On any given day you will see club tables lined up along the concourse on Auburn University’s campus. Students can learn about clubs, events or just stop by to chat with club members. But one organization on Auburn’s campus used their table time on the concourse to take a stand. The Ambassadors to the Women’s Resource Center hosted an equal payday event to highlight the wage gap, and although the issue is hotly contested, the women were standing strong.
“Due to a variety of reasons, many women in this country are making less money than men,” said Women’s Resource Center Ambassador President, Sung Mo.” “Equal Pay Day being April 12th, represents the amount of extra time a woman would have to work to make the same amount of money a man would make in 1 calendar year. That’s 4 extra months, and we think that is unacceptable in 2016.”
To educate students the Ambassadors passed out fliers and cookies, but these cookies came with a catch. To fully represent the wage gap between women and men, the Ambassadors charged 75 cents per cookie for women and 1 dollar a cookie for men. Because women earn less, on average than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color, for example, African American women are said to generally make 68 cents to the man’s dollar, and Hispanic women as little as 56 cents. According to the Women’s Ambassadors it’s not about being unfair, but rather educating the students.
“The wage gap and gender equality affect all races, sexes and sexual orientations in some form or another so we want to do our part to make a difference, and we think the best way to go about that is to educate students.” said Mo.
In working to educate students about the wage gap, the Ambassadors to the Women’s Resource Center showcased the leadership qualities that Auburn students are known for possessing. Due to the leadership and friendliness of all of the women involved with the cookie sale, students really responded to the event in a positive way.
“Honestly, I had no idea about the wage gap before I passed their table on campus,” said freshman, Olivia Haas. “It bothers me that some women have to face these challenges, so I’m glad the Women’s Resource Center is getting the information out there and trying to make a difference.”
The women’s resource center plans to hold this event for years to come but hopes it will not be necessary. The Ambassadors to the Women’s Resource Center work together for a variety of events on campus to highlight women’s issues. They work to educate students and enhance the lives of women.
“We love to hear what the students have to say. I’ve had kids come up to buy a cookie having no idea why we were selling them, and I’ve had a lot of great discussions. I don’t always agree with what they are saying, but it’s nice to have a healthy dialogue.” Said Mo.