In a year of so many reckonings in this country, perhaps nothing has been laid bare so clearly as what it means to have money.
When the world first ground to a halt, a difference in means was the difference between passing the days in surreal limbo and bracing for the threat of hunger or homelessness. Those interested in looking could see that the lines of wealth and poverty were borders of wholly different worlds.
Twelve months later, as we creep cautiously back towards normalcy, that uniquely clear window may be closing. But the reality it showed, even as we return to campus, is ever-present.
Students struggle to make rent in gentrifying neighborhoods, working unpaid internships for credits they took out loans to pay for. Teaching assistants plead with the university for fairer pay as they teach in classrooms furnished by prison labor. Many students will pass their time on campus unburdened by and oblivious to financial hardship, while their peers — disproportionately people of color and other marginalized community members — are all too familiar with necessity.
Those economic structures are sturdy and unyielding. They are thrillingly, violently swift. They are fruitful and cruel and certain and fickle. Too often, they rush us from task to task too quickly to see how they work or where we are headed or how our neighbors fare.
With this special issue, the Cardinal staff invites you to be aware of those economic systems, and of the ways our places within them affect every corner of our lives.
Welcome to class. (Heh, get it?)
— The Daily Cardinal Management Team
Will Cioci, Co-Editor in Chief
Kalli Anderson, Co-Editor in Chief
Gaby Vinick, Managing Editor