On Tuesday, the universities CLCE hosted the event R.I.S.E to Her Level. This event aimed to raise awareness, through multiple activities, on the struggle girls face worldwide when seeking education.
However, the event did more than just highlight the injustices throughout the world. It brought to discussion the entitled attitude most college students in America have regarding education.
The 46th annual PDK-Gallup poll surveyed the general public’s opinion on education and, unfortunately, found that only 43 percent of Americans think getting a college education is "very important." We live in a society that sees going to class as a chore rather than a privilege, and our attitudes sadly reflect that mindset.
This event empowered women with a walk, a tabling fair for organizations focusing on the same goals and ended with a screening of the movie “Girl Rising,” which told the story of nine phenomenal young women and their journey and struggles to get education.
They also included a banner with the movie’s motto, “Educate a girl and change the world,” and allowed students to write an inspirational message that will later be sent to different countries. This event really reached its goal of inspiring others and definitely impacted me.
According to the USF System 2015-2016 Fact Book, of the 48,793 students in the USF system, 55.9 percent are female. On the USF InfoCenter website, female employees make up 9,531 of the staff, while males make up only 8,514.
More than half of our university is female, we’ve even had Dr. Judy Genshaft as our president in charge since 2000. At USF it is evident that women are capable of not only an education but also at achieving greatness and prospering in their careers.
While USF is able to have large numbers of women continuing education, it’s not the same everywhere else. Globally, there are 66 million girls out of school. This can be due to money, distance, religion and more.
While many of us wish for a free college tuition and rally with political candidates like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton who promise to make such an idea a reality, there are girls worldwide wishing their primary and secondary school were something their parents could afford.
Education is luxury we are given in the U.S.; most of our parents only have to worry about finding those pesky specific school uniforms (if your school requires it) and paying for the low quality school lunch.
As students here at USF, we need to be aware of the incredible amount of luck we have to attend a university. Some of us can afford to be here, some of us can’t and are here solely on loans, scholarships and grants. No matter how you’re paying to continue your education, be aware that you are lucky and millions of children would love to be in your shoes.
Students in the U.S., unfortunately, don’t seem to take their education seriously. According to prnewswire.com, 87 percent of students admit to skipping class. Of those, 37 percent skipped to spend more time with friends and 32 percent claimed they were simply too tired to go get the knowledge they are paying thousands of dollars for.
Next time you’re thinking of skipping class because you had a long night or the blankets feel too nice in the morning, remember those 66 million girls who would gladly take your place.
Overall, I believe the event helped to remind us to be humble and appreciate what we have and can do. Personally, as a first-generation Latina college student, I am thankful for the opportunity to continue my education, especially when I know I have family members back home in Nicaragua who don’t have the same option.
I thank you, CLCE, for bringing this amount of empowerment and awareness to our campus though this event.
Cindy Navarrete is a junior majoring in Early Childhood Education.