Justice and Jobs

Tomorrow there will be an unusual group of recruiters at State University. The Coalition for Alternative Careers, in cooperation with the State University Career Office, be hosting an Alternative Careers Fair for students interested in careers with social change organizations. There will be 40 national and area organizations represented, including Greenpeace, the Youth Advocacy League and the Social Justice Network.

Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader will address the students at 11 a.m. in Weissman Hall. He will be speaking on "Career Opportunities in the Public Interest," or as he succinctly puts it, "Bringing Your Conscience to Work." There will also be a panel discussion on "The Myths and Realities of Working for Social Change" held at 3:30 p.m. in Room 303 of Memorial Hall, adjacent to the main room where participating organizations will be setting up information tables with information for students.

Fair coordinator Ray Whitmore is expecting a big turn-out. "The career office has witnessed an increase in students' interest in public interest careers, and we think there is a large audience for this event," he says.

Junior Holley Knauss agrees with Whitmore, saying '1've been thinking about what I'm going to do after I graduate next year, and I would really like to do something to stop toxic waste dumping, but I don't know who I could work with. I've been looking forward to this careers fair as a chance to find out about the different environmental groups." Knauss adds, "My friends who went to the corporate recruiting sessions said everything seemed really boring. They want to go to the Alternative Careers Fair to find out what else they can do."

The coalition says that the State University Career Office helped to plan this event in order to meet students' desire for information on alternatives to corporate and government employment. State University is absorbing most of the cost of the fair because, Dean Sugarman explains, "the school is committed to encouraging students to consider nonprofit organizations when they plan their careers."

Nader has expressed strong support for the Alternative Careers Fair. 'Public interest organizations often do not have the money or staff to recruit on college campuses as corporations and government agencies routinely do," he says. "Career fairs like this one create a vital and infrequent opportunity for students and social change organizations to discuss society's most rewarding jobs."

Groups attending the fair advocate and provide services for a wide range of concerns, including the environment, legal services, health care, homelessness, civil rights and education.