UT’s Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) meets every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the elimination of sexism, war, racism and worker inequity.

The group’s goals are clearly defined, as explained by Karen Principe, senior in sociology and PSA secretary.

“We seek fair work conditions and a living wage for all workers, as well as an end to the oppressions of women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community and other oppressed groups,” Principe said.

Fair pay and benefits for workers at UT is a traditionally vital issue to the PSA, which helped initiate the campus union, United Campus Workers, nearly a decade ago. Unfair treatment of campus faculty is largely the reason this organization formed in the first place.

Kaitlin Malick, a senior in sociology and co-chair of the PSA, said the PSA originated in January of 1997 in an effort to combat unfair wages at UT.

Malick noted how important coalitions like PSA are at this time.

“It is critical that we students work together and unite on campus as part of this larger struggle,” she said.

While progress has been made since PSA’s formation, Leslie Principe, senior in Africana studies, claims that “there’s still a lot to be done.” She cited a 2010 study that revealed that 23 percent of full-time UT workers are not making a living wage.

“The first couple of years of PSA, with the Living Wage Campaign, we helped to open people’s eyes to inequality on campus,” Karen Principe said. “Administrators were getting so much money, yet people who worked here for 20 years couldn’t feed their families. Conditions have improved since then, but they are by no means ideal.”

In order to raise awareness of these issues, the group is doing a series of educational events, including weekly film showings each Tuesday to expose corporate influence. The first of these films will be “The American Ruling Class,” a dramatic documentary that explores class, power and privilege in America. All films will be followed by facilitated discussions in which viewers will deliberate on the movie’s themes.

Leslie Principe believes that these showings are an excellent opportunity to get more students socially aware and active.

“These PSA events teach you a lot about what’s going on in the world,” she said. “The discussions are also excellent because they will push you out of your comfort zone.”

Beyond their efforts toward worker equality, the PSA is also planning an upcoming feminist bake sale.

“All items will be priced in a way that is proportionate to the pay differences that still exist between men and women,” Leslie Principe said. “So, for example, while a cookie may cost a woman something like 75 cents, we will charge men $1.”

This price variation is designed to illustrate the fact that women still only earn 78 cents on the dollar relative to men.

“This applies to workers on UT’s campus, too,” Leslie Principe said. “Women are paid less than men for working the same job, which is ridiculous in this day and age.”

All those interested in combating inequality and injustice at UT are urged to attend a PSA meeting and experience the fruits of activism for themselves.

“We have meetings every Wednesday night at 7:30 in the UC, and students who are employed by the university can also join the United Campus Workers, the union that represents them and fights for their interests,” Karen Principe said.

In Karen Principe’s opinion, it is especially important that college students in particular get involved.

“We live in an extremely flawed world and this doesn’t have to be the case,” she said. “Youth alone cannot fix the world, but the energy and free time that students bring to the struggle are vital to the survival of our social movements. Student activists also become the next leaders in those movements.”