Grassroots Activism Project (GPA #2)
NOTE: Grassroots Activism Project requires you to look around and identify an issue of
concern in your own community, develop ways to address the concern, and then take
action! You’ll then be able to consider barriers to action and how you can use your
experience in your educational and career goals. We’ll do this in three steps so that you
have guidance along the way and opportunity to get a restart if you stumble.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Although you may be doing an infographic, PowerPoint, or similar
alternative “action” (since many of you cannot complete the action you proposed earlier
due to concerns over COVID-19 and current safer-at-home orders), you still need to
complete the essay portion of this assignment. Your infographic, Ppt, etc is your
“action” now, but the essay is the context for your action.
In this stage of our Grassroots Activism Project ( assignments, we will engage in grassroots
activism by “doing” something and documenting it! You should plan on about 3-5 hours of time
and effort total. Your assignment in the Action Stage – besides the actual implementing your
grassroots activism plan – is to complete an “Addressing Injustice Report” to reflect on your
experience and action. You will submit an essay addressing these questions: What did I do
to address my chosen social injustice? What barriers or frustrations did I face, and how did I
overcome them? What would I do differently next time I seek to address social injustice? To
what degree did my grassroots activism make a change? You should also include photos and/or
other materials that document your experience. That way we know that you actually completed
REMEMBER: This doesn’t have to be writing a whole new essay! You may take aspects of your
earlier assignment and add to it in a way that builds on it. Be sure to answer the posted
questions specifically and with enough detail and explanation that anyone off the street could
pick up your submission and understand it completely. That means that it probably needs to be
in the range of 2-3 double-spaced pages, unless you are a talented writer who can convey a
great deal of meaning in fewer pages. Be sure to proofread your entire submission for form and
style and flow; just “cutting-and-pasting” your prior report and then adding some more words is
basically a pretty sloppy way to complete this assignment. Try to complete this as if it was an
assignment at your first job after graduation! What would you submit to impress your new boss
or supervisor and demonstrate your skills and talents? Apply that approach here!
GAP assignment #1
The admission of students with athletic ability is common in the United States. A study by Hurwitz
revealed the odds of admission for athletic or legacy students was 15.69 times the odds for other students
(486). About 40 percent of sports in college classes are reserved for legacy students, and elite colleges
give up to 24 percent of undergraduate positions to legacy students (Bergman para 5). Some studies reveal
that legacy criteria can substitute for several dozen points on the SAT (Ordway para 3). The high level of
injustice towards academically superior students who are denied college positions for lack of superior
athletic ability can be understood in the context of competitive advantage theory. The theory stresses on
the maximization of economies of scale, which is applicable mostly in business (Wang 33).In sports, it
could mean that colleges strive to present themselves as capable of nurturing talents. Thus, it might
appear worthwhile to pay for high premium prices because the product is multifunctional and
well-rounded. Also, students and sponsors can discern the opportunity cost of attending a sports-oriented
college or a non-oriented college.
The issue of injustice meted towards academically strong students is related to the concepts discussed in
class. It relates to discrimination based on social-economic status and race. Indeed, reserving and
providing positions to students with athletic ability while denying the same positions to students with
higher academic qualifications is discriminatory. Besides favoring students from superior economic
backgrounds who can nurture their own talents using their personal fundings, discriminative college
sports awards students whose racial characteristics facilitate athletic prowess. The practice is wrong, as
discussed in class, because it propagates a culture of injustice, eliminates fairness, and encourages
institutional discrimination, stereotypes, and segregation in educational systems.
I will address the raised issue by holding discussions with my college registrar and sports head in the
coming week. I will book appointments, and when I meet them in their offices, I will determine the exact
number of student-athletes, the college admission criteria, and the equivalent of the edge given to a
student-athlete in terms of SAT or other scores. I will then ask the college to follow up on the athletic
students as well as the students denied admission positions to determine how the students fair in their
studies and the institutions in which they get enrolled. By so doing, the college can track the impact of its
policies even as it revises the admission criteria and relaxes athletic ability preferences.
Instructor comment :
This is an interesting topic. So are you focusing on the socioeconomic inequity that results in
legacy students essentially buying their way into schools? I am not sure what you mean when
you stated that, “college sports awards students whose racial characteristics facilitate athletic
prowess” as there is nothing that I am aware of that differentiates athletic ability based on race.
This is a potentially problematic perspective, as it reproduces racial hierarchy, so be careful with
your wording. If you are going to address unfair policies in college recruiting, that makes sense
but you will need to connect it strongly to class and the wealth gap in order for it to work with
this class. Additionally, part of your action is asking the school to compete research. That is not
feasible. Your action about meeting with people, do you think that those people have the ability
to change policies? Might there be other factors like board funding at work here? I don’t think
meeting with people is an effective use of your time for this project. How else might you raise
awareness about this issue? Could you hold an info-night for your family and friends and raise
awareness about how classism effects college recruiting, particularly athletics? Keep thinking
about this project, and if you need more help please reach out to us.
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