Problems stemming from budget cuts, increased costs of tuition and pay freezes have affected college campuses nationwide.
But according to several professors and nonprofit poverty assistance programs, there is another problem settling on college campuses — hunger.
Wick Sloane, a professor at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, said he has witnessed hunger and poverty among students in his classes.“When going to class and doing homework is giving up part of (students’) paychecks that is very much needed, it seems like a crazy trade-off for people to be making in America in 2012.”
In a column he recently wrote for Inside Higher Education, Sloane said a portion of the country’s $978 million in funds directed toward work-study programs should instead be restructured, giving students money for studying instead of working. But Sloane admitted that he doubts his proposal would ever be considered.
“I’m not sure any of us want to believe that poverty can be this severe on our campuses,” he said. “The poverty situation is getting worse … you notice that you’re spending more time referring students to food stamps than you are teaching. That’s a signal that something’s out of balance.”