How to be Single and Happy Class - Assignment #3 - Policy Change Letter and Overall Course Reflections
Much of our discussion on CoSP revolves around how the law and general business and organizational practices marginalize singles. Even in a course entitled “How to be Single and Happy,” I feel it’s important for students to be aware of how singles are marginalized, and my hope is that they will start to question policy and start advocating. There is, after all, strength in numbers. So for this assignment, students looked at this link from Nolo and wrote to a letter to an organization that a policy be changed to be more inclusive of singles. Here’s what they came front:
Mary – She advocated that a particular hospital should allow friends and extended family members of sick folks to be able to visit their loved ones. In other words, visits should not be limited to the spouse or immediate family members. And she brought the snark.
Karen – She also got sassy with Darlene Dovenberg, a woman who violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to a single mother because she “had no man.” Ultimately, she had to pay $15,000 to the woman. Victory!
Kelly – She proposed a change to the Family and Medical Leave Act, namely that it be expanded to the ability to look after other loved ones, such as a sibling or extended family members.
Tammy – An employee of Cracker Barrel, she advocated that the restaurant be more equitable in providing time off to its employees. In other words, why on Earth can’t a single person take a day off to go fishing when a married person can take a day off to look after a spouse?
Brenda – She got creative with hers, writing in the voice of an 85-year-old never-married woman who lives with her sister. She wrote to the Social Security Administration, asking that she be allowed to give her Social Security benefits to her sister upon her death. Makes sense to me! She gave me permission to post her letter on my blog, which will be coming up tomorrow.
Rebecca – She wants the Federal Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on marital status, in addition to its other provisions. Makes sense to me! She also gave me permission to post her letter to my blog, which will come up the day after tomorrow. Moreover, she submitted it! We shall see.
One reflection is that I’ll attempt to make is that in the future, I’ll make clearer that the letter should focus on one policy. There’s a lot of positive energy around singles activism in there, but a few people wanted to change multiple problems, which can be hard for an audience to digest. So I’ll emphasize that more in the future. All in all, I’m happy with the students’ passion for enacting social change here. And I’m happy with the way the course went. Students really got into the material, even after we transitioned to remote teaching.
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.