The Social Work Society and School of Social Work will host their 15th Annual Teach-in via Zoom on Nov. 7. Co-sponsored by the Institute for Global Understanding, the teach-in’s theme is “Quarantine Confessions: How it took a global pandemic to shed light on some of the most pressing societal issues in the United States.”
Virtual conferences include a keynote address on the COVID- 19 state of affairs in New Jersey, as well as panels on economics, health, and education. The teach-in will end with a call to action and closing statement.
All of the panels will be hosted by members of the Social Work Society’s Executive Board. Brittany Macaluso and Jamie Terrone serve as the organization’s Co-Presidents. Olivia Monahan serves as Vice President and Brianna Rudolph is the group’s treasurer. Haleigh DiMuzio is the secretary, Marissa Henderson serves as event chair and Kailey Montiero is the social media chair.
According to Macaluso, planning for annual Teach-In events begins in the spring semester. She said, “Each year the Social Work Society focuses their teaching around a specific global problem that is plaguing our society today.” To members of the Society, it only made sense that the effects of the impending pandemic should be talked about this year.
“The event isn’t necessarily about the pandemic itself, but discussing relevant issues that were either buried and brought to light because of the pandemic, or other social issues that were created as a result of it.” This thought inspired discussion panels with themes such as education, economics, and health care. Within each panel, sub categories will be discussed. For example remote learning would be discussed during the education panel, and food insecurity would be presented during the session on economics.
Members of the Social Work Society as well as their Executive Board Members will be hosting the panels and moderating questions. Macaluso said, “The E-board is the group of students who plan the event.” During this period of planning, members of the organization begin reaching out to people who would be fit to speak.
All of the topics being presented during this event are especially timely. This week, University President, Patrick Leahy made the decision to switch to fully to remote instruction following Thanksgiving Break. This might cause difficulty for students who have been enrolled in classes instructed in-person throughout the semester. This is a topic that would most likely be discussed during the education panel.
This event is not exclusive to Social Work students. Anyone who is interested can attend. Macaluso said, “Within each of the panels we can almost guarantee that everyone watching will find something that they can relate to/resonate with, possibly in terms of adjusting to remote learning, struggling to afford food, or being laid off.., We have so many relevant topics that will be covered.”
She added, “This could also be a way to help [them] feel more connected and feel less alone in what they are going through.” She added that this could also be a way for students to be linked with experts or other community resources.
Macaluso included that food insecurity within the community would be discussed within the panels as well. According to Monmouth University, 30 percent of students who attend a college or university in the United States experience some form of food insecurity. This could be an opportunity for students to be informed of community resources such as SGA’s “The Nest” food pantry.
For the students that may be tired of hearing about COVID- 19, Macaluso said, “While [students] might not want to hear about it anymore…we think this event will provide a unique perspective on what is going on and what we can collectively do moving forward.”
For more information on the Teach-In, be sure to check out the Monmouth University Social Work Society’s Instagram, @mu_sw_society, or contact Sanjana Ragudaran, Ph.D. and Jeanne Koller. Ph.D. from the Department of Social Work.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University