While some lament the political apathy on university campuses, at least one movement is gaining steam.Universities have seen a growing presence of living wage advocacy groups on campus.
A living wage ensures that someone working 40 hours a week will spend no more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
A unique feature of living wage that sets it apart from minimum wage is the degree of local control.
The living wage is determined based on the cost of living in the area.
A universal minimum wage, like the one in place now, is based on national statistics and may not be adequate (or could be too high) in certain areas.
There are groups pushing for legislation to make a living wage mandatory, but many groups advocate a private solution. These groups encourage universities and businesses to adopt a living wage for their employees instead of pushing for a government remedy.
Already, universities around the country have seen a variety protests, including hunger strikes, promoting the cause.
Many of these actions are not at large state universities, but at small private colleges like TCU.
The push for a living wage has human rights, economic and political implications wrapped into a topic that is much more accessible to many students, even those not normally interested in activism.
While no exact numbers exist, TCU’s Living Wage Coalition forum Wednesday seemed to have a larger turnout than other events of this type have in the past.
Students who are taking an interest in this topic should be applauded.
Whether you support a living wage or oppose it, this topic will become more important in local and national politics in the coming years. It is important to educate yourself about the possible effects of instituting a living wage and make your voice heard.
Opinion Editor Brian Chatman for the Editorial Board.