Activists Push Colleges to Stop Unpaid Internship Placement

Progressive activists are pushing college career services departments to steer students away from unpaid internships.

According to a piece by Alan Scherzagier in the Huffington Post:

A nascent campaign against employers’ use of unpaid interns is taking aim at what critics call some of the longstanding practice’s biggest enablers: colleges that steer students into such programs in exchange for academic credit.

Organizers hope to have mobilizers raise the issue on campuses as students return to school this fall, with a particular emphasis on schools in New York, Washington and Los Angeles. They also want to join up with organized labor as part of a broader coalition focused on workplace issues.

The initiative, called the Fair Pay Campaign, is using social media strategies to target the White House first and get it to end its unpaid internship program.

According to the article, 63 percent of graduating college seniors this year have an internship. Almost half of them are unpaid.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer