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Marisa Budlongmarisa

My name is Marisa Budlong. I am from Berkeley, California and am currently a senior at Brandeis. I’m majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) and Sociology and minoring in Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP). When I entered Brandeis I knew I wanted to major or minor in WGS, but I wasn’t sure what else I wanted to study. I ended up taking a variety of courses and decided on a second major in Sociology and a minor in SJSP. The SJSP minor fit well since many of my classes in WGS and Sociology were already cross-listed in SJSP. The minor gave me opportunities to be active off-campus as well as encouraged me to be critical on-campus. I am a member in Brandeis Labor Coalition (BLC) and Brandeis Students Against Sexual Violence (B.SASV). I have also advocated for domestic violence legislation in the Massachusetts State House and I am currently a Family Law intern at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS).

I see the SJSP minor as a tool to frame academic interests by recognizing the complexity of social injustice, learning what social movements have done to change the status quo, and understanding the policy changes that may have resulted from these movements. The interdisciplinary nature of SJSP allows students to apply their specific interests to the minor and study the movement(s) they feel passionately about in an academic space. For example, I focused on feminism in my SJSP minor and I am currently active in feminist issues such as sexual violence prevention and labor rights.

I am excited to hear from students interested in SJSP! If you want to discuss the possibility of an SJSP minor (as well as any other questions), email me at mbudlong@brandeis.edu!

Sneha Walia sneha

My name is Sneha Walia and I’m a junior here at Brandeis, originally from Shrewsbury, MA. I’m majoring in Politics and Psychology and minoring in Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP) and Education Studies. I decided to become an SJSP minor my first year at Brandeis after I happened to take the core course for the minor and really enjoyed it. The SJSP program is unique because it allows minors to look at social justice through multiple lenses. It teaches us about social justice from a historical and conceptual level, but also empowers us to enact social justice outside of the classroom through practicums and internships.

Participating in the SJSP program has definitely fed my interest in social justice in other classes and outside of the classroom! For example, a course I took as an elective for the minor last year in education really helped me find my passion for education studies and brought me to my second minor. On campus, I try to bring social justice into my activities. I currently serve as the Secretary of the Student Union, am on the Steering Committee for the DeisImpact Festival of Social Justice, TA for the PAX course Deconstructing War and Building Peace, and participate in Waltham Group. This is my first semester as an SJSP UDR, and I am excited to meet all of the minors and prospective minors!

Please feel free to email me at swalia@brandeis.edu if you have any questions or ideas! I can’t wait to hear from you!!