Honors students spread awareness about men-women pay gap

Some Central Michigan University students refuse to accept that women are still earning a fraction of the wage earnings that men are.

According to the the 2010 census, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, which has created a buzz of frustration in the PSC326: Women and Politics honors course.

For their project, which they have called 'Fight the Gap,' the honors class will be making a music video to raise awareness about equality in the workforce.

"We aren't asking for money or fundraising. We are simply trying to get people talking about the wage gap across genders," Midland junior Ashley Stein said. "Most classes want to see an immediate benefit, such as 'we volunteered this many hours' or 'we raised this much money.' Our measurement is pretty much how many people engage with us on our social media and how many people we can get to care about the issue."

The class is creating a music video, loosely based on performances by the Spice Girls, because they found in their class readings that the Spice Girls were considered a women empowerment group in the 1990s.

Besides getting campus talking about their campaign, sophomore Dylan Brown said there is also a large class benefit from creating hype about the gender wage gap.

"We made an agreement with the professor that if we were able to either get on The Ellen Show, get the song on the Billboard Hot 100 or get a million views on YouTube of our music video, our final paper would be only 1-2 pages rather than 12 pages," the Goodrich native said.

Brown said he is striving to get the message beyond campus and to get a nationwide discussion about the problem because he wants to make a change.

Classmate Lindsey Newell said she hadn't heard about the gender wage gap until their class discussion.

"I think it's kind of ridiculous that no one says anything about this issue," the Kingsley sophomore said. "Everyone deserves equality across the board, (no matter) gender, race or anything."

As a male in the class, Norway, Mich., junior Jacob Pollock said it was interesting during discussion to research and find more information on the topic.

"I don't think it's fair," he said. "People need to get more actively involved in finding out information."

Students can get involved by liking them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fightTheGap or on Twitter at @fightTheGap. The video should be posted on YouTube within the next two weeks.

"We want to get this thing to be as big as we can. We aren't doing it for anything other than the fact that it's a topic that isn't talked about but needs to be," Stein said.


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