By Elizabeth Sekkes
The topic of homelessness is a persistent social issue which has been tackled multiple times at Bridgewater State University, as a means of improving the lives of those involved.
One such attempt is the Political Science 201 course which has focused on homelessness throughout this semester.
During the course, students discuss the topic of homelessness on campus, and how it can be completely eradicated from society.
While the class does not yet have a definitive solution as to how to improve the issue of homelessness on campus, it addresses the situation, and looks at it from multiple directions.
Professor Jodie Kluver, the instructor of the course, explained that the students in the course are divided into three groups, and that each group focuses on a different angle of homelessness.
The first group is dedicated to educating the community about homelessness on campus, the second group is focused on resources for homeless students, and the third group looks at how to alleviate the issue on campus.
Kluver added that the students in her class are just beginning the project to address homelessness on campus, and that her next batch of students in the fall will pick up from where this semester’s class leaves off.
Adam Costa, a freshman political science major and group leader focusing on educating others about the social issue, said the struggle of homelessness on campus is more common than many perceive, and it happens to students due to a myriad of reasons and situations.
“Right now we’re targeting the public, but mostly we’re targeting the campus to educate them on the situation that unfortunately some students find themselves in,” Costa said. “Financial hardship at some point or another affects college students, whether its financial aid, being in between jobs, or just a loss of income in general.”
Costa said his group is trying to educate others that even though a college student goes against the stereotype, college students do end up homeless.
“We want to bring awareness that even on this campus there are people in need of food, clothes and facilities,” Costa said.
During a recent course meeting, the three groups presented to the class what their group has been researching.
Various reasons for homelessness and financial hardship on college campuses were shared with the class by the groups, such as insufficient financial aid coverage, cuts in funding for homeless resources and high rent in college towns, which leaves students without enough money left over to pay for education costs.
Kluver said many students also face homelessness during the holidays, when universities pause for holiday breaks. Many students do not have any place to go once school shuts down, causing them to experience homelessness.
This consequence has prompted organizations such as Campus Ministries to hold charity events such as food drives to seek to aid for these hurting students.
Elizabeth Sekkes is The Comment’s News Editor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.