Tone Deaf Advice: What Happens When We Don’t Listen to Students
Dakota Pawlicki, Lumina Foundation
In January 2018, the University of Michigan’s Central Student Government issued an 87-page affordability guide for students that contained cost-cutting suggestions along the lines of “Fire your maid,” and “Do your own laundry instead of hiring a service.”
Senior Lauren Schandevel was one of the many Michigan students who thought that advice was stunningly tone deaf, especially for low-income students struggling to get by. Schandevel decided to do something, bringing together a coalition of students, faculty, staff, and alumni to write their own guide on practical financial advice, employment, housing, scholarships, financial aid, and more.
The guide is one of the ways students on campuses across the country are inserting and asserting themselves into policy and practice decisions. Through their efforts, they are making sure students are heard and accounted for in education reform.