The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 17, 2002 - 9
Female students forced to make the decision:
To have children and start a amiy ...
or to contizue.with hikher e ucation?
By Shoshana Hurand nesses, implementing family-friendly policies and services would
Daily Staff Reporter save businesses money by reducing absenteeism.
Daycare was also a hotly debated issue during the Graduate
Already balancing their education to include personal interest Employee Organization contract negotiations last winter.
and career success, college-aged women say they now have Beatriz Ramirez, a Rackham student and instructor in the
another concern - the timing of career and family. Residential College, said daycare for her one-year-old daughter
Sociology Prof. Sheila Bluhm said, compared to earlier genera- is particularly difficult to find in Ann Arbor because of its cost
tions, the current trend is for young people to begin their own and availability.
families later in life. "I've never had daycare full-time because I cannot afford
"We know that especially students are delaying marriage," daycare," Ramirez said. In part, she attributed the difficulty in
Bluhm said, adding that she has noticed many graduate students finding affordable daycare to the needs the University was set
organizing their lives to complete school before getting married. up to serve.
But not all students are furthering their studies before having The school developed with a primarily male student population
children, and some have put off graduate school to start a family. and, because women were predominantly homemakers in the Uni-
Ann Arbor resident and University alum Jodi Mullet gave birth versity's earlier days, she said childcare for student-parents was
to her two children after completing her undergraduate studies not as much of concern as it is today.
but is delaying graduate school until her children are older. "The institution hasn't caught up," Ramirez said. "It still
"We're younger now, we can keep up with them now," Mullet baffles me."
said. She added that her desire to have a successful career directly As a result, she spends her day taking care of her daughter and does
after completing school may make it difficult to take time off for her graduate work at night. "Timewise, it's horrible," Ramirez said.
children later in life. "Between the time and the money, it's a lot of pressure."
Bluhm said women entering the job market at a young age may She added that the increased workload has already affected the
have difficulties with businesses that expect them leave work to amount of time it will take her to earn her degree.
have children. Yet Ramirez admits that, because she is a student, her schedule
"I think it counts against younger women," she said. does allow her to spend more time with her daughter than if both
For those who choose to become mothers before furthering she and her husband worked full-time jobs.
their career or education, Bluhm said an increasing number of Rackham student Amy Schiller, who studied graduate students with
corporations are recognizing many of their female employees as children for her undergraduate thesis, found many women waited to
caregivers. continue their education until their spouses had higher paying jobs.
"Daycare is an important issue, particularly for single moth- "A lot of (women) were taking a long time to finish (graduate)
ers," Bluhm said. She added that among other benefits to busi- school," she said, linking this to the combined time commitment of
children and class.
In contrast, married men in graduate school "were finishing
really fast." She suggested that this was a result of men's desires
to provide an income to the household.
But changes may be in store for the future - some universities are
starting to better accommodate older students and student-parents by
offering night and weekend classes that work around job and child-
We make forgetting to
BUY AND MAIL
REAL PAPER GREETING CARDS
a thing of the past.