes, scandals, and much more. Yet higher education policy has sometimes occupied a niche within each of these big policy concerns, and has sometimes found the headlines on its own. Let us consider the role of higher education policy in these elections, including how the role fits or breaks from U.S. tradition, and what it might portend for future elections. Where there are breaks from U.S. historical tradition, do they make U.S. electoral politics concerning higher education somewhat more like politics in other democracies?

Black-white disparity in student loan debt more than triples after graduation
The moment they earn their bachelor’s degrees, black college graduates owe $7,400 more on average than their white peers ($23,400 versus $16,000, including non-borrowers in the averages). But over the next few years, the black-white debt gap more than triples to a whopping $25,000. Differences in interest accrual and graduate school borrowing lead to black graduates holding nearly $53,000 in student loan debt four years after graduation—almost twice as much as their white counterparts. While previous work has documented racial disparities in student borrowing, delinquencies, and defaults, in this report we provide new evidence that racial gaps in total debt are far larger than even recent reports have recognized, far larger now than in the past, and correlated with troubling trends in the economy and in the for-profit sector.

Ballot Bullies: Big Tobacco goes all out to kill Proposition 56
Capital & Main
Tobacco companies have hurled themselves against this ballot initiative with force, pouring more than $71 million to date into a campaign funding radio and TV ads that have been decried as “supremely sleazy” by the editorial board of the Mercury News, and pilloried by health advocates, the Politifact fact-checking organization and other newspapers including the Los Angeles Times. The opposition campaign, titled “No on 56: Stop the Special Interest Tax Grab,” has so far been 100 percent funded by tobacco companies, with just two companies, Philip Morris (via their affiliate, Altria) and RJ Reynolds ponying up in excess of $50 million. While Prop. 56 had significant support in polls taken in September, proponents worry that support is slipping under the withering barrage of cigarette company ads.