Rankism is a Campus Climate Issue (downloadable pdf) by Teddie Potter for the University of Minnesota’s Campus Climate blog. Perhaps one of the more insidious ways culture manifests is in class stratification. Prompted by a run-in with a maintenance worker who had been rebuffed by students for sharing an elevator, Teddie Potter points out how rankism impacts the culture of the entire U of M campus.
Just the other day I walked up to the elevator bank and noted a man from facilities standing next to a large box. The elevator doors opened and I stepped into an empty elevator. The man said, “Do you mind if I ride along?” Surprised by the question, I smiled and said, “Of course not!” Once the doors had closed, he proceeded to tell me his story.
One day I got onto the elevator with another person. I had a drill in one hand and my lunch box in the other. The other person said to me, “You don’t belong here. They have special elevators for people like you!” He shook his head and said, “I’ve now learned to ask permission.”