Social Justice != internships

I’m reading an article in the Hoot about the proposed Justice Brandeis Semesters.

I really wish we knew more about them.

I’m also really confused by this quote:

Despite its monetary origins, Jaffe said that the JBS is not motivated solely by the university’s financial crisis.

“What this is doing is giving us the opportunity to make Brandeis stand out and expand upon things we are already doing, like experiential learning,” he said. “The JBS resonates with the basic themes of the university like social justice.”

What exactly does Brandeis forcing me to give up a semester of academics for a semester interning for some liberal group have to do with Social Justice? Now, I’ve been in talks with some of the ideas originators, and they do have some good ideas on how to make this work. However, I’m very worried by the proposal as currently proposed. It’s vague, it could turn out really horribly (why should I pay 20,000$ for a semester’s unpaid labor at the SEIU, however glorified?).

The Justice Brandeis Semester has other facets than internships, of course, but that’s how its been most strongly described to me, and how the Social Justice angle is going to be done.

I don’t think the faculty senate should vote on the JBS proposal right now. As currently formulated, they have a lot of potential, but currently don’t sound so hot to me. This definitely needs more discussion.