By Daniel Johnson
This past week Springfield College hosted the second annual SEAT at the Table event. The week-long schedule of panels and discussions is aimed to educate and provide depth and valuable viewpoints toward social justice issues and strive for equity and accountability.
Striving to deconstruct oppression and reach to achieve equity for all, SEAT at the Table brings together members from multiple schools with diverse backgrounds to collaborate on ideas about social justice, identity, power, privilege, positionality, and radical community care.
On Oct. 20, the College hosted an event titled “Culture, Society, and Abnormal Psychology”. The emphasis of this workshop was to give insight on mental health, educate on Trans Community Policing, sexual violence, masculinity, gender and sexuality and the relation to mental health.
The presentation was done over Zoom by Springfield’s own PSYC 221 class (Abnormal Psychology). In the hour and fifteen-minute-long session, the class described many of the main concepts of psychology and the relationship to mental health and stigma.
The class began by talking about understanding the true origin of desire and overall providing an in-depth description of paraphilic disorders as well as how desire plays deeply into everyday behavior. They then transitioned to the conversation of social justice and equity.
“Social justice is about working towards a more equal society, equity means meeting communities where they are and allocating resources and opportunities as needed to create equal outcomes for all community members,” said one of the students of the Abnormal Psychology class.
As we live in a time where inequity has always been an issue, understanding the true definition of equity is incredibly helpful in making great strides to a more unified community.
The focus shifted to mental health, a hot topic on the rise. As mental health has become a major topic of importance, the class presented facts regarding mental illness and showed stories of how mental illness has affected individuals, adding into the mix of how serious the discussion of mental health has become.
Springfield College took action throughout the 2020-2021 academic year in hopes to better the mental health of students implementing “wellness days” where students received occasional days to take off from class to find time for balancing and adjusting to the highly restricted pandemic-ridden school year.
As the session began to wind down, the class moved to the discussion of equality for the transgender community. While stigma has deeply hurt the community, the class gave insight on what can be done to help respect those who identify as transgender.
Through people doing more to educate themselves and understanding the culture of transgender people and their goal to feel more comfortable as themselves, the Abnormal Psychology class helped to hammer the point of acceptance and equality. Furthermore, the class listed off the examples of how discrimination towards the community is still a prominent issue in society.
A student stated, “although we have gotten a lot better, we still have a long way to go.”
As the SEAT at the Table event has come to an end, the emphasis on striving to achieve a more acceptable, equal, and accountable society was heavily enforced. SEAT at the Table is always a positive experience for students to get more involved in topics they may not be educated in to further the knowledge and acceptance of the College community.
Photo Courtesy Springfield College