Tag Archives: First-Generation Low Income Partnership

FLIP Your Perspective Week Catalyzes Conversation About Class

by Destiny Lopez, ’16

FYPWeek2013“FYP Week was my favorite week on campus all year! More please!”

“It began on this traditionally tricky, sticky topic in an open, welcoming manner.”

These were some of the many positive responses to the second annual “FLIP Your Perspective Week.” For the second year in a row, Stanford’s First-Generation, Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) hosted “FLIP Your Perspective Week,” a week’s worth of events aimed at fostering cross-class conversation and empowering the first-generation, low-income community and its allies. FLIP Your Perspective week took place from April 8th to April 12th  and consisted of eight different events, each addressing different topics related to class. FLIP partnered with various student organizations to host a variety of unique events. Some notable events were “Race and Class at Stanford, Challenging Classism: A Workshop for Allies,” and “Classing the Line” (based on the “Crossing the Line” activity implemented in many Stanford residences). “FLIP Your Perspective Week” was well-attended by a diverse group of students: first-generation students, low-income students, allies, grads, undergrads, professors, admissions officers, and other special guests. The attendees’ feedback* was overwhelmingly positive. Continue reading

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Class Confessions on Campus

by the FLIP Leadership Core

reading back

The Stanford First Generation and/or Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) recently hosted a workshop called “Class Confessions” where students of all class backgrounds were invited to discuss our socioeconomic status secrets and share ideas for how to move toward a more honest and inclusive campus community. Over 50 students showed up, eager to engage in Stanford’s first cross-class discussion space.

Before the event, we asked people to submit their “Class Confessions,” or instances in which they had covered their class identities. We displayed these anonymous revelations at our workshop, where attendees could read and reflect on their peers’ class secrets. Here is a sampling of the more than 80 confessions, which were split evenly between students who identified as having class privilege, and those who did not:

  • When I was abroad, I pretended to be extremely sick because I wanted people to stop asking me why I couldn’t buy a plane ticket to explore nearby countries during a long weekend.
  • I use my knowledge about financial aid to pretend that I receive it when talking to friends and acquaintances.
  • I bought a smartphone and pay for the much more expensive plan to fit in with the rest of my friends whose parents pay their phone bills. Continue reading
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On Class

by Holly Fetter, ’13

As soon as the word “privilege” entered my vocabulary, I found myself unpacking an inundation of knapsacks filled with the stuff, frantically trying to unlearn 16 years of internalized racism, ableism, classism… My white identity was the easiest to grapple with because it was the most visible. So I spent (and am still spending) years reading, talking, and writing about whiteness so that I could begin to feel more comfortable living with the tension of being white in the United States.

But class was a different story. I didn’t want to even acknowledge my class identity because it made me feel guilty and ashamed. I worried about the (usually correct) assumptions that wealth carried with it, as well as how it might undermine my credibility as a budding activist. In high school, I avoided the topic altogether, choosing to make friends with other affluent kids because it felt a lot simpler. Class was apparent there – we knew what kind of cars our classmates’ had (or didn’t have), what their houses were like, and what their parents’ jobs were.

At Stanford, however, my class identity was a lot easier to hide. Suddenly, I was 1,700 miles away from my family, in a place where I magically became a “student” – a socioeconomic status that connoted egalitarianism and bean and cheese burritos at Treehouse. It’s easy for some people to hide behind this false class identity, especially students with wealth. We don’t need to confront class if we don’t want to. Our identity as “students” helps us hide our economic privilege, but it doesn’t erase it. And often, our class status doesn’t change much between The Farm and home.

But I’ve decided to come out of the class closet, and acknowledge my privilege and complicity as a part of the 1%. Continue reading

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