Town halls held to address impact of current events on campus


Social sciences professor Dr. Adam Shprintzen discusses current events and how they affect Marywood. Photo credit: Bethany Wade

Justin Kucharski and Briana Ryan

Members of the Marywood community discussed issues in today’s society during two town halls in the Nazareth Student Center on March 5 and March 6.

The town halls brought attention to issues such as the current U.S. political climate and gun violence. Various groups across campus including Marywood’s social sciences department, justice and peace Studies, diversity efforts, campus ministry and the dean of students office sponsored the discussions.

Assistant Professor of Social Sciences Dr. Adam Shprintzen and Dean of Students Ross Novak led the discussions on how off-campus issues can make their way onto campus.

Dean of Students Ross Novak leads the discussion on improving Marywood's campus. Photo credit: Bethany Wade

“We are not immune to what’s going on outside this university,” said Shprintzen.

Each discussion topic opened with a poll for all attendees to submit answers via text message. The first poll asked audience members what big scale issues were most concerning to them. Topics such as racism, gun control and anti-semitism were a few of the many issues brought up by students and faculty.

Marywood’s mission and core values also played a big part in each topic. They were emphasized during each discussion, which also included discussion of ways to apply the values when dealing with these issues.

During another text poll, Shprintzen asked audience members how the campus community could best support each other through difficult times.

One idea presented was an anonymous online discussion forum where students can talk about difficult personal issues or things they want to have attention brought to on campus. Junior Speech Pathology Major Gianna DelleRose said she saw this idea as something that could benefit Marywood.

“People are afraid to talk face-to-face, especially on big topics that may be touchy… so the anonymous boards would be a great idea,” said DelleRose.

Shprintzen said he was happy with the turnout and felt that the conversation presented good ideas to expand upon moving forward.

“Everybody should be invested in trying to figure out how to create a better climate on campus, so I’m happy there was a diverse crowd of different roles on campus,” he said.

The town halls ended with Shprintzen offering to help those in attendance register to vote. He discussed the importance of giving people a platform to speak out about difficult issues.

“These are really hard conversations to have and they should be. These issues matter in society and it’s our duty to speak out about how they’re affecting us,” he said.

Contact the writers: [email protected], [email protected]

Twitter: @JKucharskiTWW, @BrianaRyanTWW