Empowering Men At U of C

New student group focuses on men’s success

Several minority groups (women, people of color, gay and lesbian people, etc.) form organizations in order to support each other socially and politically. But do those in the majority need similar support?

Steve Saltarelli, a third-year student at University of Chicago, has formed Men in Power, a student organization focused on helping men succeed in the professional world.

The idea of such a group actually started in jest. Saltarelli wrote a satirical column in March suggesting the need for an organization that studied and learned from "men in powerful positions."

But after the column ran, he received several e-mails from men who seriously wanted to join such a group.

"Mainly people are just excited about the idea that men can have a group as well," Saltarelli told the Tribune.

Reactions to the new group have been mixed.

Critics don't believe such an organization is needed. While women are catching up with men in workforce participation, they still earn significantly less than men.

"It's like starting 'white men in business'—there's not really any purpose," said Ali Feenstra, a third-year student.

Liz Scoggin, another third-year student, noted, "The name implies some things that I don't love. I feel like it implies there aren't enough men in power or that kind of thing."

But others say that the stereotype of men as dominators in the workforce is a myth. The unemployment rate is higher among men than women, and women earn more college degrees than men. Some argue that the success of some men does not imply success for all men.

According to the group's Facebook page, there are more than 130 members, including a few women. The group is applying to become a registered student organization this week. If approved, it would be the school's first male-advocacy group. The university currently has about nine women's advocacy organizations.

Matt Bartosik is the editor of Off the Rocks' next issue.

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