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For fear that my commentary may enrage my fellow
listservers, here are my two cents comments.  It is not
often that I respond but believing it necessary and
appropriate here goes:

Susan Andrien's comments were right on.  I  must, however,
respond to
Prof L.

It appears that there is a perception that there are a "sea
of abusers" who are waiting in line to defraud the
government for an opportunity to attend college.  In lieu of
welfare reform, I do not believe such is the case.  As a
matter of fact, the trend is for these recipients to return
to the workforce and forego education.

About a year ago I worked at a community college in Kankakee
as the Director of Adult Education.  We held monthly
commuity meetings in which a representative from various
agencies would gather to update each other on new policies,
procedures and programmatic concerns.

I distinctly remember a gentlemen from the  Illinois
Department of Public Aid who attended regularily.  The
comment that he made regularily at these meetings that has
stuck with me was, "the cases of public aid abuse of
benefits is overstated by the general public.  Sure it
exists, but not in the numbers that we believe."  This is
not to negate the fact that you may have encounted students
in your classes who use the system.

When minorities make it off the welfare rolls, we become a
"shining minority."  Does this mean that those who stay on
are a " tarnished minority."  Let us not discount the fact
that higher education has not always been so receptive to
the underprivledged.

Not only do we not understand poverty, its implications in
higher education and effects in the classroom, but we have
become the judge, jury and prosecutor.  Yes I have seen the
motivated to learn come through the doors of higher ed, only
to retreat because of educator's perceptions of them.

I see myself as a voice for the voiceless on this campus.

Vada E. Southern, Ed.D.
Assistant to the Dean for Recruitment & Retention
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL


At 07:02 PM 1/22/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I would have thought that NOTHING could get me to stop
checking placement
>scores for evening classes during the first week of school
until I read Carla
>Chapman's remarks.  I am a Dean at a community college.  I
went through college
>in Massachusetts on Welfare, a single mother of two
children.  Thanks to the
>Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am not a drug dealer or an
overage hooker,
>but a working professional who pays more in taxes each year
than I received in
>aid for the entire four years I was on Welfare back in the
70s.
>
>Of the many astonishing claims that Ms. Chapman and others
have made, I'll
>concentrate on two:
>"There is nothing more frustrating" than having students in
your class who are
>only in it for the money???  Let's think a minute.  Surely
there are SOME
>things more frustrating than this experience (which I have
had, by the way):
>for example, what about the frustration of being a student
in a course where
>the teacher despises you and feels you are incapable of
learning??  What about
>being accepted into a classroom in which you are invisible?
>
>The second statement that offended and shocked me is that a
motivated student
>will find a way to learn even without government programs.
I'd like to wave my
>magic wand and have every person who's ever uttered this
phrase do it herself.
>Did you ever face a situation where you could only get jobs
that paid less than
>you needed to live?  I did and, although I am an able and
resourceful person, I
>could not manage college without help.  What we all need to
acknowledge is
>that programs like the one that got me through college no
longer exist.
>Welfare recipients now get job training, not education.  If
that.
>
>Brothers and sisters, let's not become jerks just because
higher education is
>not shaped to change the world.  Higher ed is mostly
designed to replicate the
>class system that already exists.  But now this tool is
ours--If we reshape it,
> we CAN help to change the world.  Students who walk into
any classroom may
>have problems and deficiencies
>of various kinds, but nearly all of them also have at least
a small glimmer of
>hope--the hope that this
>time, the teacher will see the value they bring with their
person to this
>classroom.  I'll just quote Mina Shaughnessey here: "always
assume that there
>is a silent student in the back of the romm greater of head
and of heart than
>you."
>                                        Susan Andrien
>
But you are a success story because you did not abuse the
system and
you were motivated to learn. YOu wanted to learn and you
did. You
were only on welfare for 4 years and you are an inspiration
to us
all. However others are on it for careers and are not
motivated
shining starts like yourself. You are a shining minority.
There are a
sea of abusers out there that need to be in check.

Congratulations on a job well done

Prof L