Students sold sweets last Tuesday to raise awareness about the not-so-sweet seven percent less that women earn than men.

The Equal Pay Day Bake Sale took place in the student center at Keene State College on April 14, which is National Equal Pay Day. 

Student body President Bobby Graham, who was running the bake sale, explained how on average women get paid 78 cents to every dollar that men make. To represent this idea, Graham explained how the baked goods were a whole dollar for men and 78 cents for women. 

He said, “It’s something that we really want to portray as a dysfunction in society and an issue in society on one hand — it’s justice.”

“It’s not fair. If females are doing the same amount of work as guys and the same amount of productivity, shouldn’t they be making the same amount of money?” Graham continued.

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

Graham referred to the gender pay gap as economically, “shooting ourselves in the foot in multiple ways.”

He stated that the gap needs to be fixed in a way that conservatives and liberals can both appeal to. As far as the bake sale went, Graham said that they had been selling quite a few baked goods. 

“As far as our main idea of spreading advocacy, it has worked very well. We have a good poster here and a lot of people are walking around having a lot of conversations,” Graham said. KSC sophomore Maggie Mason said, “We’re connecting it to AAUW [American Association of University Women], which is cool. It’s basically just a women’s empowerment group.”

Mason went on to talk about AAUW, “It’s nice to have and we have a connection with it on campus, but there isn’t a strong student connection so we’re trying to build up the student connection as well.”

Program Manager for Diversity and Multiculturalism Initiatives, Kim Schmidl-Gagne, said she takes great interest in fixing the gender pay gap.

Schmidl-Gagne explained how she has been in the workforce for 30 years dealing with the gender pay gap.

She asked, “So, why is that? Why, if we’re doing the same work, do men get paid more than women?”

Schmidl-Gagne explained how KSC is linked with American Democracy Project, which is an organization that focuses on colleges and universities that infuse political issues and makes each generation active, Schmidl-Gagne said.

She said that the new big issue is economic inequality and that, with Hillary Clinton running for president, it’s going to be something that is active in the next election.

Obama has been trying to fight for change by doing small things, Schmidl-Gagne said, but believes that Clinton will bring more attention to the issue.

Schmidl-Gagne added that for women of color the gap is even bigger.

“I think it’s something that has flown under the radar for a long time. It gets media attention every once in a while then fades away, and so every year there is National Equal Pay Day, and so we were trying to bring a little bit of visibility to equality,” she said.

She said as far as KSC goes, most people are in a good place financially and it’s more about the awareness that we need to spread.

“It’s time for us to start taking action.  It is one thing to have this bake sale and for people to become aware, but how much are people actually raising their voice and letting their legislators know what’s important to them and what they should be focused on?” Schmidl-Gagne asked.

She added “That’s the next step — how do we become more active and involved and take back our government, because it’s ours.”

Savanna Balkun can be contacted at

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