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Working People

Aug 13, 2018

In this episode, we talk to Lauren Schandevel, a low-income student at the University of Michigan who grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Warren, Michigan. Lauren is a really remarkable person, and in our interview we chat about what it was like to grow up in her part of Macomb County, which always seems to crop up every election cycle whenever news outlets want to figure out what’s happening in the Rust Belt. We talk about Lauren’s experience moving back and forth between worlds, between her working-class home and the school she transferred to, where she took classes and hung out with people from wealthier backgrounds. We talk about school, family, friends, and the ecstatic and dismal pangs of adolescence.


We spend a fair amount of time talking about what it’s like being a low-income student attending a public university where the median family income for students' families is over three times what it is for families in Lauren's hometown. And we also talk at length about what Lauren has been doing to bring a class-based analysis to higher education, including starting "Being Not Rich at UM," an open-source guide for low-income students like herself who are trying to navigate college life at UM. We discuss what it means to Lauren, and what it means for class politics in higher education, that this guide went viral, drew national attention, and has even inspired students at other universities to author similar guides. 


Additional links/info below...


Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive)

- Lobo Loco, "Malte Junior - Hall"
- Cosmo, "No Gods, No Masters"
- Steve Combs, "Motown Rehearsal"
- Strong Suit, "Derby Day"