Social Justice Residential College

Understand the perspectives of marginalized populations.

Critically and compassionately examine issues of social justice. Examine topics including poverty, inequality, health care, immigration, LGBT issues and civil rights. Learn about grassroots activism. Advocate for social justice in the community.

Foundation Seminar Course Choices

Change the World

In this course, you will be invited to join an ongoing dialogue about what constitutes social justice, how various dimensions of justice are connected to issues of economic justice, and how best to advocate for social change.

In order effectively to participate in this dialogue, you will need to become informed about theories and practices that underlie efforts to manifest social change. We will examine competing theories — by Robert Nozick, John Rawls, Amartya Sen among others — of what social justice entails and how our economic system supports and/or undermines social justice. We will then apply these perspectives to understand ways in which social injustices, such as domination on the basis of economic class, gender, race/ethnicity and sexual orientation, are interrelated and how they might be addressed. Finally, you will be asked to examine social movements that seek to eliminate these injustices in order, ultimately, to articulate your own position on how to change the world.

Social Justice: Gandhi's Way

Mahatma Gandhi fought an array of social injustices during his lifetime using a non-violent approach to conflict resolution.

Course readings will focus on three things: 1) An examination of Gandhi's concept of justice; 2) An introduction to the non-violent method Gandhi employed in pursuit of justice in South Africa and India; and 3) An exploration of some of the many ways that Gandhi's method has been employed by other figures around the world in the past century. Course assignments and activities will ask students to articulate what social injustices exist in their lifetimes; to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Gandhi's method for addressing these injustices; and to articulate their own positions about justice and the means for attaining it.

This is a Social Justice Residential College course, and includes a required fourth "common hour" shared with other Social Justice College classes, together with a weekend field trip and final projects for the Residential College Symposium.

Social Justice College Student Staff

Shiqi Li, Resident Fellow

Shiqi Li, Junior Fellow

Hometown: Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
Major: applied mathematical sciences, economics and German

"Growing up in China and having traveled half a globe to study in Bucknell, I decided to live with people sharing similar passions so as to adapt to college life more easily. Living in a Residential College encouraged me to meet people with different backgrounds and offered me a chance to build long-term relationships with students and faculties. My experience in residential college has influenced my college life and it has built my character in many ways!"

Amanda Battle, Junior Fellow

Amanda Battle

Hometown: Baltimore, MD 
Major: public policy and political science

"Social Justice (SoJo) is the best res college Bucknell offers, not only because the people are great, but because you receive a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore how we can individually and collectively change the world. The SoJo freshman seminar classes are fascinating and our events are incredibly empowering. Not only did I find my passions, but I found my best friends in SoJo!"

Katherine Manuel, Junior Fellow

Katherine Manuel, Resident Fellow

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Major:  Vocal Performance 

"The Residential Colleges are a unique opportunity to learn and live with a group of like-minded people. As a graduate of ArtsRes, I can say that I've come very far not only in my appreciation for the arts, but in my understanding of what it means to be a part of a community. I have met some of my best friends through the Residential Colleges, and I think it's so cool to know that once you decide to join a Res College, you will always have this awesome group of people supporting you!"


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